The liberals back then believed in the Voltaire maxim “I may violently disagree with everything you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” They even went one step further, instead of simply defending his right to display it, they advocated that taxpayers pay him for the work and pay to put it on display. This is where I parted company. I supported Mapplethorpe’s artistic freedom, but I did not believe taxpayers, through the National Endowment for the Arts, should pay for it.
Things changed however in the 1990’s and 2000’s as Liberals decided to become “progressives.” In their search for progress, they decided to abandon the tolerance that liberalism required and adopted the Leninist concept of “hate speech.” A term that liberals Orwell and Voltaire would never use, indeed they would be offended by such a term. The term is a cudgel to be used against anyone advocating anything counter to what the progressives believe.
So a few years ago, when Pam Geller decided, perhaps in the sacrilegious spirit of Mapplethorpe, to host a Mohamad cartoon contest, that is where people get together and draw what they think the prophet Mohamad looked like, she was denounced by the left. They said it was hate speech. A cross in a vile urine is art they say, but a cartoon on the Prophet is hateful Needless to say no taxpayer funds were made available for her art generating contest.
We see on campuses across America where conservatives are driven into silence. Accused of racisms, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia..etc. At commencement speeches across the country conservatives are either disinvited or protested. The left silences debate by using terms like “settled science”.
In response to the Pence Notre Dame speech commencement boycott a leftist I know, claimed that the students were justified to walk out on Pence because they knew he would say “disgusting” things. A true liberal would never claim ideas are “disgusting.” They would never say that it is ok to turn your back on different ideas, or close your ears or walk out. Liberals believed all ideas are welcome. A walkout is offensive.
Today’s left is not populated by the heirs of Orwell and Voltaire, rather they are the disciples of Robespierre and Lenin. Today’s left is anti-intellectual and intolerant.
When Mike Pence started to speak the snowflakes at Notre Dame turned their backs and walked out of the arena the great liberals Orwell and Voltaire rolled over in the graves.