One of the things I find amusing is when people tell me I'm opinionatedand I thank them for saying so. Their reaction is almost always the same: a half-beat of confusion arising from the fact that they consider what they said to be critical, even as I thank them for being complimentary.
I know my having strong opinions frightens people. I knew it from the first college cocktail party I attended where an actual conversation broke outa rarity itselfand I was the lone voice of dissent among a room full of liberals who couldn't imagine how anyone had the temerity to challenge their "superior" wisdom. I don't know which reaction was more revealing: the contemptuous look of those being challenged, or the fearful look of those on the sidelines who never speak up at all, lest they be accused of having the "wrong" ideas.
Liberalism is all about intimidation. Those who consider themselves champions of tolerance and freedom are nothing more than intellectual jackboots whose fealty to both begins and ends with an absolute conformity to their worldview. Anyone who disagrees with a liberal isn't a person with competing ideas. He is a member of an inferior species, one to be scorned and ridiculed.
Don't think the word "marriage" should apply to gays? You're homophobic. You believe affirmative action is a quota system? You're racist. Think people who come to America should do it legally? You're xenophobic. Think America should defend itself from its enemies? You're an imperialist. Believe in capitalism and personal responsibility? You're selfish and heartless.
Such intimidation has one purpose: to silence dissent. Such silence is essential because the one thing that terrifies the overwhelming majority of liberals is being forced to defend their ideology based on its merits.
That's why college campuses have "speech codes." It's why union organizers want to eliminate a secret ballot in favor of card-check legislation. It's why the major media completely ignored the Climategate story revealing fraudulent data used to "prove" global warming. It's why our Democratically-controlled Congress conducts middle-of-the-night, weekend votes to pass historically transformativeand unreadhealthcare legislation.
Liberals know that most Americans reject their orthodoxy when it's presented without obfuscationwhich is precisely why liberals hide their true intentions. Who doesn't want a "clean environment" or "healthcare reform"until ones discovers that both agendas are nothing more than corrupt enterprises designed attempt to subvert freedom and capitalism? Who doesn't want "hope and change"until people realize it's nothing more than an attempt to completely undermine the American values, traditions and culture than have made us the envy of the entire world?
The late Daniel Moynihan once said that everyone was entitled to his own opinion, but not his own set of facts. Facts are liberalism's Achilles Heel. Read liberal media, listen to liberal radio, watch liberal talk shows. It doesn't matter where a debate begins. Almost invariably, it ends with a condescending remark, an angry outburst or name-calling, precisely because the factsfrom the excesses of our free-for-all pop culture to the historical failure of socialist/communist societies and everything in betweenreveals the bankruptcy of liberal "wisdom."
Unfortunately, most people would rather remain silent than deal with such behavior. Better a deferential smile than a verbal sparring match. Better to be mute than "judgmental."
If such intimidating tactics were limited to adults it might be tolerable. But when I see children singing, "mmm, mmm, mmm Barack Hussein Obama," it makes my skin crawl. When I hear story after story of grade school kids being forced to watch "An Inconvenient Truth" no matter how much it's been scientifically discredited, I get angry. When I know a thirteen-year-old girl can get a "surgical procedure"every one of which has a mortality ratewithout her parents even knowing about it, much less giving their permission, I'm appalled.
America didn't become the greatest nation on earth because its citizenry was intimidated into silent agreement. No free society can withstand a populace fearful of making concrete (dare I say black-and-white?) assessments about most things. That our children have been taught the "virtues" of non-judgmentalism, mindless diversity, and unqualified tolerance is a crime. That such criminality is presented as "enlightened thinking" demonstrates the depths to which liberals are willing to sink to prevent being challenged.
Ironically, liberals have always considered themselves champions of dissentuntil they assume the reins of power. That's why Americans once again hear talk of re-instating the Fairness Doctrine or some other bill to "regulate" conservative talk radio and the Internet. It's why ordinary Americans who attended Tea Party rallies were called "mobs." It's why people like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck must be demonized without decency and with little regard for the facts.
A respondent to my previous column expressed frustration with the fact that, while many Americans are opposed to the liberal hijacking of this country, there is no leader to rally around. I told her to stop worrying about finding a standard-bearer. Everyone willing to stand up for American values is a leader.
That's my opinion. And you can bet your life I'll always consider someone calling me opinionated to be the highest of compliments.
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