Is there really freedom of conscience and freedom of expression in our country today? Watching as groups identified with BLM and ANTIFA rampaging through our streets, and others who stand with them calling themselves non-violent and both groups invoking freedom of expression while property is destroyed and people are killed, begs asking the question is there a difference between freedom and license? Does freedom require responsibility and accountability? While these fringe groups are demanding their right to speech and assembly those that support them are exerting inappropriate influence over the ability of conservatives to express themselves openly without being ostracized socially, or marginalized professionally or as students on our college campuses academically.
The Cato Institute in October of 2017 reported that 78% of conservatives felt pressured to not express their views. Amongst conservative college students and conservative college faculty members this number is even higher. Yesterday in a CATO Institute article authored by Emily Ekins the numbers have only gotten worse. Only those who describe themselves as liberal Democrats feel safe expressing their political positions in public and at work, Conservatives continue to be worried about being able to express their opinions with over 70% of employees and over 90% of college students and conservative college faculty members feeling the same way.
The higher the level of educational achievement amongst those describing themselves as conservative, the more ostracized they feel from their colleagues. Worries in this group include loss of employment, loss of academic tenure, and loss of professional reputation-physicians and nurse’s particular feel threatened. What if you are a professional athlete—football, baseball, or basketball—and you disagree with your League’s CEO and even many of your fellow teammates about their positions on kneeling for the National Anthem and the League’s support of Black Lives matter? Ask Drew Brees!
So many conservatives are living inside a box defined by walls of political correctness. I look at myself. If today I was an employed physician working at a hospital in Idaho and I expressed opinions about the utility of wearing masks in the pandemic or a particular type of mitigation strategy that was different from the party line I would face consequences because of my positions. I know several ICU nurses who voiced concerns about the low number of Covid-19 patients in their institutions and were “counseled” about going public with their concerns. If I expressed disappointment that a CEO asked employees to read a book—”White License”—that has been described by several respected members of the Black literary community including Atlantic Magazines John McWorter as expressing a new form of racism itself, would I still have a job?
Sixty percent of people are employed by large corporations. What if their employer demands them to participate in activities that are against their conscience? Say that a term of employment for an OB nurse practitioner be that abortion services be encouraged to pregnant girls and oh yes her employer owns an abortion clinic? What about if an employee is forced to participate in sensitivity training that normalizes same sex marriage and transgender lifestyles when her religious beliefs are not in line with what is being presented? What if you as a supplier are threatened with a product boycotted because of your belief that not standing for the National Anthem is anti-American? What if you are a doctor whose religious convictions won’t allow you to use psychedelic drugs for an ICU patient who insists on their efficacy?
But the most disturbing aspect of this new political correctness is when liberals personalize their attacks on people who don’t agree with them. This is simply a way to end an argument when they have no argument to make. To use words like “sexist” and “racist” and “bigot” personalizes the acquisition. Joe Biden yesterday called Donald Trump a “racist”. Does he know The President’s heart? Who made him judge and jury in this new court of character assignation? After accusation comes “charicaturization” Sarah Palin was characterized by the media and the progressive Democrats. Joey Bahar made fun of her for deciding to carry her baby with known Down’s Syndrome—an act of courage that should be celebrated not ridiculed.
Our political, religious, and business leaders, sports stars, and those in the entertainment industry are unworthy of leading the people that have been paying their salaries for a long time. By supporting “cancel culture” they are denying the accomplishments of those who have come before them. Nobody is perfect, but people are honored with statues and by history because of their accomplishments and sacrifices. Both sides of a story need to be told and respected. Just as veneration can detract from the truth about a person or event vilification does the same thing. By not respecting our history they show us that they don’t respect us—our forefathers made that history and like all human beings in generations past, present, and the future, the truth includes telling both the good and the bad. We should remember, “Judge not lest thee be judged”.