PHILADELPHIA, April 4, 2016 — There is a war on women—and on men, African-Americans, Caucasians, heterosexuals, homosexuals and everyone else. The war is not being waged against anyone on the basis of skin color, gender or any other social or biological marker. It is being waged against diverse ideas. It is specifically waged on ideas that are not liberal or “progressive.”
Liberal college students tried to prevent their classmates from attending a Ben Shapiro lecture by blocking entrances to a CSULA campus theater. In Chicago, the progressive movement escalated its aggressive attacks on Donald Trump rallies. The leftists proudly declared their distaste for the First Amendment with slogans like, “We shut S*** down.”
Liberals have begun to think it’s somehow within their personal jurisdiction to punish those who disagree with them, even by compromising careers or livelihoods.
Linda A. Kerns, a family law attorney in Philadelphia and the deputy counsel to the Philadelphia Republican City Committee, says, “Family law tends to be dominated by progressives. I had an incident in mediation where the mediator, already familiar with my political views, came right out and said to my client, ‘I bet your attorney discouraged you from mediation, she is a Republican, you know.’”
The left’s war on those who think differently than they do grows even more rancorous when those who espouse conservative ideas are members of marginalized groups.
Harvard-educated attorney Brute Bradford says he was denied tenure as an associate law professor at Indiana University-Purdue University’s School of Law (IUPU) due to his conservative political views, specifically his support of the Iraq war. In the most subsequently charming and open-minded fashion, his “liberal” colleagues assigned him the nickname “Clarence Tomahawk.”
Richard S. Holt, a well-known Republican campaign strategist and former national director of Think Condi says, “I’ll never forget how the media would portray Condoleezza Rice. She was frequently referred to by liberals as an Uncle Tom, and cartoons depicted her with giant lips saying things like a caricature from the slavery days.”
Kerns says that what she has learned from years of interactions as an openly conservative Republican attorney in a city dominated by liberal Democrats is that the left is simply “not interested in ideological civility.”
An oversimplification of party ideologies, as well as misrepresentation of conservative values by the mainstream media, may be partly to blame. Work on this article began with interviews with people ranging in age from 19 to 62, both men and women who identified as Caucasian, African-American and Latino. Almost every person’s definition of what it means to be a conservative included exactly the same concepts: belief in small government, personal responsibility, liberty, a textualist reading of the Constitution and the free market.
Conversely, Caril Phang, a consultant specializing in globalism and equity who self-identifies as a Black/Afrocentric, womanist and socialist, defined “conservative” as simply a strict adherence to the “free market as the greatest equalizer, the surest path towards socio-political equity.”
Speaking of racial minorities who identify as conservatives, Phang added, “The conservatism of people of color is often an outcome of religious commitment (Christianity), belief in the economy as a path to social mobility, and the conviction that a large public sector impedes and/or infantilizes and/or decreases self-reliance on the part of marginalized peoples.”
Should we infer that belief in small government, personal responsibility, liberty and the free market is grounds for social ostracism and worse? Without these concepts, the U.S. would have never been established.
Roger Austin, a Florida-based political consultant and attorney, attributes the increased tension over conservative principles to modern lifestyles as well an oversimplification of party messaging, “Everyone is so busy with modern life we allow heuristics to do the thinking for us. For example, if I think I prefer the Democratic Party, I just go with that and everything that comes along with it. People are often unaware of the implications of choosing one party over the other and get caught up in group-think and not just in politics.”
Holt thinks it may also be some mixed-up messaging. “Individuals who hold conservative ideas are often misunderstood because the media doesn’t like the Republican Party and they despise the Christian Right. These two groups are not always the best representatives of conservative principles, but they are seen as the movement’s spokespersons.”
Even the youngest of the party’s members see the media as a major impediment to acceptance. Vincent Ramos, a 19-year-old self-identified conservative currently attending college in NYC, says, “The mainstream media harbor a popular hate for conservatives without the slightest understanding or even motivation to comprehend why we believe what we believe.”
Perhaps the most civil and American route to finding a solution to the problem of political and ideological bullying would be that we all commit to minding our own business, or when we do choose to engage others with opposing views, we keep it civilized and in the appropriate settings—not, for instance, in the workplace.
Austin sheds some real light on the situation with this comment: “The real marginalized group are people who think, and thinking people for centuries have believed in free enterprise, personal responsibility, limited government and not being tyrannized by those who govern us.” In this case, we can probably solve the problem if the left simply adheres to the old adage, “Don’t shoot the messenger.”