Liberals' mollycoddling of the far left will rebound on them

Lberals’' “no enemies on the left” policy will help leftist radicals curb their free speech too. Look at how the Bolsheviks did it.Op-ed.

Marc Berman ,

Biden and Harris
Biden and Harris

The quintessential American ideal of free speech is under attack by the far left. Fortunately, the radicals who seek to transform the nation into a newspeak utopia lack the political punch necessary to knock free speech over the cliff.

Liberals' oft-stated fear that President Trump plans to establish an American autocracy, which fuels the libs’ modern-day “no enemies on the left” approach, is, well, insane.
Unfortunately, numerous mainstream liberals, who may soon possess the requisite power, are foolishly allowing the extremists to flourish. All because of those liberal’s exaggerated fear and loathing of Donald Trump and the right.

Progressive mollycoddling of the far left is puzzling. If the extremists ever were to assume control, the free speech rights of liberals would surely be extinguished just as brutally as those of conservatives.

This liberal folly evokes a similar error committed a century ago by other liberals, during the Russian Revolution.

In the popular mind, Lenin and his tiny band of Bolsheviks overthrew Czar Nicholas II in 1917 and established communism in Russia. In reality, those Marxists did not dethrone the autocratic czar. Essentially, after a brief paroxysm of civil unrest, the government collapsed, a new government arose and the czar abdicated. The new regime was headed by moderate, relatively liberal politicians.

The moderates, however, failed to appreciate the danger of the Bolsheviks. Consequently, those leftist radicals deposed the moderates in a lightning coup. The liberal regime lasted only eight months.

Alexander Kerensky headed the liberal government immediately before the communist takeover. He implemented civil rights, including freedom of speech, on a scale previously unheard of in Russia.

Despite his achievements, Kerensky possessed a tragic flaw. Namely, an excessive fear of Russia’s political right.

Kerensky fretted that the rightists aimed to reinstall the czar or establish a military dictatorship. Because of his phobia toward Russian conservatives, Kerensky implemented a policy of “no enemies on the left.”

Accordingly, Kerensky failed to counter the Bolshevik’s revolutionary machinations when his moderate regime had the chance. Instead, he aimed all his powder at the right.

Kerensky’s blunder assured Lenin’s triumph.

Following Kerensky’s example, the bulk of liberals in the United States have adopted a policy, albeit tacitly, of “no enemies on the left.” Democratic politicians, including presidential nominee Joseph Biden, have joined the “far leftists are no problem” conga line.

How else to explain, say, Democrats’ effective failure to condemn the riots in Portland?

Or liberals absurd faulting of boogeyman Trump for supposedly causing the lefty rioters to attack federal property because the President dispatched additional federal law enforcement personnel.?(In fact, the rioters, encouraged by the indifference of local authorities, assaulted Portland's federal courthouse long before Trump posted reinforcements.)

Ditto the serious consideration afforded by Mr. Biden to Rep. Karen Bass as his potential running mate. Bass traveled to Cuba multiple times to support Fidel Castro’s communist regime. She admits that her “mentor” was Oneil Cannon, one of the Communist Party USA's leaders in Southern California.

Although Biden ultimately chose Kamala Harris as his running mate, his flirting with Rep. Bass is telling. No “mainstream” Democrat in the past would have given someone with Bass’s radical pedigree the time of day as vice-presidential material.

The recklessness of U.S. liberals even exceeds that of Kerensky. The Russian leader’s distrust of the right, while overblown, was not wholly unfounded. Kerensky’s regime faced an arguable threat of a monarchist or military coup that might have reinstated an authoritarian right-wing regime. (Lavr Kornilov, one of Kerensky’s generals, may have plotted such a takeover. Historians still debate Kornilov’s intentions.)

In contrast, liberals' oft-stated fear that President Trump plans to establish an American autocracy, which fuels the libs’ modern-day “no enemies on the left” approach, is, well, insane.

It should be plain to any progressive with open eyes that it is the far left, not the right, that is stifling free speech and thus endangering our freedom. Including by promiscuous use of violence.

Liberals should take note of any number of conservative speakers who have been prevented from speaking on college campuses. Libs might further consult the business owners whose companies have faced leftist boycotts because an owner expressed a politically incorrect opinion.

Indeed, it should also be clear, if only from the complaints of some brave liberal journalists, that extreme leftists also silence liberals.

Trump’s foolish tweets do not make him a would-be dictator. A true authoritarian à la Nicholas II would have littered our streets with corpses rather than allow the recent protests of the left.

Joe Biden seems to be Kerensky personified, only weaker. Kerensky, a young man, might have prevented the Bolsheviks’ rise to power, had he just confronted them in time. In contrast, Biden, even if he somehow acquires the will to fight the extreme left, may lack the ability, what with his advanced age and uncertain cognitive capacity.

Kerensky’s promising rise to power ended with a leftist takeover that, among other disasters, squashed free speech in Russia. Given the encroachments against free expression that the extreme left presently instigates here, even under Trump’s “dictatorship,” and Joe Biden’s likely impotence in the face of further radical agitation, a Biden administration would probably mean, at minimum, further evisceration of our tradition of free discourse.

Is that what liberals want?

Marc Berman writes on politics, law and culture. He can be reached at