The Corner

The Liberal Gulag, Again

When Gawker’s Adam Weinstein wrote of his desire to imprison people who disagree with him politically, publishing an essay under the very straightforward headline “Arrest Climate-Change Deniers,” I noted that this was part of the Left’s ongoing, worrisome drift toward authoritarianism. The response was nearly unanimous: that it was unfair to tar the entire Left with the views of one knucklehead writing for Gawker, a man who should not be taken seriously writing for an outlet that should not be taken seriously. While I am sympathetic to that line of argument, the fact is that as a practical matter we do have to take all sorts of foolish and backward people and institutions seriously.

Now that the would-be gulag warden is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., speaking to what everybody loudly assures me was a cheering throng of historic proportions, what will they say? That the world’s largest climate-change march, and those who participated in it, are insignificant? Mr. Kennedy, who has been kept out of one of New York’s Senate seats only by happy circumstance, says that he believes his opponents to be guilty of “treason” — his word — and wants them convicted of crimes — “They ought to be serving time,” he says.

As in the case of Mr. Weinstein, I am open to the argument that in a sane world Mr. Kennedy would not be taken seriously, inasmuch as he is a witless pile of ground chuck molded into the shape of a politician, but we do not live in a sane world. We live in this world, one in which Senate Democrats are working feverishly to repeal the First Amendment while Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gleefully contemplates the prospect of building prison camps for political dissidents.

That is what you are voting for when you vote Democratic. If you are uncomfortable with that, then you should reconsider your affiliations. If you are not uncomfortable with that, then you have failed as a human being, but you should at least have the courage of your convictions and be as forthright as possible that you want to imprison people for thought crimes and political disagreement.  

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