Liberal vs Leftist
A liberal professor blames the "radical left" for anti-free speech mobs on college and university campuses.
What is a liberal? Or maybe a better question is, what does the term liberal mean today? Well, according to Jacques Berlinerblau, a professor from Georgetown University who recently wrote an article for the Washington Post, there are liberals and then there are “radical leftists.” Berlinerblau admits that American academia is mostly comprised of liberal professors and that those professors who identify as politically conservative are utterly under-represented in America’s halls of higher learning, with humanities departments in particular being the least politically diverse. In other words, it is not wrong to suggest that leftist ideology is controlling most of the nation’s colleges and universities.
But while Berlinerblau rightly concludes that conservatives are not to blame for the recent havoc wreaked in places like Middlebury, UC Berkeley and Evergreen College, he also attempts to shift the blame away from liberals. According to Berlinerblau, three groups exist in academia: a small conservative minority, a sizable liberal contingent and the dominate radical left who he blames for the current campus intolerance. The question remains, what is the difference between a liberal and a leftist?
Berlinerblau’s answer to that question ends up sounding more like a disagreement over the manner of application rather than over opposing ideologies. He cites as examples liberals’ reactions to certain events, such as “liberals didn’t exult over Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution,” or that liberals didn’t “refer to the victims of 9/11 as ‘little Eichmanns.’” He also notes that “liberals are generally made highly uncomfortable by censorship, speaker boycotts, trigger warnings, safe spaces and the like.” Berlinerblau’s argument sounds eerily similar to the one made by Muslims who may reject the methods of Islamic terrorists, yet refuse to disavow Islamists.
The truth is that modern liberalism stands in stark contrast to the classical liberal values expressed by our nation’s Founding Fathers. It is today’s conservatives who hold most closely to those classical liberal principles. Today’s radical leftist social justice warrior is merely the logical manifestation of modern liberal ideology. Liberal and leftist is a distinction without a difference. It is modern liberalism that can be credited with teaching the ideology of socialism that glories in the utopian ideals of Karl Marx. It is modern liberalism that sees little value in Christianity and has long mocked Christians as backward fools. It is modern liberalism that has questioned the very nature of truth itself, opening a Pandora’s box of relativism. No, Professor Berlinerblau, liberals may not like it, but the radical left is their creation.