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Defining Reasonable Down

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Eve Fairbanks’s fine recent essay about how America’s reactionaries have a long history of using “civility” and “free speech” to preemptively insulate arguments they would rather not have to defend on the merits from criticism has predictably generated disagreement from the preemptive insulators. Ross Douthat argues that Fairbanks is unfairly targeting “reasonable” conservatives, and…wow:

What’s remarkable is that Douthat has assembled a list of people who 1)fit Fairbanks’s description perfectly and/or 2)are people who are extremely credulous about the “I Am Just Asking Reasonable Questions Why The Incivility” racket. I mean, Amy Wax? Someone whose whole act is to cry “why do you hate freedom of speech?” when people point out that her arguments are both flagrantly racist and based on no actual relevant knowledge of the subjects she purports to be discussing? If this is what you want to call a “reasonable” conservative, well…you said it, I didn’t.

Anyway, I would recommend Feinberg’s take on Bari Weiss instead.

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