In attacking Neomi Rao, Dems are arguing against progress — in more ways than one

To insist that Rao’s writings from college are evidence of eternal and immutable bad character is to insist that no one ever grows kinder or wiser. This may well be true of the mudslingers, but most people are more mentally flexible.

Of course, if the latter-day inquisitors get their way, and everyone is liable to future prosecution for views they no longer hold, we might all become somewhat less cognitively supple. Consider the message that progressives are sending to anyone hesitant about some proposed social change: “We want equality and justice. Also, after we win, we want to punish anyone who disagrees with us right now.”

Future punishees could be forgiven for being reluctant to support any such victory. Moreover, at the beginning of any major campaign for social change, those people will definitionally be in the majority; if they weren’t, the campaign would be unnecessary.