Our liberal counterparts in the older generations must join us. This is a revolution for everyone who believes in tolerance and progressiveness. We must challenge every instance of bigotry we encounter. We must never stay silent when prejudice is voiced. We must put pressure on our politicians, our corporations, and our acquaintances to endorse liberal values. Arguments now are better than wars later.
The world will become more illiberal as a result, but we must not overlook the extent to which liberalism had only become selectively embedded in world order to begin with due to its hitherto compatibility with American imperialism. Trump's election may in future be seen as a decisive break with liberalism, but the earlier turn to neoliberalism had already signalled that liberalism and American imperialism had become increasingly incompatible.
Enough. All political parties make unpopular policy changes (working tax credits, anyone?) and while I can understand the resulting impulse to wash your hands of politics altogether, the fact remains that such a course of inaction is not a viable way to get your opinion heard. It's time for us centrists to ask ourselves if the raising of tuition fees four years ago is reason enough to contribute to the death of the political centre ground now.
No liberal believes in absolute freedom. We restrict freedom of speech by outlawing incitement to violence or racial hatred, and we restrict freedom of movement by putting in place border controls. Liberals are not anarchists: they believe in the need for some kind of State structure to protect life and liberty.
While it may be more comforting to consider these men but lone wolves acting upon their own deranged ideas, that no longer seems to be the case. In this age of social media and easily accessible information in which we live, it is no longer necessary for contact to be made for a message to be passed on.
The latest manifestation of this campaign centres on the veil, or niqab, worn by a minority of Muslim women in Britain but recently inflated to assume the status of a threat to society. It is a campaign which has drawn support from both right and left of the mainstream political spectrum and commentariat, justified on the basis of women's rights, security, and/or progress.
The moment Clegg got into bed with Cameron and co. was the moment he relinquished all rights to that kind of balanced assessment. It should never have happened; simple as. A token voting system referendum and a few quid added to a tax threshold doesn't make up for the fact he has lost the student vote for his party.
I recently wrote on this site that, in reference to the recently published photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, pregnant and on holiday, that '...our morbid fascination with this bizarre, ordinary family invests them with a sort of inverted dignity just by them doing and saying nothing of real consequence.' I didn't expect such a vivid illustration to present itself so soon.