This insightful essay by Malcolm MacKinnon, retired Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, was forwarded to us by our reader and commenter Cogito.
We quote it in full with permission of the author:
Unlike conservatives, progressives will stick with their side even when they profoundly disagree, or more likely appear to disagree with that side on core issues. Witness progressive Kirsten Powers who recently wrote a book (The Silencing) that was heavily critical of the progressive onslaught on speech freedom. Shortly after that book was published she left FNC and went to work for the Clinton News Network (world headquarters of Newspeak) [aka CNN] where she professes daily her undying loyalty to Hillary Clinton who, in turn, is a dedicated opponent of the First Amendment.
And if gentile progressives are tied at the hip to the Dem Party, just consider the case of Jewish progressives. They will support the Dems with big money and big votes even when the progressive party is anti Jew and anti Israel. Take the case of Bill Maher. A few months back Breitbart News could hardly hide its jubilation when Bill Maher sternly criticized “liberals” for their undying support of Islam, and that in so doing – in Maher’s words – they are in violation of their own most deeply held principles of equality.
Fast forward six months and we have two candidates running for the presidency: Progressive Hillary Clinton and conservative Donald Trump.
Hillary has has made no bones about it that she wants the First Amendment changed to reflect and protect progressive interests, and apparently this is just fine with Kirsten Powers. Progressives have gone to extraordinary lengths to paint Trump as an enemy of the First Amendment but this is the classic case of “the pot calling the kettle black”. The greatest threat to speech today comes from political correctness which is the attack arm of progressivism, used to silence critics of progressive policies. It’s worth recounting that political correctness is a term born under communist regimes where it was used by dissidents but also by party die hards and apparatchik to depict the absolute authority of the Party to dictate reality. Now, reality may profoundly disagreed with the party’s version but this disconnect can never be stated. Dissidents were of course appalled while apparatchiks by way of resignation had to deal with the bureaucratic problems created by the Orwellian lie. The point is that it’s progressives in today’s world who champion political correctness and it’s only natural that Hillary Clinton heads that charge. When Trump says that illegal immigration brings with it crime and drugs he’s told in no uncertain terms that he can’t say this. What Trump states may be true, says the progressive apparatchik when you’r not listening, but you can’t say it because when you start presenting reality as it exists, instead of the reality proposed by the Party, that’s a threat to our power and we won’t allow it!
As for Trump, he isn’t an apparatchik he’s a dissident. He will state reality as it exists despite the howls of protest those that promote party lines. And for stating reality as it exists Trump is called a “racist” much in the same way that communist dissidents were called “bourgeois reactionaries” or “enemies of the people.”
What’s a bourgeois reactionary?
“Someone who’s winning an argument with a communist.”
“What’s a racist?”
“Someone who’s winning an argument with a progressive.”
Like the dissident, Donald Trump presents reality as we apprehend it. He makes no bones about his distaste of political correctness and has attacked it at every turn which is why progressives evince such a visceral loathing towards him; for without the “battering ram” of political correctness (Lenin writes on using the proletariat as a battering ram), modern progressivism would be cut off at the knees. Thus it’s the Donald who’s the friend of open expression, of telling people what the world is really like, rather than hewing to the party line backed by progressives die hards and apparatchiks.
When progressives cast Trump as an enemy of the First Amendment they are doing exactly what Marx recommended:
“Slander your class enemy with your own worst sins.”
Like Kirsten Powers, Bill Maher is another example of the progressive apparatchik. Maher is Jewish and recently said that he doesn’t care if Hillary is corrupt, he doesn’t care if she’s a criminal, and he doesn’t care if she murdered Jonbenet Ramsey, he will still vote for her: “Anything but Trump!” Further, Maher will vote for Hillary despite the fact that Maher has serious misgivings about Islam while Hillary, in the starkest of all possible contrarieties, is a stout defender of Islam and all its works. Hillary tells us that she will import hundreds of thousands undocumented Muslim refugees from the war torn Middle East, events that Hillary as Secretary of State helped cause with that precipitous withdrawal of America forces from Iraq, an untimely withdrawal that created a power vacuum into which a marauding ISIS marched.
As a progressive die hard, Hillary naturally toes the party line when it comes to Islam. Indeed she wrote the book on it. As such, her politically correct line is completely divorced from reality. Over and over she states that “terrorism has nothing to do with Islam” and “that Islam is religion of peace.” What’s going on here is that the ultimate source of such gross misrepresentations is political power, that Islam is a big financial supporter of progressivism, wedded to the fact that Muslims represent a solid voting block for progressive parties. Progressives ape their communist exemplar when imposing a version of things at odds with reality which has become the stock in trade of today’s progressives. Make no bones about it, they will go to the wall to defend their unreality.
Meanwhile dissident Trump will have none of it. He has told Christians, gays and women that he will be their protector from the Muslim threat, inasmuch as that is what Islam is all about: It’s a threat to democracy and equality. How do we know this? Because Islam tells us so! And not only does Islam tell us so, it acts on its convictions, the results of which are repeatedly manifest in the grossest scenes imaginable. Dissident Trump further tells us that he will either halt, or place insuperable roadblocks in the way of Muslim immigration.
As for the equally tawdry case of Bill Maher, stooge, flunky, apparatchik of the progressive party line – whatever! Maher can’t vote for Trump yet Trump, unlike Hillary, isn’t corrupt, he isn’t a criminal, he doesn’t murder little girls and he tells us the truth on Islam. None of these matters to Maher, who is, in the last resort, not opposed to the game plan of Islam but is, in actuality, one of the sponsors of it.
What to make of progressives like Kirsten Powers and Bill Maher who for a brief and fleeting moment raise voices of protest against the sacred cows of progressives, but who, in the long run, come back to the bosom of the party based on speech restriction and the unreality of Islam narrative? both – I might add – profoundly at odds with their previously held positions? One is almost tempted to think that Powers and Maher are following party orders to make “us” seem less illiberal than we really are on free speech, and to be not so manifestly stupid as we appear to be with our other worldly – nay “phantasmagorical” – depictions of Islam.
Speculation is one thing and reality another. In the end, Powers is actually not a defender of free speech but its enemy. Maher isn’t a critic of Islam but an apostle of Islam. Ominous here is the larger undertow, that speech suppression is ineluctably linked to selling implausible versions of the world. You can’t have the second without the first which is precisely why progressives will go to the wall on speech suppression because you can’t make concocted versions of reality stick, when you have dissidents like Trump with speech protection walking around telling people the truth.
Thus a word to the wise for conservatives: Don’t start celebrating next time you hear a progressive criticizing fellow progressives. Hence closer to home, when the Toronto Star criticizes the UN for refusing to certify Rebel Media for an upcoming UN conference on the climate, don’t start clapping your hands with glee that the other side has miraculously come around to your way of thinking as defender of free speech. Progressives care most about the power that comes with winning elections and if supporting freedom of expression here and there obtains that end, then they will say and do what it takes. When was the last time you heard the Toronto Star criticizing the University of Toronto for restricting the speech rights of Professor Jordan Peterson?
This is the progressive mantra on free expression: “We believe in free speech, BUT ….