|broadsheet from the British Liberal Party (Liberal Publication Department)|
There has been much talk of Donald Trump curtailing First Amendment rights and silencing the press, but there are even more subliminal reactions to the new regime which are likely to modify the nature of what used to be called drawing room banter. Let’s take for instance liberal baiting, a fun activity enjoyed by otherwise humanistic souls who enjoy bursting the bubble of their Panglossian friends and colleagues. Norman Mailer was a great liberal and even radical at times who also enjoyed liberal baiting in his time. Take for instance his infamous remark about "getting tired of Negroes and their rights" and then there is the Saul Bellow provocation, “who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus?” Now in a world where the alt right has a powerful White House lobbyist in Steve Bannon, liberal bating has become a dubious luxury that progressive thinking people ie those who are in favor of gay marriage, abortion rights, the Paris environmental accords, the Iran nuclear agreement and détente with Cuba, and against Citizens United and the repeal of Roe v. Wade, can ill afford. Rather than testing the limits of free expression, wishy washy liberals who once clung to the notion that they could still maintain their individuality by not becoming a member of the one club that would have them as a member, have become compromised. Unfortunately, it appears that in the new world of a Trump presidency free thinking comes at a price.