Because the Left's accelerating campaign to force compliance with the dictates of the Blacks Lives Matter movement reeks of the Right's 1950s anti-Communist Blacklisting demagoguery.
Back then the political climate favored the outing of communists, fellow travelers, comsymps (communist sympathizers) and any left-wing or liberal whose writing, speech or even thoughts made them dangerous. They were expelled from their jobs, hunted down by fanatical Republicans like the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy and dragged before an inquisition by the House UnAmerica Activities Committee.
"McCarthyism" was so widely practiced that people lost their jobs, their reputations and their sanity over the accusations that they had not joined the anti-communist bandwagon. Blacklisting (no resemblance to the popular NBC "Blacklist" TV series) fell heaviest on Hollywood where anyone slightly tarnished by accusations--including false and anonymous ones--were driven from the business. Some screenwriters, for example, had to hide behind pseudonyms to make a living. Others fled the country.
People like McCarthy were eventually exposed as dangerous clowns, but not before they had done serious damage to society and our understanding of democratic values.
The same kind of danger is falling--crushing, I should say--any dissent from the agenda that requires all white Americans to genuflect in acknowledgment of their "privilege."
It's not enough to be outraged by the murder of George Floyd or to support police reforms to combat brutality. (Every) One must kneel before the accusers, acknowledge their guilt, apologize and plead for forgiveness. People must be driven from their jobs or their businesses forced to close. In a way, it's even worse than the 1950s blacklisting that fell heaviest on Hollywood. Today's neo-McCarthyism reaches into every corner, from wedding cake bakers, restaurateurs and--this is no surprise--scholarship.
There are too many cases to list here; a recent one is Nini's Deli, shuttered
after its owners were attacked for espousing their pro-life support and their opposition to the gay lifestyle. Those are positions are legitimate issues whose supporters are supposed to be protected by the First Amendment.
Here's one more case: University of Chicago economist Harald Uhligh is being instructed to resign as the lead editor of the prestigious Journal of Political Economy because his views "belittle the movement." Those views?
In a Twitter post he said that Black Lives Matter had "just torpedoed itself, with its full-fledge support of #defundthepolice.... Time for sensible adults to enter back into the room and have serious, earnest, restful conservations about it all. We need more police, we need to pay them more, we need to train them better."
That's a sensible observation and a reasonable ask. Parts of the Black Lives calls for, among things, reparations and "collective ownership" of the economy. To argue against that does not make one a racist who should lose his livelihood. Those are legitimate issues worthy of debate in our republic.
Cleansing the publication of Uhligh isn't a fringe demand. It's being led by, among others, Paul Krugman, a columnist for the New York Times, a paper showing its own streak of craven obsequiousness by disavowing an op-ed that failed to conform to left-wing dictates.
The Founding Fathers recognized the dangers of a tyranny of the majority in their grand republican expert and thus constructed government with a series of checks and balances that protect minority or unpopular views. But that hell with that, we're now told.
So, ex cathedra pronouncements ought to be left to the Vatican. They have no place in a democracy. Instead, we have a modern-day Alhambra Decree, demanding expulsion of dissent from the marketplace of ideas and self-government. Failure to understand this strikes at the very heart of our nation's ideals.
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