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Liberals expose their extreme intolerance

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Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
The author is practicing advocate in the Madras High Court

It had to happen.. It was predictable. That it took a while,  is the surprise. Not the event or the happening. And when it has happened, it has not set a ripple. It has set a storm. A storm of protests from within themselves. Not from the outside. It is not a Us v. Them story. It is Us v. Us. Or  Them v.Them, as you will .What am I taking about. I am talking about the July,7,2020 letter penned by writers/intellectuals/elites, the crème de le crème of the literary/writer/artists  world. It is satirical at best and laughable at worst that the liberals should be pouncing on the fellow liberals  for exercising their Free Speech, the ‘very core of a being’, the liberals used to muse. The Letter published The Harpers’ magazine is a complete expose of the hypocrites the liberal clan are!

Donald Trump, his base and his bandwagon must be smiling,  as the Nov, 2020 Presidential elections are upon us. The print, social and electronic media lost face and psephologists led by Nate Silver had to eat crow for their projections. “They” were convinced that Trump was there as a Republican candidate, to cause more than a flutter. They were delighted with his presence as he added to the eyeballs and media revelled in the attention quoting every word of Trump and keeping him in public eye, from the day he came down the stairs of Trump Tower in New York, in June,2015. He was the darling of the liberal media for bashing.

Bash they did. But Trump was never a taker, when it came to abuses. He gave it harder than he got. His verbiage and skill at turning the tables ex tempore were legendary. He was a narcissist, but a skilled one. Media unearthed many a scandal. Even perverted and prurient ones. But, “he was not worried in the least’, said his Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. He loved the attention even of the darkest hue. He loved the limelight, as a reality star- The Apprentice. Trump loved to take on the media. His twitter handle was buzzing 24×7 and he called- ‘Media was enemy of the people”.

In the land of free speech and First Amendment, it was a red rag. Liberal Media went to town and continues to, in these Pandemic times. They concluded that Trump was a virus, for which they needed to find a vaccine quick and that was removal of him from occupancy of the White House. What is going on in the columns of New York Times, Washingron Post- leaders of the liberal media- and CNN and MSNBC- the electronic versions of them, is entertaining stuff. Trump is on theit faces, every minute of the day. Each one of them is his sole selling agent.

Trump has cancelled regular media briefings in the White House. He talks incessantly on FOXNews his polarised megaphone. He just shouts from the lawns of the Rose Garden every now then to the media folks dying for sound bytes. That too is incendiary and provocative. Be that as it may, what then has happened with the liberals that they are  fighting among themselves, in public, as to what is wrong with themselves in taking down Trump? The tolerance levels they are exhibiting is deeply touching and moving.

Newsmen are making news. All wrong. Trump’s base is debased. He does not hide the fact. But Trump and his base are in it together and they love him to take on the  swamp as he seeks to drain it. Trump has delivered on most of his  promises- rid the US-Iran Nuclear deal, got off Paris Climate agreement, re negotiated with Canada and New York, engaged in dialogue with China for a new trade deal, pulled out of World  Health Organisation, the works. All wrong, the liberals scream. But Trump and his base rejoice.

Remember the famous “ The basket of deplorables’ jibe from Hillary Rodham Clinton about Trump’s supporters. She was crucified even as she withdrew as she was grossly insulting the white Americans and mostly the elderly grandpas and grandmas in rural areas. The Liberals have called worse of Trump’s Whitehouse. Trump went after his Attorney General Jeff Sessions who recused himself from the Robert  Mueller probe. Now, a day or two ago, Sessions lost the Republican primary elections to try and become a Senator. If you tangle with Trump, Alabama will get  you, Trump says.

The liberals are now fighting among themselves which discloses their own Intolerance with a capital I. Even as Trump assumed office, the universities, who as the bastion of free speech declared that conservatives were anathema. It was a shame as Steve Bannon was afforded audience before NewYorker festival and then ‘disinvited’, and then New York Times apologised for carrying Tom Cotton, Republican Senator’s article on their digital version- urging Trump to “Send in the Troops” to handle the Black Lives Matter protests. There was such a deluge of protests within the editorial teams of NYT that its opinion editor James Bennet put in his papers for his ‘indiscretion’ to host the Cotton piece. Some free speech  doctrine this, inside the NYT pages and editorial rooms!

It has not died down. Now, you have the resignation of another opinion editor- Bari Weiss-  of New York Times- who calls herself a ‘centrist’ who has been hounded out by the liberals. In a direct assault  of the NYT editorial policy in the Trump era- she has laid bare the warts and all of the’ harassment and hostile environment created by people who disagreed with her’. Her resignation letter to the management is a scathing indictment of the conduct of the liberals who seemingly espouse the cause of liberalism with the  entrenched emphasis on the ‘cancel culture’ vintage which had a wholly different construct, in its  historical perspective. Add Andre Sullivan, a conservative columnist, though she calls herself a centrist, also resigned from  the magazine. She said, “Intellectual curiosity is now a liability at The Times”. Some certification this to the liberals!

And then you have the grand July 7,2020, “A Letter on Justice and Open Debate” signed by the whose who from the world of arts, literature and scholars. They have called out this ‘harassment’ culture from the Liberals. The letter makes fascinating reading, as they expose themselves too in the bargain for their unwillingness  to tolerate criticism. It is an OMG moment in the liberal media culture. The entire liberal media stands exposed, as every other day someone somewhere is compelled to resign for their open and candid comments. Is this the land of the free? Is this the land of First Amendment? Is this the  nation  which delivered on the Pentagon Papers? Is this the nation where Free Speech includes Hate Speech too, as they proudly proclaim?

The Liberals have been shown up for what they are. ‘The hypocritical bunch’, as historian Niall Ferguson called them once. It is strange that they cannot stand the heat in their kitchens. The house is theirs. The modular Kitchen is made to order. The chefs are theirs. The recipe is theirs. Just that they find the product unpalatable, from their own brethren, as it is hot. The Liberals have been shown up for who and what they are. If they can go after Noam Chomsky the Godfather among them for writing this July 7, 2020 letter and provoke Stephen Pinker, the Havard Psychologist, to defend his signature to the tune, the Liberals have thoroughly, thoroughly exposed themselves for their INTOLERANCE.

(Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan-Author is practising advocate in the madras High Court)

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Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
The author is practicing advocate in the Madras High Court
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