Liberal hypocrisy was on full display during the 2016 election cycle. Claiming tolerance and diversity, liberals stigmatized and banished anyone who dissented from their views. To them, it was impossible to support Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE and not be racist. Americans were quick to pick up on the glaring contradictions inherent to these claims, and they played a big part in Trump’s win.
Instead of learning from the election, liberals seem to be doubling down on their strategy of intolerance. That was on full display in December with publishing house Simon and Schuster’s announcement that it was paying a $250,000 advance to in-your-face provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos for a book titled “Dangerous.”
The announcement was met with outrage and condemnation from liberals, who demanded that the deal be cancelled.
The Chicago Review of Books went so far as to tweet that it would not review any book published by Simon and Schuster in 2017 because of this outrage. Many liberals applauded this as “virtue signaling.” New authors with books pending publication noted the action harmed them, despite the fact that some of their work could be viewed as “diverse” and “progressive.”
A publication that exists to review books declaring that it would hurt all authors of a major publishing house was a remarkable new low for the forces of political correctness. Conservatives, as well as Milo himself, gleefully encouraged them to keep digging.
Another writer on Twitter tweeted out the contact information of the editors in charge of the Milo book project, encouraging others to protest by flooding their inboxes with emails.
It’s hard to square claims of openness and tolerance with tactics designed to shut down opposing views. No one is forced to buy a book; consumers could easily express themselves by refusing to buy Milo’s work. But this did not occur to liberals who called for censorship instead.
Liberals are still having a tough time coming to grips with the election, and lashing out at a free press seems to be their latest method of coping. Books like Milo’s should be reviewed and assessed in the arena of ideas and shot down if they are wrong, misguided or even “dangerous.”
Doubling down on identity politics, divisiveness and intolerance of opposing views, on the other and, is going to reinforce the public’s revulsion toward liberalism. More liberal intolerance is not going to help Democrats make it back from the political wilderness.
John Gilmore is the coauthor of “Bachmannistan: Behind The Lines" with Peter Waldron. He also hosts a podcast, "Gilmore and Guests," on KTLK News Talk in Minneapolis.
The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.