Confessions of a Flawed Liberal

Confessions of a Flawed Liberal Rebecca L. Brown My name is Rebecca and I am a flawed liberal. Indeed, I fear I may be the embodiment of the very pathology that this collection of thought pieces was designed to ponder. The topic that we are examining here is whether a strange "ideological drift"1 has befallen the academy such that those who once favored traditionally liberal positions, most commonly advocating the broad interpretation of rights against the state, now seem to show less enthusiasm for some forms of rights, particularly in the area of freedom of speech. At the same time, those traditionally considered conservative have been uncharacteristically urging constitutional limits on government power through the vigorous enforcement of rights, typically involving claims of free speech or exhortations to principles of colorblindness. We wonder what explains the shift. I am a case in point. I harbor such consistently liberal positions on nearly all issues that an online candidate-matching test before the 2004 election placed me at a 100% overlap with Al Sharpton. I care first and foremost about equality, individual rights and the protection of liberty from encroachment by overzealous and ungenerous majoritarian institutions. Yet -- when it comes to the First Amendment, my http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Good Society Penn State University Press

Confessions of a Flawed Liberal

The Good Society, Volume 14 (1) – Jan 12, 2005

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1538-9731
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Rebecca L. Brown My name is Rebecca and I am a flawed liberal. Indeed, I fear I may be the embodiment of the very pathology that this collection of thought pieces was designed to ponder. The topic that we are examining here is whether a strange "ideological drift"1 has befallen the academy such that those who once favored traditionally liberal positions, most commonly advocating the broad interpretation of rights against the state, now seem to show less enthusiasm for some forms of rights, particularly in the area of freedom of speech. At the same time, those traditionally considered conservative have been uncharacteristically urging constitutional limits on government power through the vigorous enforcement of rights, typically involving claims of free speech or exhortations to principles of colorblindness. We wonder what explains the shift. I am a case in point. I harbor such consistently liberal positions on nearly all issues that an online candidate-matching test before the 2004 election placed me at a 100% overlap with Al Sharpton. I care first and foremost about equality, individual rights and the protection of liberty from encroachment by overzealous and ungenerous majoritarian institutions. Yet -- when it comes to the First Amendment, my

Journal

The Good SocietyPenn State University Press

Published: Jan 12, 2005

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