“In the United States at this time,” Lionel Trilling wrote in 1949, “liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition.” These words are strange to read today. One cannot imagine someone writing them now and, in retrospect, they suggest a dangerous hubris. And yet it is not clear that, applied either to Trilling’s time or to ours, they are wrong.
Like every virtual world, there is something seductive about the online realm of the new reactionary politics. Wading in, one finds oneself quickly immersed, and soon unmoored.