‘Illiberal and dangerous’ behavior of far-left is destroying Democratic Party: op-ed

The Democratic opposition to Donald Trump is getting shut down by mobs shouting abuse at Joe Biden supporters and disrupting events with physical intimidation and racial epithets — but it’s not rabid Trump supporters who are partaking in this particular brand of “illiberal and dangerous” behavior, a columnist wrote Tuesday.

It’s members of the far-left, particularly pro-Palestinian activists.

New Yorker columnist Jonathan Chait wrote that pro-Palestinian activists are either trying to teach the Democratic Party a lesson by helping Trump get elected, or they’re trying to push the party to move further to the left.

“Because Democrats perceive some of the protesters as potential Biden voters, they have soft-pedaled their criticism of their tactics, Chait wrote. “The handful of critics have focused on the political ramifications of the protest movement, but the problem is not one of mere efficacy.

“Drowning out speakers and disrupting exercises in politics, regardless of its cause or the target, is wrong on principle.”

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Chait argues that the goal of this kind of behavior is not to help Palestinians, but to “abuse and deny basic rights to those who fail to endorse the protesters’ beliefs.”

“And yes, being prevented from holding a planned speech to supporters, stalked on the street, or subjected to sleep denial are all forms of abuse. Almost nobody believes these are all just natural parts of the give and take of public disagreement,” Chait writes, adding that a noticeable and growing split is opening up between liberals and their activist wing, which he labels as the “illiberal left.”

“Force is not their last resort but their preferred method. It allows them to maintain the moral binary that animates them in all its purity without engaging in the unpleasant compromises necessary to win support of the majority of the country, or even a party.”

Chait concludes that, while the illiberal left does not hold as much power as the far right, the growing influence is now playing a part in the 2024 election.

“The ethics of the cause come into sharper focus if you imagine it being done by Biden haters in red MAGA hats rather than by Biden haters in keffiyehs,” he wrote.

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