Hobbes is right about what motivates them, and you're both right about what they're abetting (though you're characteristically melodramatic about it, because a DeSantis presidency is not a totalitarian reich). Here's the thing: you, the intersectional progressive left, deserve it. So the columns are righteous. Their cause is righteous. Their effects will be righteous. Three cheers.

One of many reasons you deserve it (glaringly overlooked here): You did it first. Libs spent six years flooding the zone with hysterical demagoguery over people who annoyed them on Twitter -- in this case, kids posting frog memes. You demanded sweeping new censorship protocols, and got them. You smashed whatever remained of public trust in institutional media -- the "moral clarity" spasm of the #resistance moment, capped off by 2020, ensured this. You pioneered an entire new genre of journalism around punishing hapless proles for their opinions. You made the world worse, on purpose, out of spite.

So now some nice middle-aged centrists are put off by the exponential growth if trans ID in kids, and they're going to write columns about it, and maybe some Panera moms yell at the school board. And now Vanity Fair thinks Red Scare and Alex Jones are interesting, and you're not. Now, up-and-coming opinion-havers are unafraid to send UnHerd links to their friends, because those are no more cringe than Jacobin, and the people who write in this new milieu quietly hate women, and Dems, and maybe even an ethnic scapegoat. Whose fault is this? You are already readying your reply, which accuses me of striking a victim pose and abdicating agency and whining a lot. But I'm not doing that. I chose this reaction -- and it's a reaction -- to the cancer you caused. The counterrevolution is the chemo., maybe.

I don't think we will get a redemptive sorelian cataclysm. I think we will get some stupid laws. Some pregnant women will die, which I didn't really want. But the cultural vibes will continue to shift (it's already started) and whether or not it ends up being worth it, it will have been inevitable and necessary. I can own being part of this reaction, but you should own being part of the equal, opposite action that called it down.

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I went to a university where two men kissing was (and still is) expressly forbidden, and men couldn't eat at the student cafeteria or even take exams if the staff thought their hair was too long.

And you want to talk about "chilled expression"? Until a few years ago, it was university policy that if a victim of sexual assault reported it, and was revealed to have been drinking at the time, they would face disciplinary action for drinking alcohol. Basically institutionalized victim blaming! This policy was reversed when somebody in charge finally had the epiphany that this was a surefire way to make sure sexual assaults went unreported.

So my reaction to a lot of these "I feel like my peers judge me for my perspective and I can't always speak my mind without reservation" takes is "Wow, that sure sounds hard". I got put on academic probation over a haircut! And that's far from the worst thing my school ever did.

It's more than a little frustrating to see the conversation about "free speech" so dominated by finger-wagging at "the wokes" while stuff like what happened (and still happens) at my school seems to be basically ignored.

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White text on black background is annoying. Do you want me to read it or not?

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