Chris Selley considers civil liberties and partisanship.
In all these cases, the real villains are governments that believe, with ample justification, that they can do whatever they want to whomever they want, whenever they want. Governments don’t care what party you voted for, or what you think about the war in Afghanistan, or whether your bookshelf’s stuffed with Noam Chomsky or Ayn Rand. If they think it’s in their best interests to steamroll you, they will. Ideological partisanship dilutes by half the democratic force of the revulsion we feel — or should feel — when they do. It enables the very thing we all claim to detest when it happens to people we like. The answer lies in sticking up for people we don’t like too.