Liberals need to fight for their values again
According to the old joke, a liberal is someone who can’t even take their own side in an argument. But it is not so funny now. The foundations of modern liberalism are being challenged aggressively. Western liberals, softened by decades of winning, will have to relearn how to fight.
Liberals have become victims, in part, of their own successes. In most advanced economies, liberalism has long provided the rules and the framework within which arguments have taken place. Political parties have competed for power with different ideas, but through democratic decision-making processes and within liberal parameters: individual freedom of speech and expression, market-based capitalism, increased trade between nations and high levels of international co-operation. Sure, there were differences between Tony Blair and David Cameron, and between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. At the time they seemed like deep divisions. Today they seem trivial.