Defenders of civil liberties are losing the debate in the face of rightwing demagogues
“Not all heroes wear masks.” So tweeted Tory contrarian Toby Young in July after fellow freedom warrior James Delingpole posted a selfie of himself maskless in a supermarket. How daring. How heroic.
The tweet was revealing not just of how degraded debates about “freedoms” and “liberties” have become, but also of how a certain cabal of rightwing libertarians has come to dominate the discussions on these issues. One reason they have been able to do so is because too many on the left have vacated the space.