This week, I've been reading Kirsten Powers' new book The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech. And it's fantastic.
Powers is a liberal Democrat-she cut her teeth in the Clinton administration-but I've been a fan of hers for years because she's a truly brave writer. She calls it like she sees it with no regard for the cost she'll incur from her own side. For instance, she was the only mainstream writer to fixate on the horrors of Kermit Gosnell's infanticide mill and she forced the rest of the media to finally grapple with the story. Because while the bien pensant media could ignore conservatives who were on the Gosnell case, they couldn't ignore a liberal who was ringing the alarm.
That was incredibly brave. Liberal journalists like to pat themselves on the back for their bravery all the time-as if a writer for the New York Times is going to do anything but help themselves by coming out for "transgender rights" or whatever the elite fad of the day is.
In 2013, Powers did something really brave: She came out as a Christian in the pages of Christianity Today. And not only did she cop to being down with Jesus, she wrote a beautiful, magisterial essay about her conversion that's easily one of my favorite pieces of witness, ever. I can't recommend it enough.
Now Powers has written a powerful book taking progressives to task for their campaign against free speech and classical liberal values. You can get a taste of it here and here.
I can't overstate how important it is to have Powers' voice defending classical liberalism. Because she's smart, she's fearless, and she can't be dismissed out of hand by the progressive mandarins.
And if her new book creates space for other liberals to rally against the illiberalism which now dominates progressive politics, then Powers will have made an enormous contribution to the public good.