The Left has no credibility to argue against censorship anymore.

A theme of progressive politics is coming into sharp clarity, exposing how the ideology brings about totalitarian ends while using the language of freedom, democracy, individualism, civil rights, and so on.  Many on the right have observed that the progressive dictionary is simply different from standard English — they use words to mean things that those words don’t mean for everybody else — but there’s a mechanism behind their strategy.  How does a platform of representation, diversity, and mutual respect boil down to actually mean elite progressives dictate rigid rules for what everybody must uniformly believe?

We can unravel the thread a bit if we tug on this tweet from Rhode Island progressive David Pepin:

The cultural Taliban’s efforts to seize school boards and cut student access to controversial books are just the warmup act. They’re already going after public libraries in some places. Remember, it CAN happen here.

A couple clicks brings one to a Washington Post article about a library board in Llano County, Texas, which community has a whopping population of about 21,000 spread out over an area 80% the size of Rhode Island.  Some in this small rural community object to books that a decade ago would have been widely recognized as well beyond the standards of decency for children, with an emphasis on moving the books elsewhere in the library or putting them behind the counter, and one of the country’s major newspapers labels it as “national news.”  Establishment library types like Texas Library Association President-elect Mary Woodward start talking about “the danger” of having “books that only address one viewpoint” and the importance of “diversity of thought.”

This is the first part of the scam.

A year ago, when Dr. Seuss began to fall under the woke movement’s scythe, the tone from American Library Association Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom Deborah Caldwell Stone was quite different:

“The fact is that library collections are dynamic,” she said. “There’s only so much shelf space, and over time collections will shift.”

Some libraries may move an offending book to the adult collection or historical archives, where it can live as a “historical artifact” that reflects the dominant attitudes of the time it was published.

But perhaps the most important consideration a librarian has is the wants and needs of their readers – is a book reflective of the community the library serves? Is it still popular among readers? If a librarian decides a book is “no longer serving the needs of the community,” it may be weeded out, Caldwell Stone said.

See, it’s not “censorship” if the book is simply being “weeded out” because tastes have changed, it “is no longer reflective of the community the library serves,” or it “no longer serv[es] the needs of the community.”  Who decides these things?  Well, that’s the other part of the scam.

In Llano, community members began to pay attention to what was in their public library, and they didn’t like what they saw.  So, they organized, secured positions on the library commission, and changed the policy to be more reflective of and better serving of the community they represent.  This sort of availability of institutions to public control is a significant part of the rhetoric progressives use when they want to pour more and more authority into the hands of government, except they don’t really mean it.

When progressives want to get a wedge into some cultural crack, they’ll cite the unique interests of a very limited area, insisting that it should be permitted to exist by its own terms, as expressed through duly elected or appointed local officials, without interference.  When a community anywhere in the United States wishes to live differently, well, then they’re the Taliban, with a view that it is impermissible to represent.

The mechanism is pretty simple, really, amounting to hypocrisy.  Progressives’ real coup, though, is taking themselves so seriously that moderates and conservatives believe their stated principles are sincere.  That’s true only inasmuch as they truly believe what they say… when translated using their internal dictionary.


Featured image by Reed on Unsplash.

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