I suppose the one benefit of this near universal opposition to illiberal authoritarianism is that we're all of us now liberals - but liberals of very divergent types. On the right, the 'classical liberals' trace a lineage back to the fathers of the enlightenments - Burke, Locke, Hobbes, Adam Smith and JS Mill. Jordan Peterson is a typical classical liberal - and his Channel Four interview with Cathy Newman on You Tube now has over ten million views. I'm not sure what to term the opposite kind of liberals - perhaps 'progressive liberals' or 'social liberals' - but perhaps Ms Newman herself is a good exemplar.
In June 2016 there was spoof Guardian headline screaming 'The wrong people are using democracy!' that actually uncovered an uncomfortable truth. From this event have evolved proposals to change democracy to make it better - including both ideas about deliberative democracy, giving state experts a role in guiding the masses to make the right decisions, and the proposals from classical liberals for direct democracy based on the Swiss model. All these ideas for new, improved democracy stem from a 'need' to tackle illiberal authoritarianism and a presumption that our current system of representative democracy is flawed. That, again, is common ground between right and left.
So are those of us who have called ourselves Libertarians liberals also? Derek Robinson writes in Politico about the American experience, where 'classical liberal' is coming to mean the conservative but not Trumpist faction within the Rebublican party;
Daniel Klein, an economist at George Mason University, suggested that the “libertarian moment” may have exerted its toll on the movement’s brand. “[The term libertarian] has the baggage of being slightly dogmatic, whereas the ‘liberal’ expression does not,” Klein said in an interview. “I’m not for discarding the word libertarian, but classical liberalism is like a nuanced libertarianism.”Ah OK. He means Libertarians have earned a reputation as swivel-eyed loons with their heads in tankards of ale whilst the kinder, gentler classical liberals sip amontillado. Fair dos.
So, fellow liberals, at least we're united against the other liberals, with clear blue water between us. The only question now is whether the Liberals are liberals ...