A Little Ludwig Goes a Long Way

A smattering of opinions on technology, books, business, and culture. Now in its 4th technology iteration.


15 June 2024

I’ve been reading a bit about the notion of “illiberal liberalism” that people talk about. For instance this article – https://themissingdatadepot.substack.com/p/higher-educations-illiberal-liberalism.

I appreciate the effort the author went through, it is a useful article. I don’t really know what is going on on campuses, so I can’t really speak to some of the concerns of the article. But to me, the article has a large blindspot, which I can best illustrate by talking about my own political progression.

I grew up in a staunch conservative household, in a conservative part of Ohio. Voting for Republicans was just assumed. As a kid I lived through Kent State, Watergate, Vietnam protests, all of which planted some seeds of skepticism about Republicans and the government more generally. I watched coverage of Kent State on the news and remember asking my parents why the government was shooting at students. The CSNY song “Ohio” still haunts me. I watched Nixon step down. I watched coverage of running tear gas battles on the OSU campus. None of that gave me trust in our government, but I still leaned Republican. The traditional Republican conservative ideals of small government, fiscal responsibility, business friendly, strong defense – those all seemed good to me.

As I aged, my skepticism of authority and government grew. And the Republican party changed. It is certainly not the party of fiscal responsibility any more. But more importantly, the Republicans increasingly embraced intrusive and intolerant social policies. They sided with the anti-same-sex marriage forces. They sided with the abortion prohibition groups. Both these policies are the government intruding into personal business, and into some of the most important personal business of people’s lives. I don’t care what marriages other people have. I am fine with some churches saying that they don’t want to perform same-sex marriages, but if other churches want to perform those marriages, A-OK by me, and the government should respect all marriages. On abortion – no one wants to see more abortions, but it is not anyone’s business besides the parents and their doctors. Now the Republicans are embracing anti-Trans positions. I don’t care what adults decide to do about gender identity and their body, it doesn’t affect me.

I have some other beefs about Republican policies but these above are what broke me. I cannot even consider a Republican candidate until they walk away from these intolerant positions. I am certainly not a Democrat, the Democrats have some of the stupidest policy ideas ever, but I cannot support the Republican party today.

So back to the article about illiberal liberalism. There may well be some really intolerant liberals – and I am not surprised I guess, given the intolerant social positions embraced by the mainstream conservatives. I can understand the anger towards conservatives. I personally wouldn’t bother trying to silence these conservatives, I’d let them broadcast their desired social policies and let the electorate vote with their feet.