Consider their heavy hand on guns, marriage, religious freedom and more.
There's an old adage about taking away the rights of others jeopardizing your own. Messing with even unpopular liberties, it seems, can quickly become a bad habit. Yet, in the wake of every tragedy with a firearm, liberal Democrats show a remarkable willingness to sacrifice the rights of self-defense.
It's becoming abundantly clear they won't stop there.
When the mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco put free speech in the cross hairs by threatening to deny business permits based on the political views of executives, you know you've entered a brave new world. Conservative critics say the blacklisting of Chick-fil-A for CEO Dan Cathy's support of traditional marriage was merely the latest in a long line of attacks on religious liberty, and that's true.
After all, it was the Obama Justice Department that filed a brief in support of denying houses of worship the longstanding "ministerial exception" to employment law. Without such an exception, no church would be able to hire and fire based on its "free exercise" of religion. (In a rare flash of sanity, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the administration's view.)
Next, it was Obamacare that forced the Catholic Church to provide contraceptives and sterilization procedures in health care plans. In announcing a lawsuit against the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the Rev. John Jenkins of Notre Dame put it succinctly: "We do not seek to impose our religious beliefs on others; we simply ask that government not impose its values on the university when those values conflict with our religious teachings."
But more than just religious freedom, all of this represents a chilling assault on the First Amendment. And in battles over the primacy of free speech in an open society, I'm afraid you will indeed find a long litany of censorious attempts by the so-called purveyors of tolerance to silence their political opponents.
To wit, James Hansen, chief of the government's global-warming advocacy agency (aka NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), has gone so far as to suggest that "skeptics" be tried for crimes against humanity. Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute for Studies fraudulently acquires Heartland Institute documents and sends them off to liberal activists and journalists.
The stolen files are then used by a front group, Forecast the Facts, to bully public companies and meteorologists who dare to question the climate apocalypse. Color of Change boasts that under pressure from its censors, some 20 companies have stopped supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council, a free-market think tank dedicated to state issues. ALEC's crime: supporting voter ID laws.
And, of course, Harry Reid -- last seen disgracing the Senate by lying about Mitt Romney's taxes -- tried to push through the Disclose Act of 2012. By outlawing anonymous political speech (see the Federalist Papers) the bill was designed to provide easy access to left-wing activists hell-bent on intimidating companies who contribute to conservative causes.
No wonder, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, Democrats received more money from companies to finance their convention in 2008 than did the GOP. The Democratic Party -- unbeknownst to most members of the press -- also maintained its advantage in corporate PAC donations into the fall campaign. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry alone donated $1 million dollars to Mr. Obama at the time.
You see, the left fully understands the pusillanimous nature of most corporate executives. After Target faced boycotts and protests over a contribution to a group supporting traditional marriage candidates, it quickly made amends and is now safely in the same-sex-union camp. Ironically, the same company finds it politically too risky to support voter ID laws -- even though such requirements are immensely popular with the public.
General Mills has, of course, proudly announced its opposition to Minnesota's marriage amendment in a news release from its "Vice-President of Global Diversity and Inclusion." And fellow corporate chieftains at Starbucks, Thomson Reuters, Google, Citi and Amazon continue the campaigns on behalf of their liberal masters.
I guess, to paraphrase Rahm Emanuel, they reflect "Chicago values."
Jason Lewis is a nationally syndicated talk-show host based in Minneapolis-St. Paul and is the author of "Power Divided is Power Checked: The Argument for States' Rights" from Bascom Hill Publishing. He can be heard locally from 5 to 8 p.m. on NewsTalk Radio, 1130-AM, and at jasonlewisshow.com.
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