The most common left-wing objection to the right is that it wants to control others' lives. But, both in America and elsewhere, the threat to personal liberty has emanated far more from the left.
In the past generation, the left has controlled so much speech and behavior that these controls are now assumed to be a normal part of life.
Through the use of public opprobrium, laws and lawsuits, Americans today are less free than at any time since the abolition of slavery (with the obvious exception of blacks under Jim Crow).
Public opprobrium is known as political correctness, and it has suppressed saying anything -- no matter how true and no matter how innocent -- that offends left-wing sensibilities.
"Merry Christmas" offends leftist views on multiculturalism. So, it's largely gone.
Honest discussion of male-female differences is also largely gone -- a lesson the former president of Harvard Larry Summers painfully learned when he simply asked if fewer women succeed in math and science because of innate differences between men and women.
Discussion of disproportionate rates of black violence is not allowed, no matter how well intentioned -- unless it is to "prove" how racist America is because of the high number of black men in prison.
In Europe -- and in all likelihood coming to America -- Christians who, citing the Bible, argue for a heterosexual ideal are arrested.
Thanks to the left, students at colleges get speech codes. They learn early in life that much speech is not permitted.
One may not favorably compare Western or American culture with that of any other. Led by Jesse Jackson, leftists chanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go" at Stanford University. And away it went.
The left owns the language. Married women are not to be referred to as "Mrs." but as "Ms." And the words "lady," "feminine" and "masculine" have largely gone to their graves. High school and college teams with American Indian names must drop those names because by definition, according to the left, they offend American Indians.
(This last example has always perplexed me. Why does the name Florida State Seminoles offend Indians? One caller to my radio show once responded to that question by asking me how I would feel as a Jew if some team took the name "Jews." I told him that I would be thrilled. For nearly 4,000 years, Jews have been looking for fans.)
Back to leftist controls on speech: One can only speak of male-female differences if the difference shows the female as superior. Thus to say women are innately more intuitive is perfectly acceptable, but to say men are innately more likely to excel at math is "sexist."
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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