Without Freedom, Being Unpopular Is Dangerous

While political power expands, it becomes unsafe to have unpopular ideas about homosexual marriage or many other things.

Kevin Williams wrote a brilliant and sobering essay at the National Review: “War on the Private Mind.”

Adlai Stevenson famously offered this definition: “A free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.” We do not live in that society.

Barack Obama can run for office as an anti-gay-marriage candidate — which he did, more than once — and that is a ho-hum business, because nobody believed him to be sincere. Brendan Eich was driven out of the company he helped found for holding a substantially identical view sincerely — and that sincerity is an unforgivable sin in a society in thrall to the teapot-totalitarian temptation. When there is no private property — the great legal fiction of “public accommodation” saw to its effective abolition — then everything is subject to brute-force politics, and there can be no live-and-let-live ethic, which is why a nation facing financial ruination and the emergence of a bloodthirsty Islamic caliphate is suffering paroxysms over the question of whether we can clap confectioners into prison for declining to bake a cake for a wedding in which there is no bride.

The people who have hijacked the name “liberal” — the étatists — always win when social questions are decided by the state rather than in private life, because the expansion of the state, and the consequent diminution of private life, is their principal objective. The self-styled progressive sets himself in rhetorical opposition to Big Business, but the corporate manager often suffers from the same fatal conceit as the economic étatist — an unthinking, inhumane preference for uniformity, consistency, regimentation, and conformity. It is no surprise to see Apple and Walmart joining forces here against the private mind. There is a reason that the atmosphere and protocols of the corporate human-resources office are a great deal like those of the junior-high vice-principal’s office: All reeducation facilities have a little something in common.

We are stepping over the threshold into totalitarianism, and if we don’t turn back soon, the door will close and lock behind us. Then, we will all be subject to the whims of whatever Caesar-wannabe sits on the throne of civil power.

[See also, “Tim Cook Attacks ‘Discrimination’; Mozilla CEO Unmentioned.”]

Think of the person whose views you fear most in American culture. If your blood runs cold to think of them in the Oval Office, then you admit we have allowed too much power to flow into the grip of the Presidency. The Constitution was written to protect us from this, but we have lazily allowed this slide to occur on our watch, simply because we’ve liked what the current Caesar is doing.

Yes, this is in context with the whole Indiana and Arkansas religious freedom fiasco here. When liberty wanes, politics becomes everything. You don’t want to live there.