Woke illiberals to the left of me, Trumpist illiberals to the <alt-right> of me
I’m tired of right-wing media mocking and condemning the illiberal “Wokening” of the left while ignoring (and often participating in) in the illiberal “Trumpening” of the right.
This may surprise some readers, but every single dysfunction you’ve observed from the Online Left and progressive media more broadly applies to the Online Right and conservative media as well. Except in conservative media, the focus isn’t on intersectionality and social justice but rather Trump and his followers.
This behavior takes the form of online mobbing that can be every bit as vicious (if not more) than left-wing Twitter attacks. It includes immense pressure from donors (a form of threatened boycott) to remove or censor anti-Trump voices. It includes terminations and cancellations, and it certainly includes copious online demands for termination and cancellation of Trump-critical conservatives. And yes, it includes the heavy hand of editorial control limiting Trump-critical content and even imposing a form of “sensitivity reading” to make sure that Trump fans are not excessively triggered by Trump-critical speech.
If you wonder why so many public figures say one thing about Trump in private and something else entirely in public, this is the reason. The pressure is so pervasive, so malicious, and so cruel that part of me simply rebels at publishing yet another piece that says, “Look at the intolerant woke left!”
As time goes by, I grow more and more convinced that the antidote to illiberalism and cruelty comes not through critiques from ideological opponents (radicals on both sides often enjoy being targeted by ideological opponents) but rather through courageous confrontations with erstwhile ideological allies ….