ON-Lion Letter
Kim R. Holmes surveys the state of liberalism in America today in his forthcoming title, The Closing of the Liberal Mind:  How Groupthink and Intolerance Define the Left, from Encounter Books.  Holmes argues that the American liberal tradition is becoming its opposite -- illiberalism -- by abandoning the precepts of open-mindedness and respect for individual rights, liberties, and the rule of law upon which the country was founded.

Holmes traces the new illiberalism to the radical Enlightenment’s rejection of the moderate ideals prominent during the American Founding.  As a result, Holmes argues, today’s liberalism has forsaken its American roots as it embraces the views of the radical and largely European Left. The outcome of this change is a closing of the American liberal mind.

Where once freedom of speech and expression were sacrosanct, today's speech codes, trigger warnings, boycotts, and shaming rituals stifle freedom of thought, expression, and action in an effort to eliminate certain ideas and people from the political process.  As this becomes the dominant ideology of progressive liberal circles, it endangers the once-venerable tradition of classic American liberalism, which elevates social and economic equality of opportunity while also respecting individual liberties.

Kim R. Holmes is a distinguished fellow and former vice president of The Heritage Foundation.

Encounter Books is an activity of Encounter for Culture and Education, a nonprofit group that is substantially supported by Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which also supports Heritage Foundation projects.
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |