First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness. Second, in an age in which popular feelings about the way things ought to be often override facts about the way things actually are, each is determined to resist parroting what’s politically convenient. And third, some have paid for this commitment by being purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought—and have found receptive audiences elsewhere.
We’re in a period of massive demographic and social change, and all that change is creating a powerful backlash. The coalition being built by that backlash, the coalition Rubin is a part of, is best understood as a reactionary movement because, well, that’s what it is—a movement united by opposition to changes it loathes.