In his column last week, Charles Krauthammer crossed a line. He declared the American Left totalitarian.
He is correct. Totalitarianism is written into the Left’s DNA. Krauthammer wrote about a left-wing petition “bearing more than 110,000 signatures delivered to the [Washington] Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming.”
I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the Left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition. The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian.
America is engaged in a civil war — thank God, a nonviolent one, but a civil war nonetheless. We are as divided now as we were during the Civil War. The issue then was slavery — a huge moral divide, of course. But today, the country is divided by opposite views on morality, politics, society, religion, the individual, and the very nature of America.
The Left seeks to, as candidate Barack Obama promised five days before his first election, “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” That is what the Left is doing. There is almost no area of American life in which the Left’s influence is not transformative, and ultimately destructive.
Beginning today, I will periodically devote the space of this column to exposing that transformation and destruction. This is necessary, I believe, because most Americans, including more than a few Republicans and more than a few Democrats, simply do not know what the Left is doing to their country.
So, here is some of what the Left has done in the last week or two.
The left-wing directors of Mozilla, the parent company of the browser Firefox, compelled their CEO, Brendan Eich, to resign after he refused to recant his support for maintaining the man-woman definition of marriage. Even though his gay employees acknowledged that he had treated them fairly individually and as couples, the mere fact that he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman rendered him unacceptable as an employee of Mozilla/Firefox. (For more details, see my column of last week, “Uninstall Firefox.”)
The Wall Street Journal condemned Mozilla. The New York Times has not taken a position.
Brandeis University rescinded its invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, perhaps the world’s foremost activist in behalf of women in the Islamic world. Hirsi Ali, an African woman born into a Muslim family and raised Muslim, now teaches at Harvard; she was scheduled to receive an honorary degree at the forthcoming Brandeis graduation ceremony. Brandeis rescinded its invitation after protests led by a Muslim student and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), an Islamist organization. Hirsi Ali’s detractors were outraged about comments she has made criticizing the appalling treatment of women in many parts of the Muslim world.
The Wall Street Journal condemned Brandeis. The New York Times has not taken a position.
The University of Michigan canceled a showing of the documentary Honor Diaries. The film features nine women who are Muslim or who come from a Muslim country. They speak about honor killings, female genital mutilation, forced marriages at young ages, and the denial of education to women in Muslim communities. They praise moderate Muslims. But the University of Michigan canceled the film lest a non-moderate Muslim organization, CAIR again, label the university “Islamophobic.”
Six weeks ago, a University of Wisconsin student released a video he had made of a guest lecturer in the freshman general-education course “Education 130: Individual and Society.” The lecturer, the political and organizing director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 150, delivered a diatribe, with obscenities, against conservatives, whites, and Republicans. Last week, when confronted with the evidence that classrooms at their university were being politicized, the faculty of the University of Wisconsin reacted with indignation — at the student who made the video. And then the faculty passed a resolution demanding that the university ban recording any of its classes.
It’s hard to blame the faculty. Given the intellectual shallowness and the left-wing politics that pervade so many liberal-arts classes, the University of Wisconsin faculty has every reason to fear how the public might respond if it knows what professors say in class.
Today is the cutoff date for public reactions to the proposal by the California Supreme Court’s ethics-advisory committee to forbid California judges from affiliating with the Boy Scouts, which the Left deems anti-gay. Given the Left’s animosity to traditional value-based institutions, it is not surprising that it loathes the Boy Scouts. What is remarkable — actually, frightening — is how easy it has been for the Left to make it illegal for a judge to be a leader in the Boy Scouts. This is the now case in 22 states. It will soon be the case in California as well.
This was just one week — and only selected examples — in the Left’s ongoing transformation of America.
— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.