Ah, Classical Liberalism, the philosophy which in many ways gave birth to our nation. It is the idea that all men are free moral agents, and as such, are welcome to their own independent thoughts, desires, actions, and rights. In fact, the highest form of societal virtue in classical liberalism is the protection of these rights. Yet, today's liberalism is nothing at all like this original liberalism. In fact, in many ways, it is an anathema to it.
You see, in TRUE liberalism, each person's right to be, think, say, and live as they want is protected, and while I might not completely agree with the philosophy, I can at least respect its dedication to its ideals. In fact I bet Voltaire and I could have a number of fantastic conversations. Yet, I think he would be both shocked and dismayed at how his philosophic principles have been twisted and used by collectivists and anti-religionists today.
In fact, you can watch the history of the descent of liberalism simply by skimming a history book. A short timeline might look something like this: 1960s: I can think what I want, and you can't stop me.
1970s: I can do what I want, and you can't stop me.
1980s: I can be who I want, and you can't stop me.
1990s: I can live how I want, and you need to be nice about it.
2000s: You will accept me and my life or you are a (...ist) (...ism) (bigot) (et al)
2010s: You will accept all personal lifestyles as valid, and say so publicly, or we will ruin you.
2020s: We need to control all forms of speech and public discourse to force change!
This isn't progress, and it isn't REAL liberalism. It's fascism, just with make-up on to make it more "acceptable."
When you begin to tell people what is okay to think, what is okay to believe, or what is okay to say, then you are doing to them exactly what you've said you're fighting all along. Yet, they go back and twist the philosophy even further by saying, "We must be intolerant of intolerance."
I have had the privilege in my life of having a number of really good liberal friends. Not the modern faux liberals, but real and honest classical liberals. I often found disagreement with them, but found them to be WONDERFUL conversationalists and debate partners, in part, because they didn't get mad at how I thought or what I said. They would debate the merits of the ideas, and often we could find enough common ground and compromise on almost any subject to agree to live and let live. After all, that was their goal from the beginning.
Yet modern, "liberals," aren't interested in live and let live. They're interested in imposing their view of the world and morality on everyone; and doing so while also accusing those that they're morally brow beating of doing the very thing they're actively doing. It's an unmitigated hypocrisy, and it's insane.
At least I'm intellectually honest and consistent. I believe in public decency laws. I believe in sexual content censorship. I believe in the decision to not make deviant lifestyle choices (by percentage) out to be mainstream and common or more widespread than they are. I've never waivered from these positions, and I've always believed, and always will, that they are in our best interest as a society. So my stance is consistent with my philosophy.
Yet, were I to believe that all thoughts, all lifestyles, and all public displays (sexual or otherwise) were just expressions of one's own freedom (as liberalism proposes), then I would have to say that about even the things with which I disagree, or I am negating and proving false the entire basis of everything I say. It is intellectually dishonest to say that we must all accept all ideas and realities except the ones with which I disagree. That's not liberalism, that's fascism.
So enter today's big conundrum. Big tech censorship, selective news coverage, the deleting of press stories, and untold personal exchanges in which anyone who is not with the "common thought" are chastised and excoriated. This... Is... Not... Liberalism... it's fascism, plain and simple.
So why then does the left accuse the right of fascism while actively engaging in it themselves? It's a cognitive dissonance that boggles the mind as much as the senses. The right says, "do what you want, live how you want, just don't promote it as normal or acceptable or we'll challenge your philosophy." This makes the fascists according to the left.
However that same left is saying, "if you don't think like us (common core, political correctness, and CRT curriculums), speak like us (hate speech laws, censorship, and loss of forum access), and see the world like us (forced praise of deviant behaviors), then we will crush your business, you job, harass you, hound you, dox you, and everything else we can to force you to comply."
If you think the first is fascist but the second isn't, you need to go read a history book.
You see, modern liberalism isn't liberal at all, it's fascist, and that's sad, because many of my good solid liberal friends deeply lament what society has done to their beliefs, and how their beliefs have been twisted to force others into compliance. I've even had one of them say to me, broken heartedly, that he can't blame the conservatives for their reactions because no one should be told what to think, how to act, or how to speak. He doesn't agree with what they're saying at all, but he does believe that their right to say it should be protected. He's a true liberal, not a fascist.
Yet many on the left can't, or more appropriately won't, see it this way. They're so morally justified in their own minds that they'll convince themselves that the right NEEDS to be shut down, and by whatever means necessary. Well, when you do that, you invite the kind of reaction that you're seeing.
Those on the right, even on the fringes, are not normally willing to do things that violate law and order. They're the ones who rush to help the police, stand in the gap for law enforcement, and attempt to help keep the peace wherever they go. They aren't normally willing to disturb the every day goings on of life. The fact that you're seeing even these fringe people willing to violate their own ideals philosophies should tell you how they feel. They are feeling the boot of fascism, and they aren't going to take it any longer.
So here we are, with a clear choice. We can continue to go down the road to a fascist society, and invite the kind of political dissent that always accompanies it, or we can come back to a classically liberal society in which all voices can be heard. We can stop suing Christian bakers and High Schools that ALLOW the kids to pray on their own after football games, or we can face the fury of those who's liberal rights are being obliterated.
Either we have freedom or we don't. If we only have freedom to live as the left wants than we don't have freedom, we have fascism. Yet beyond that, what we really have is a society built on a combination of hypocrisy and the denial of that which is real, and that's a recipe for some really, REALLY bad things.
It's time for liberals to remember what liberalism is, before they can't see it anymore after being swallowed up by fascism.