What it means to be a liberal today:

Liberalism has defined and carved out a lot of the western world that we live in now. However, with rising populism with leaders like Trump and Duterte and increasing authoritarianism, liberalism is under threat.  Liberals today seem to have an identity crisis. The political doctrine that was once synonymous with acceptance of diverse opinions, a live and let live attitude has now been marred and overpowered with an increasing number of ardently vocal group of far-left liberals that seem to be impersonating the very group of people that they despise. 

As paradoxical as it may sound, there has been a rise in illiberal and intolerant group of liberals. This group of people can be credited with the movement of the “cancel culture”, where any person with opinions or beliefs other than the ones of their own is immediately boycotted. This group of hypersensitive people seem to have abandoned the traditional values that made liberalism great. Instead, of welcoming a pleasant discourse of exchanging varied opinions and making an effort to understand the opposition, this group seems to almost look for opportunities to feign offence and enforce their own beliefs and opinions down others’ throats. 

This small but vocal section of the extreme left has been a major cause in the rise of populism. Their attitude towards politics and society has done a great disservice to the liberal cause as people have gravitated towards leaders like Trump or voted for Brexit, as a backlash to how they were treated by this group. Not just politically but society has also been affected by this. There are examples of how people in the entertainment field, as in the case of Kevin Hart, who lost his Oscar hosting job because people chose to dredge up things, he said years ago only to make sure he lost a job. We see examples like that of Kevin Hart, where people are offended incredibly easily as a common feature of today’s life. Peoples tolerance thresholds seem to be at an all-time low and an apology does not seem to satisfy their insatiable thirst for being offended. Redemption from mistakes seems to be harder than ever which has resulted in a lot of people pussyfooting their way around life.

As a proud liberal myself, it is extremely frustrating to see liberalism being seized by this group of people. It is disappointing to see that the most vocal representation of liberalism is showcased by the intolerant, a quality that that was once only found amongst the right wing. As someone who wants liberalism to comeback to its roots of tolerance, acceptance and cooperation, I hope that as a society, we have reached a tipping out where things can fall back into where they are supposed to, and sanity is restored!