Liberal or progressive? You can’t be both

Liberal or progressive? You can’t be both, by Justin Campbell from LibertyWorks.

In the aftermath of the British election Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron was forced to resign because of his Christian faith. The contradiction between his beliefs and his party’s platform on same-sex marriage was highlighted in the media and his position became untenable. In spite of his support for civil unions, the fact that he privately did not support same-sex marriage made him a pariah in his party. In other words, for progressives, tolerance is not enough, only screaming acceptance will do.

Farron wrote, “To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me. I’m a liberal to my fingertips, and that liberalism means that I am passionate about defending the rights and liberties of people who believe different things to me.” Farron’s mistake was to think that one can both a liberal and a progressive.

While at times these two movements can be allies, they are fundamentally different. Progressives believe in a grab bag of policies and solutions deemed to be progressive. This can include sugar taxes, subsidies for vanity infrastructure policies such as high-speed rail or any other number of things. The progressive will gladly strip the individual of liberty in the name of progress. The Liberal, on the other hand, believes in liberty.

Progressives oppose individualism, equality of opportunity, and freedom of speech — while libertarians support them. Progressives  instead support equality of outcome, group rights and identity, and political correctness. Despite their name, today’s “progressives” are  swimming against the tide of history.

This is pretty good if you have the time:

The great dividing point between progressives and liberals is the progressive attitude toward mandatory acceptance. The liberal tradition champions tolerance where progressives demand acceptance. The liberal knows that one can’t accept all things. Society is full of different values and belief systems, many of which are in conflict with each other. …

The liberal draws their beliefs from the long tradition of religious tolerance that emerged in Europe after the religious wars. People of different religious traditions had to learn to tolerate one another. This was no small feat; in our time many pretend that all major religions teach basically the same thing, but in a time where people were very religious this was a big ask. This reality led to the freedom of religion, where different even heretical views were tolerated. This could have never worked had acceptance been required. By contrast, state religions have lead to persecution and violence.

Contrast this with identity politics, progressives demand acceptance and expect the state to enforce it. Misgender someone, expert a visit to the star chamber. Tweet something critical of Islam expect a call from hate police. Under progressives, we’ve seen the reintroduction of blasphemy laws, with freedom of speech being curtailed. In Australia, the progressive agenda is enforced via 18c and state legislation such as Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act. In the United Kingdom, the police have established units to monitor hate speech. Much of which is just people being critical of Islam.