“To paraphrase Bernie Sanders, America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals’ damn bathrooms.”
Finally. Some sense from the New York Times.
Mark Lilla, in “The End of Identity Liberalism,” delivers a valuable lesson about political correctness — without once mentioning the term “political correctness.”
Now this is a lesson we can get behind.
The problem is “diversity.” The center-left became so obsessed with it that it helped sink the last election for Hillary Clinton, Democrats at large, and the coherence and legacy of President Barack Obama.
“However interesting it may be to read, say, about the fate of transgender people in Egypt,” Lilla wrote in the Friday think piece, “it contributes nothing to educating Americans about the powerful political and religious currents that will determine Egypt’s future, and indirectly, our own.”
Fixating on diversity of gender identity and racial make-up in business and government has scuttled the rights-oriented approach of the older liberalism.
Alas, Lilla is not talking about the liberalism of J.S. Mill or Lord Acton. He is talking about FDR.
But compared to today’s “identity liberalism,” FDR’s burdensome promises look like sheer genius. And Lilla understands at least one thing about diversity: “National politics in healthy periods is not about ‘difference,’ it is about commonality. And it will be dominated by whoever best captures Americans’ imaginations about our shared destiny.”
He does not bring up the real liberal message: that the way to find commonality is to avoid making government all things to all people. It is to limit its scope, instead, so the president of the United States isn’t every school’s bathroom monitor.
Perhaps an essay on The End to Hubristic Liberalism is required?
Another day. And probably another paper.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.