Are Today’s Liberals Intolerant?

By Karol Smith

Dictionaries define Liberal as:  Open to new behavior or opinions; in education, concerned mainly with broadening a person's general knowledge and experience. Virtually every value liberals have held for a century is now held by conservatives and scorned by leftists.(1)   The days are gone when liberal intellectuals loved open-ended debates thinking they could win people over with their intelligence and wit.

What underlies recent liberal intolerance exemplified by Progressive Liberals denying prominent speakers appearing on college campuses, embracing shutting down speakers and publicly shaming those deviating from their liberal ideology?  In short - it pays!  Many people benefit and liberalism makes people feel virtuous while hiding self-interest and even motivating greed.  However, the devolution of liberalism into something now so openly “illiberal”(3) has far more complex explanations.  

“Hard forms of illiberalism certainly exist in both parties in America today. On the right they are manifest in the form of hard-core racists and white supremacists, and on the left as communists, anarchists, or any leftist radical who openly threatens violence.  

But soft illiberalism is present as well, and in America today it is pervasive.  What we call a “liberal” today is not historically a liberal at all but a progressive social democrat*, someone who clings to the old liberal notion of individual liberty when it is convenient (as in supporting abortion or decrying the “national security” state), but who more often finds individual liberties and freedom of conscience to be barriers to building the progressive welfare state.” (3)

“Liberalism is now about POWER.  Science is used as a weapon to justify policy outcomes (i.e. controlling society with edicts for Covid-19 restrictions and increasing regulations to control Climate Change.)  Liberals consider their ideology morality.  This radical liberalism exemplified by “The Squad” and others in Congress is far different from the liberals of the past, even as recent as Clinton.   Liberals of the new variety embrace any government program as the ultimate solution, despite the cost. Their moral certainty blinds them to their intolerance while they proclaim to be the open-minded party.” (2)  

Young and old alike are indoctrinated to this illiberalism through entertainment controlled by liberals subversively channeling liberal ideology; Social Media; public schools; universities; high tech business, and even mainstream church denominations.  Liberals are expert at deflecting Conservative challenges with words like racist, bigot, sexist and fascist.  Liberal arrogance leads to  implications that conservatives don’t have anything significant to add to a discussion or action.**  I have observed Facebook posts with incredible compassion for war victims in South Sudan, for kids who have been trafficked, even for abused chickens, but no obvious empathy for conservatives.  

“Around the time of Joe Biden’s “victory speech” (held before Trump’s concession, and while votes were being counted and legal challenges made) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned whether or not someone was “archiving” Trump supporters to prevent them from being able to “downplay or deny their complicity” of their political support.  Immediately, a group called the “Trump Accountability Project” answering AOC, made clear the blacklisting of Trump supporters was well underway. A group, by the way, supported by Buttigieg and Obama aides. CNNs Jake Tapper warned Trump supporters that future “employers” would likely question their “character” for Trump support.”(3)

Inordinate influence has been gained by ‘the Cancel Culture.’  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even declared, joined by other progressive liberals, that Trump supporters should be sent for “deprogramming.”  This sounds like Mao’s Chinese Revolution.  The Uighurs are today imprisoned in China’s reprogramming camps.  This from the radical, “tolerant” left!

“The Left has even begun to argue that silencing and blacklisting conservative viewpoints is part of creating a more tolerant, diverse, and inclusive viewpoint.  On our nation’s campuses, silencing and ostracizing conservatives is rampant.  As published in the left-leaning Atlantic Magazine in Feb 2020 (about University of North Carolina): 68% of conservative students self-censor their own conservative views due to fear of retribution (compared with under a quarter of Liberal students).  Over six times more Liberal students than Conservative students agreed with shutting down speech the students found objectionable.  Over eight times more Liberal students than Conservative students would refuse to be friends with someone across the political divide. Those numbers are worse at the elite Ivy League schools, and across the nation’s universities intolerance of conservatism has grown.”(3). Econ Journal Watch last month published these figures:  Faculty voter registration at 40 leading universities, out of 7,243 professors, Democrats outnumber Republicans 3,623 to 314, or by a ratio of 11 1/2 to 1.”

“If rising progressive intolerance silences conservatism, one party and viewpoint would reign without checks and balances. History has shown that the Christian Church would come under enormous pressure to “conform” to the prevailing orthodoxy or come under persecution.  As Jesus told us “the Truth will set you free”, and Liberty ceases when the His Word is outlawed. It is time to turn around the intolerance while we still have the freedom to do so.”(4)

*Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, for example.

**President Biden’s comment that Conservative Governors are “Neanderthals” because of their views on masking.


(1) Real Clear Politics

(2)  Kim Holmes, PhD, Exec. VP, The Heritage Foundation.

(3)  “illiberal”: people who are hardheaded in their opinions, judgmental about others’ behaviors, hoping to control what other people think and say, and cut off debate. Illiberal values inherent in these causes of radical feminism, critical race theory, sexual revolution and other postmodern critiques, have been imported from neo-Marxism, radical feminism, critical race theory, sexual revolutionary politics, and other theories and movements imbued with the postmodern critique.

(4)  Bill Connor, Contributor, The Christian Post, and author of “The Closing of the Liberal Mind and Intolerance Define the Left.”


Karol Smith is a writer, former candidate, organizer of GOP Asbury and member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.

Montgomery County Republican Party