Should gay rights activists be allowed to tell you which Internet browser you can use? Should ANY site be able to dictate what software you use to access it? And should a company be punished because its individual employees hold political views in their private lives that are conservative rather than liberal?
In the minds of “progressives,” the answer to all of these questions is “yes.” Every liberal idea is so good that it has to be mandatory and enforced at gunpoint; just ask a left-winger and he’ll tell you so. Liberals are never content to hold their own ideas and to coexist with those who may not share them. They do not “tolerate” dissent, and they do not debate those who disagree with them. They simply declare their opponents to be enemies of all that is decent and good in the world, marginalizing conservative thought while declaring illegal (in a de facto sense, and sometimes explicitly by policy and through legislation) any idea they do not like.
This is not hyperbole. Liberals have invaded your computer and attempted to dictate which browser you may use based on the political incorrectness of a single employee at a single software firm. Specifically, the management of dating site OKCupid has declared Mozilla’s new CEO, Brenden Eich, persona non grata because – GASP! – Eich has dared to exercise his constitutional right to free speech and freedom of religion by donating to political causes he supports (and of which progressives disapprove). Eich donated to California’s Proposition 8, stating his support for the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman (a position held by President “Mom Jeans” Obama until only recently).
The irony of Eich exercising his free speech, and working within the political process to enact legislation he felt was in keeping with his opinions, was lost on the hopelessly left-leaning Elise Hu, NPR’s tech columnist. Hu sniffed that Eich’s “political past” was “imperiling his present” – and all because Eich holds a traditional view of marriage that is shared by at least a plurality, if not an outright majority, of Americans.
Mozilla makes the free web browser Firefox, which (at least until recently) was the browser all the cool kids and engineers were using. Offended that Mozilla would dare employ a CEO who once donated to a cause liberals consider politically incorrect, OKCupid recently asked its users not to access its content with Firefox. You read that correctly: Because a completely unrelated website’s management disagrees with the privately held political views of the CEO of a software company, you have been asked not to use that software to get to that site.
Hu rightly points out that this is a vendor boycott, not a consumer boycott. This is markedly different in character and potential impact than previous attempts to shame businesses with conservative employees or management.
OKCupid’s request is no more or less absurd than if a hypothetical employee of General Motors were to say that he is a vegetarian. Let’s say that employee gave money to a group that works to outlaw the eating of meat. Upon hearing this, an equally hypothetical grocery store, known for its popular deli, declares General Motors to be a bunch of meat-hating jerks. The grocery store then tells its customers not to drive General Motors vehicles to the store.
If that sounds ridiculous to you, remember that this is precisely what has happened in the case of OKCupid and Mozilla. This is not a question of whether you support “gay rights” because you happen to believe in a traditional definition of marriage. It is possible to believe your government should not grant official sanction to something, yet to conduct yourself in a pleasant, polite and civil manner around those who believe otherwise. At one time this was the definition of “tolerance.” To tolerate an idea, a lifestyle, or a political ideology means you can believe you are right and your opponents are wrong. In “tolerating” that with which you disagree, it is understood that you will not be needlessly hostile, that you will not violate the law or common sense or simple propriety.
This definition is no longer good enough for liberals. We saw it when the progressives targeted Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby. In every case, whether the target is high technology or old tradition, the result is the same: Liberals wish to purge from both public and private life any religious conviction or devotion to traditional morality. They do so by marginalizing and criminalizing any opinion with which they disagree, declaring it “hate” and an assault on “rights” (while denying First Amendment freedom to those they threaten, bully, and hector).
What, after all, is Brenden Eich’s crime? He committed no illegal act. He did nothing improper or immoral. He violated no campaign finance laws. He simply expressed an opinion in accordance with how our political system is supposed to work. For daring to do so he is now being punished by an overreaching and unrelentingly “progressive” mind-control mob. This mob seeks, on multiple fronts, to establish thoughtcrime. It seeks to redefine a lack of affirmation for liberal ideas as the active opposition of them. That opposition, in turn, is redefined as illegitimate and as hatred. Conservatives are thus redefined as haters and then consigned to irrelevance in liberal politics (as seen recently in New York, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo told conservatives there was no place in the state for their opinions).
In a “free” country, your government can force you to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, but Muslim cashiers don’t have to check out pork or alcohol. These conclusions are inconsistent because liberals in power believe wholeheartedly in a double standard. If you are a liberal, you have rights. If you are a conservative, you don’t. You are, in fact, an evil, hateful person if you believe in traditional morality or, God help you, Christianity. You must therefore be denigrated, punished and silenced – and that’s only because the libs haven’t worked up the courage to murder you.
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