It has become something of an axiom in liberal and centrist discourse that the modern American right is uniquely infested by extremism, intolerance, fear-mongering, and irrationality unparalleled on the left (except for the lunatic fringe). As someone whose views are a mix of “conservative” and “liberal,” I have no interest in defending the right from these charges. But mainstream liberalism is not as free of similar sins as its proponents imagine.
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