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U.S. presidential aspirant Beto O’Rourke, thrashing about in an attempt to be noticed, says tax exemptions should be denied to churches and other institutions that oppose same-sex marriage. O’Rourke’s suggestion, and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to tax the “excessive” exercise of a First Amendment right, and the NBA’s painful lesson about the perils of moral grandstanding illustrate how progressivism has become a compound of self-satisfied moral preening and a thirst for coercion.

Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet recommends a “hard line” against people who deviate from progressivism: “Trying to be nice to the losers didn’t work well after the Civil War” and “taking a hard line seemed to work reasonably well in Germany and Japan after 1945.” Apparently it is progressive to regard unprogressive Americans as akin to enemies vanquished in wars.

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