The link below is to a letter Harper’s posted online last week (the “Letter”) that has stirred what I find an inexplicably vehement response in some progressive quarters given the benign (a Harper’s Vice President called them “anodyne”) — to me, also commendable – statements expressed within it. Apparently, the Letter has stirred such acrimony in part because some number of its signatories are claimed to hold anti-transgender views (I have no idea whether or not such is true; the document does not address gender issues) and because it warns against the possibility that resistance to right-wing demagoguery “might harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion.”
I am – this will come as no surprise to anyone that reads these pages – in my own bubble. I only recognize the names of about ten of the 150 or so signatories. There are two, New York Times Columnist David Brooks and The Righteous Mind author Jonathan Haidt, whose work I hold in high regard. One might suggest that the very fact that the seemingly even-handed sentiments expressed in this Letter have stirred such outrage is some evidence that progressives do, indeed, need to guard against “censoriousness” and their “own brand of dogma.” I, but a humble amateur ;), would have readily signed this Letter if asked; arguably, by including it within these pages, I have.