There's a great new book out by Jack Cashill called "Scarlet Letters."
Reading it has taught me a lot.
For many years I pondered the glaring contradiction of the left, which preaches "tolerance" and "diversity" whilst eviscerating those who disagree with their ideas in the harshest language imaginable.
And that's not to mention how they use whatever power they have to destroy the lives of those with whom they disagree.
It all became clear to me upon reading "Scarlett Letters."
Cashill's hypothesis is so simple, persuasive and elegantly expressed, I found myself scratching my head and wondering why I hadn't ever considered the matter before. So-called "progressives" have, in effect, created a new neo-puritanical religion that empowers them, even commands them, to do unto others what they accuse others of doing to them.
They heap insults on them like "homophobe," "racist," "fascist, "climate-change denier" and "Islamophobe," to name but a few, in hopes of branding others with a new version of the old "Scarlet Letter" device.
It doesn't matter if the slur is accurate, truthful, fair or sincere. Usually it isn't. It's just their attempt to impose their new moral code, to strike fear and apprehension into the minds, souls and psyches of their political and spiritual adversaries.
And it works.
I've been called every name in the book by the worst of them.
When I opposed Barack Obama's policies and questioned his credentials to be president, it was because I was a "racist."
But when some little, no-name punk at GQ wrote a juvenile piece unworthy of even a Huffington Post blog, headlined "F--- Ben Carson," (without the dashes, mind you), because the good doctor stood up for the simple, common-sense idea of encouraging self-defense against mass murderers, he apparently had no worries about being so labeled.
When I wrote about the nature of radical Islam based on my personal experience as a descendant of Christian Middle Easterners who fled the region because of persecution, oppression and subjugation, not to mention my background as a Middle East correspondent, I was called an "Islamophobe," thus targeting me for dozens of death threats.
Those throwing out the label had little worry about being called "Christophobes." They'd probably consider it a compliment, and they had little concern about there being any consequences.
Would they ever run out of epithets?
Recently, I was dubbed "anti-American" by a columnist for the Des Moines Register.
"Anti-American"? Really. Why? Because I support the Constitution of the United States? Because I want to protect and defend it as a land of the free? Because I want my kids to grow up with hope and the chance for preserving the liberty and opportunity I knew as a kid?
None of those questions really matter.
Most of these name-callers don't know a thing about the people they attempt to tar and feather as evildoers, sinners and sociopaths.
It's simply what they do.
They do it because it makes them feel better. They are practicing their own false creed. If they had the power to damn their imaginary enemies to hell, they wouldn't hesitate for a minute. If they had the courage to take our lives, I have little doubt many of them would. When they are empowered to positions of authority, they abuse it by punishing those who don't share their sacred values.
There's one label they particularly love. It's all encompassing. It's good for any occasion. It's short, pithy and covers all the new sins. You've no doubt heard it – "hater."
But, think about it. Who's doing the name-calling here? Who's doing all the "hating"?
As Cashill notes in the introduction to "Scarlet Letters": The spirit of Salem lives on.
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