There is a basic test for whether you believe in freedom: if you disagree with someone’s thoughts or behavior that does not violate anyone else’s rights, do you still want to use government to crack down on that behavior? For the left, the answer is a resounding “yes.” The left wants to ensure that nobody is offended; they believe that you have a right to demand things of others, even if they have no duty to provide you those things.
The result: tyranny.
The left guises that tyranny under the rubric of “tolerance” and “diversity” – namely, they say that if you are “intolerant” or say things that offend the diktats of ethnic and racial diversity, the government should intervene to shut you up. They play nice guy while calling the guys with the guns.
Here are the five latest indicators the left embraces totalitarianism in the mask of tolerance:
1. West Hollywood Wants To Ban Donald Trump. Mayor of West Hollywood Lindsey Horvath doesn’t like Donald Trump. Well, neither do I, but at least I don’t want to ban him from my city using the power of government. She does. She said that in the name of “diversity,” Trump had to be barred from the city. “You know, West Hollywood is a very diverse community,” Horvath told CNN. “We’re over 40 percent LGBT. We have Russian-speaking immigrants, some of whom were concentration camp survivors. We’re the first declared pro-choice city in America. Our city is very diverse, we’re very open, we’re very welcoming. And that’s the kind of community we want to be.”
By banning people who disagree.
She wrote in The Advocate, “The campaign has gone beyond its right to express a political point of view or policy differences, which we all have to greater or lesser degrees. The hate speech and implicit calls to violence coming from Trump and his campaign are beyond the pale and have no place in any community in our country.”
This is called a violation of the First Amendment. But it’s no surprise coming from the same political folks who tried to keep Chick-Fil-A out of Boston and Chicago.
2. Government Crackdowns on Climate Change “Deniers.” Are you concerned that slashing and burning the Western economy in order to stop man-made global warming might be a mistake based on the level of uncertainty surrounding anthropogenic global warming? The Obama administration wants you fined or imprisoned. Seventeen state attorney generals as well as federal attorney general Loretta Lynch have expressed interest in prosecuting Exxon Mobil for fraud for giving money to pro-free market think tanks that have cast doubt on theories of global warming. As Hans von Spakovsky writes at The Daily Signal:
The coalition of 17 inquisitors are calling themselves “AGs United for Clean Power.” The coalition consists of 15 state attorneys general (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington State), as well as the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. Sixteen of the seventeen members are Democrats, while the attorney general for the Virgin Islands, Claude Walker, is an independent. The inquisitors are threatening legal action and huge fines against anyone who declines to believe in an unproven scientific theory.
3. Travel Bans To Conservative States. As I reported in this space, the left has now engaged in full-scale travel bans to states that stand up for religious freedom:
On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would bar non-essential state-funded travel to Mississippi after the state passed a bill re-enshrining First Amendment protections for freedom of religion and association. Cuomo, who termed the law “sad, hateful,” isn’t the only big government leftist to utilize the power of taxpayer-funded nastiness: the mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, did the same. Lee and Cuomo also announced travel bans to North Carolina, where the governor recently signed a bill that mandates that local governments may not allow people to use single-sex bathrooms based on subjective gender identity rather than biological sex; that bill also makes state anti-discrimination law supreme and exclusive over local anti-discrimination laws that would compel businesses to hire people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
4. Pursuing Legislation To Crack Down On Religious People. The left wants to mandate that religious people be slapped with a legal duty to serve people whom they feel are engaging in sin. And they claim that anyone who fights for their right to practice their religion in their daily life is a bad guy. Ohio Governor John Kasich stands with the left on this; here’s what he recently said in a townhall event on CNN:
I’m a traditional marriage guy, okay? I believe a man and a woman, but, I went home one day, I said, ‘Sweetie, we’ve been invited to a gay wedding.’ This was after the court. I said, ‘What do you think?” she said, ‘Well, I’m going, I don’t know if you are or not.’ And we went, and look, here’s the thing, we may disagree with something about people’s lifestyles and all those kinds of things, we may disagree, but you know what, let’s try to understand each other a little bit. What are we going to do, write a law? I read about this thing they did in Mississippi where apparently you can deny somebody service because they’re gay. What the hell are we doing in this country? I mean, look, I may not appreciate a certain lifestyle, or even approve of it, but I can — that doesn’t mean I’ve got to go write a law and try to figure out how to have another wedge issue, because one of the things that’s happening, on this issue itself, is that there are politicians that are using it to get publicity, which ultimately divides us. We had a Supreme Court ruling, and you know what, let’s move on. Let’s move on from where we are.
Kasich refused to give a straight answer as to whether the person who refused to abide by his definition of religious observance should be forced to do so by the government. The left hasn’t been quite so circumspect. Which is why Mississippi and North Carolina have attempted to actually protect religious people.
5. Fining Corporations For Participating In Free Exchange. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders think corporations are evil for seeking profit by engaging in voluntary agreements with free people. Trump says he’s going to keep jobs in the United States by punishing corporations who try to make deals outside the United States. The Washington Post reported two days ago:
When he took the stage, Trump recited numbers of job losses in Rochester, naming individual companies that he would “hit with a 35 percent tax” until they agreed to return and create jobs. “I will bring it back so fast,” he promised. “Your head will spin.”
Then there’s Sanders, who says that Verizon ought to be punished because they are “greedy” and “all they want is more and more profit.” Corporations like Verizon, Sanders said, “want to throw American workers out on the street.”
The left despises freedom; they simply want ideological agreement, and they want behavior of which they approve. And they’ll use the power of government to compel it.