The Targets of Strident Progressivism
One further observation of interest with respect to Sen. Whitehouse’s stridency is the target of his claims: However much he actually believes that Republicans are obstructing process and feeding off fear, he’s surely comfortable assuming that he’s safe from personal attack and that the nation is safe from the actual atrocities of which he warns. (Although, we’re dangerously close to an attempt to derive coherent sense from his speech.)
Moving to other issues than healthcare, though, I’m sure Mark Steyn’s suggestion would return to applicability:
Recently, the writer Barbara Kay testified to the House of Commons in Ottawa about a Jewish teacher at a francophone school in Ontario. Around 2002 she began to encounter explicitly anti-Semitic speech from Muslim students: “Does someone smell a Jew? It stinks here.” “You are not human, you are a Jew.” Had Anglo-Saxon skinheads essayed such jests, Oliver Kamm’s warriors of secular pluralism would have crushed them like bugs. But when the teacher went to the principal, and the school board, and the local “hate-crimes unit,” they all looked the other way and advised her that it would be easier if she retired. Sixty out of 75 French teachers at the school opted to leave: A couple were Jewish, a few more practicing Catholics, and most of the rest were the liberal secularists on whom Oliver Kamm’s defense of the West rests. The francophone children withdrew, too. And now the principal and most of the students and faculty are Muslim.
Maybe it would have wound up like that anyway. But having nothing to stand in your way except liberal progressives certainly accelerated the process. And as it went at one schoolhouse, so will it go on the broader horizon: If you believe in everything, you’re unlikely to stand for something.