Things We Can Live Without

It must be pleasant to be a liberal. Every political principle fits on a bumper sticker. All problems can be chalked up to (1) racism, (2) capitalism, (3) global warming, or (4) Donald Trump.  Liberals soak in a fragrant bubble bath of their own worldview.  They need never hear a conservative message, but they won't shut up themselves.  Like that obnoxious guy at the town meeting, they grabbed the microphone and won't put it down.  The left can't resist the impulse to abuse those on the right at every opportunity.  They don't even imagine us in the room; if we happen to be, they pay no mind.  We endure leftist sensory overload every day.

I'm doing my best to duck the abuse.  I've had to give up a lot of things I once liked.

The NFL was an early casualty.  The sight of players, coaches, even owners kneeling to protest demonstrably nonexistent "systemic police racism" sent me to the sidelines.  Colin Kaepernick's socks, featuring pigs wearing police hats, revealed his true feelings as the leader of that movement.  A lot of fans like me make other plans on Sundays now.

For decades I suffered with the fickle fortunes of the Boston Red Sox.  When they Reversed the Curse, I celebrated.  The Sox lost me when they plastered "BLACK LIVES MATTER" on the marquee at Fenway, in the iconic typeface used on their uniforms.  BLM organizers are Marxists who support the dismantling of the nuclear family.  Marxists perpetrated the greatest evils ever visited on mankind.  It's so hard to cheer for those who pander to them.  I stopped.

Major League Baseball has yanked its All-Star Game from Georgia because that state made a modest effort to prevent fraud in future elections.  Joe Biden expressed support.  Fraud is his friend.  Atlanta-headquartered Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola also condemned the effort to prevent people whose politics looks like mine from disenfranchisement.  Please note: that's half the country — maybe more.  Do other airlines serve Pepsi with the little bag of peanuts?  Can liberals alone fill baseball stadiums?

Utah's lawmakers are wrestling with the impact of a bill protecting female athletes from competition with males.  Hosting the 2023 NBA All-Star Game is at risk.  The 2017 game was pulled from North Carolina after it restricted restrooms to one sex or the other.  The NBA and its players have no issues, though, with the Chinese Communist Party, whose members are torturing dissidents and religious martyrs as we speak and whose  COVID cover-up cost countless lives.  Those same players have an axe to grind with the United States.  They will gladly tell you why if you're listening.  I'm not.

Popular music marches in lockstep with the left.  Did you catch the Grammys?  Carefully staged video portrayed police as murderers, contrary to known facts.  I can live without rappers anointing themselves judge and jury as easily as I can live without Cardi B, or whoever replaces her next year.  Country music isn't my cup of tea, so there's no refuge for me there, but even silence is better than abuse.

Not a movie released by Hollywood misses the chance to lecture its audience on liberal politics, in ways obvious and subtle.  Television is a smaller version of the same.  Johnny Carson and Jay Leno found ways to entertain the whole country for five decades; today's late-night hosts battle for the viewership of half the nation by mocking the other half.

It wasn't always this way.  Michael Jordan contributed to Democrat party candidates but chose not to campaign for them.  "Republicans buy sneakers, too," he famously quipped.  I don't believe he was motivated by greed.  Jordan enjoyed being everybody's hero as much as we enjoyed his heroics.  Why alienate every other fan?   

The Grateful Dead, whose music emerged from 1960s San Francisco, were archetypal hippies.  They backed causes they cared about but never preached.  Founder Jerry Garcia told a reporter, "We're just Americans, basically.  We believe in freedom.  Incredible amounts of freedom."  Joe Russo, leader of a Dead spinoff band, recently declared he'd rather not have conservatives at his concerts.  Things have changed.

Leftist rot is seeping into unlikely crevices.  Real Simple magazine, a glossy monthly that advises us on organizing closets, devoted its April "Family" segment to "The Conversation Everyone Should Have" about climate change, with the 15% of American "deniers" in readers' own families.  It offered helpful strategies for badgering uncles who think it's a hoax, brothers who drive gas-guzzlers, or "your impressionable kids."  The tidying-up experts advocated starting immediately.  Their magazine won't be cluttering my closets.

The April edition of Bon Appétit, a respected periodical for serious home cooks, focuses on the 1970s, a time of changing views on food.  Editors couldn't resist lauding free breakfast programs run by the Black Panthers.  A writer interviews Ericka Huggins, instrumental in the effort to feed kids whose parents didn't.  Huggins was also caught on tape in 1969 assisting with the kidnapping, torture, and murder of a Panther rival.  "Trumped-up charges," we're told.  Huggins served time for other offenses.  She is now a university professor.  The Panthers are thugs, murderers, and Marxists, who approached legitimate issues in violent and destructive ways.  I'm not tempted to use Bon Appétit as a history text; nonetheless, it insults our intelligence and marginalizes its readers when it prints leftist propaganda.  Why would we endure it?  

The attack in progress from the left is far more than personal.  It's a Marxist assault on our values — an unrelenting campaign to delegitimize and stigmatize any departure from the party view.  The tactic is recognizable in China and other communist nations.  If it proceeds according to their example, "social credit" and prison sentences will follow.  To date, it's been limited to economic extortion, ostracism, and job loss, but make no mistake: there's a war on.  Wars often begin with a blockade.  A blockade cuts both ways.

Victory may depend on what we can live without.  I can live without the abuse and whoever delivers it.

Image: Tom Hilton via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

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