But you don’t get the sense that Democrats, or the wider progressive movement, really fear that the measures they are advocating will ever be turned against them. During the Trump years, left of center America slowly shed its old politics of social liberation—the one born in UC Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, sexual liberation, and the civil rights revolution—and have replaced it with something else: a politics of social control.
This new politics of social control means using public and private institutions, almost all of which are now controlled by left-leaning people, to coerce individuals into their preferred modes of being and even thinking.
Hundreds of colleges and universities have “bias response teams” aimed at regulating offensive utterances by students. Silicon Valley companies founded to connect the world in a new public square have been cajoled into becoming a 21st century speech police (although not an impartial one). The infrastructure those companies have built is being used by liberal activists as a sort of Panopticon, transforming what once would have been thought of as mild and unfortunate dust-ups between individuals into polarizing national scandals that ruin lives.