The Left Can't Win Against a Contagion of Free Thought
All of us have internalized the image of the leper with his rags and his bell, going into town and shouting “Unclean, unclean” so that all may
flea flee and not catch his contagion. ["Flea" and contagion made sense to me at the time. — Ed.]
Recently the left has been behaving as though they have to serve as a bell for everything they don’t agree with.
Make no mistake, they always wanted to silence us. Their support for the First Amendment is no stronger than their “support” for the second. In fact, pretty much anything that can allow the individual to resist the will of the mob is a sin and a disgrace in their circles. This combined with their admiration of mass butchers like Che and Mao paints a rather unsavory picture.
But as much as they wanted to silence us in the past — and did — they had the power to do it without revealing themselves and without being too obvious.
Want to prevent someone from ever being published or from being published again, because you found they’re the wrong political color? Hey, you have control. A negligent wave of the hand and the nuisance is gone. The same with a professor who speaks out of turn, a musician who makes lyrics you don’t like, a news reporter who brings in unpalatable truths. You just don’t allow them access to the media, and it all goes away. Heck, even if the person defying the leftist narrative is a newsmaker, the news can more or less ignore them, and then no one knows and they will go away. Remember how Romney in 2012 was put inside a “cone of silence” so even though he was campaigning every day, sometimes to huge crowds, no one heard about it? (Yes, I know. Romney was not ideal. He was still better than Obama from our perspective and therefore, of course, worse from the left’s.)
This used to be the world the left lived in. When I was young I studied how countries were invaded, and the left behaved like an invading force for 100 years. They took the media, all communications (including those informal communications we think of as entertainment), the schools, and the government offices. And it’s all very well to say conservatives should have fought back, but conservatives were hampered by a sense of “fairness” or what I often hear as “He’s a communist/political idiot, but he’s a great worker/writer/programmer.” The left gave no such quarter. If you were not of their political color, they cheerfully refused to hire you/reviled you/started rumors against you. Because leftism was the only real virtue they recognized and anti-Marxism the only sin, they knew you were bad people, and it would be bad to hire you.