A Conservative friend wise about human nature and politics summarizes his views this way: "Liberals don't think they have any politics. They think they are in a state of nature. Only those who disagree with them are unnatural."
It's a brilliant insight, and tells you all you need to know about the culture and political wars in America today. Less than two years after the arc of history seemed to favor them, the high priests of liberal orthodoxy are on the run.
They have overreached, and now they must pay.
But they are not going quietly or with decency. They are desperate and dangerous, astonishingly reckless in their attacks on the majority of Americans who commit the secular sin of disagreement.
Faced with massive public resistance to their demands for conformity, President Obama and his religious-like acolytes have given up trying to persuade skeptics. They are reduced to trying to crush dissent.
To them, resistance is heresy, and must be eliminated.
They are not embarrassed by the obvious double standards they are embracing or the false claims they are peddling. They are, as my friend observed, incapable of recognizing as legitimate any view but their own, so the end justifies the means.
Obama's scurrilous conduct is Exhibit A of the panic on the left. Discarding the sunny-side-up mask, he crisscrosses the country in fear-monger mode. His base appeals to women, blacks, Latinos and students are identity-group politics at its worst.
He is not alone in having a worldview that depends on absolute conformity. Deviation is also dangerous to the institutions that form the backbone of the liberal establishment he leads.
The Juan Williams case says it all. Claims by the goon squad at NPR that he was fired for "expressing a personal opinion on a divisive issue" are transparent hogwash.
He and other NPR analysts and correspondents routinely express opinions that favor Democrats.
He was fired because he expressed an inconvenient opinion -- that he and many Americans often associate Muslims with terrorists. And he did it on Fox News, the antichrist to the church of the left.
His fears are widely shared but don't fit with NPR's authorized view of the world. So it -- he -- must be silenced.
In firing him, NPR instantly created another example of why the country is turning right. Tens of millions of ordinary people have been roused to fight for rights they assumed they had. From health-care mandates to rising federal debt to confiscatory taxes to suffocating speech codes, they have correctly concluded their liberty is under assault.
To be sure, dissenters do not have a monopoly on wisdom or common sense. A partisan label is never a guarantee of righteousness, as the reversal of political fortunes in two years demonstrates.
Rather, the American system, we learn again, is intolerant of only one thing: intolerance. Whether its hammer comes from left or right, it always wakes the spirit of revolution. Freedom of speech, to dissent, to oppose, to fight back, is not just the literal content of the First Amendment. It is the essence of who we are as a people.
Obama, of course, infamously discounted American Exceptionalism when he was asked about it, suggesting he does not view our national character as unique. His mistake.
Still, we should be grateful. Just as Obama's election was the result of George W. Bush's failures, the awakening of the American majority wouldn't have happened without Obama's overreach.
Because he did, the right to say no -- hell, no! -- will soon be secured anew. Hold on for nine more days.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.