Notes in the Margin
A free press may in fact be dead, but for now, the first amendment still lives and breathes out here on the internet.
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Last week, Miss California, Carrie Prejean dared give voice to her true opinion about gay marriage, and she probably lost the Miss U.S.A. crown because of it. In an interview with Sean Hannity following the incident, Miss Prejean talked about the struggle with her conscience while the clock was ticking on live T.V. She weighed the consequences of airing her true beliefs against compromising her principals and decided to keep her integrity intact.
Perez Hilton immediately engaged in a vile all out smear campaign against Miss Prejean on his popular Hollywood Gossip website. It is important to note here that Hilton did not in turn offer any valid arguments for gay marriage, nor did he counter Miss Prejean’s statement in any meaningful way. Instead his rebuttal consisted entirely of a very public, vicious and immature assassination of her character.
In addition to the abhorrent treatment Miss Prejean was subjected to at the hands of the insufferable Perez Hilton, commentators in both print and broadcast media reacted only marginally better. They soundly ridiculed Prejean for giving an impolitic and ill-advised answer; the kindest amongst them called her unwise, and it went quickly downhill from there.
To sum up the consensus of opinion on the matter: Prejean should have just given the pat, politically correct answer and went on to collect her crown, because she knew that giving the answer in which she really believed would cost her the title, therefore she has no one to blame but herself for her predicament.
In other words, she should have lied about her principals to advance her career. She should have told the world what the left wants to hear and wants us all to believe.
That way, the left can continue to advance their agenda of stamping out any dissenting opinion.
What’s amazing is that it didn’t work. Perhaps it was to the “over-the-topness” of Hilton’s reaction, or perhaps the American public is finally waking up, but for whatever reason, the verdict on Miss Prejean is effectively a hung jury. And that’s not how it was supposed to turn out.
Miss Prejean was supposed to end up completely marginalized, existing only as an object of ridicule and an example of the ugly narrow-mindedness and intolerance of the American right.
Hilton had no reason to believe that his antics in response to Miss Prejean’s voicing the opinion of the American majority would result in anything other than applause and converts to his cause. Because that’s how it’s been working very effectively for the left in the last few years.
Because up until now, the internalized message of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” have been very effective for the left indeed.
When you disagree with the radical liberal agenda being advanced these days, the left will use Alinsky’s tactics to either silence, marginalize or intimidate you into submission.
Consider the left’s rather hysterical reaction to Sarah Palin. She was at turns painted as a Christian fundamentalist kook, a right wing extremist, a hypocrite, and a dumb broad. It was like a million Perez Hiltons attacking Miss Alaska. This attractive, capable woman who has many impressive accomplishments and talents to her credit was so reviled by the left that she has effectively been reduced to a caricature of herself. Most average folks don’t know the difference between what Sarah Palin has actually said and what Tina Fey impersonating Sarah Palin has said. And they don’t care, because for all intents and purposes, the caricature is the woman; to say otherwise is to risk bringing that ridicule on oneself.
Another attractive capable woman in politics, Michelle Bachman, has come under similar fire on the left for espousing conservative principal in public. Notre Dame Alumni and supporters who are upset about a Catholic institution awarding an honorary degree on the most pro-abortion president in history have been classified as haters. Miley Cyrus has been declared a crazy Christian for proclaiming that her new boyfriend brings her closer to God. She’d be a lot more normal if she’d just shoot some heroin, already.
The recent Tea Party attendees are labeled as right wing extremists, racists and stupid to boot. The reason CNN and MSNBC anchors ridiculed the Tea Parties during a supposedly otherwise straight newscast (I know; when was the last time any of us saw one of those?) was to make people think twice about participating. The reason Janeane Garofalo called those protestors “racists” whose only beef was that a “black man was in the White House” was to prevent people from joining in. Who consciously wants to be associated with racist activity? To liberals like Garofalo, the only thing missing from the Tea Party demonstrations were the white hoods.
For those that aren’t buying the “racist” characterization there’s the story that the Tea Parties are yet another vast right wing conspiracy brought to you by the very people who caused the economic collapse and promoted by none other than the right wing extremist network, Fox News. I guess the liberals pushing that one forgot that it was CNBC’s Rick Santelli, in an impromptu revolt on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange who birthed the idea of the tea parties. Yhey hope that everyone else forgot, too.
The list goes on and on: publicly espouse a conservative point of view, prepare to be marginalized with a characterization as either a.) Crazy, b.) Racist, c.) Hater, d.) Extremist or e.) Any combination of a, b, c, and /or d.
And here’s the best part of it all: Remember how just a short time ago dissent was the highest form of patriotism one could aspire to? Remember the left’s martyrs to free speech? People like Natalie Maines and Cindy Sheehan who got hours of broadcast and miles of print discussing how their first amendment rights had been violated?
The left’s intolerance of a dissenting opinion in the Age of Obama is not even called intolerance, nor is it recognized as an infringement on the first amendment. No, the left’s intolerance of freedom of speech is in fact classified as being “open minded.” When you proclaim yourself open minded and tolerant, it’s not only ok, but encouraged to be intolerant of anyone you label as closed minded.
Most folks just want to live their lives. They don’t want to think about politics lest it interrupt American Idol or Gossip Girl. They don’t want to be called upon to make a stand, the ramifications of which could result in the assassination of their character. If marginalization doesn’t do the job, those who still have the guts to effectively speak up after this can conveniently be silenced by Janet Napolitano’s new guidelines for identifying right wing extremist terrorist threats.
You must conform to the left. Conform or be ridiculed. Conform or be smeared. Conform or be shunned.
If dissent is marginalized enough, soon that is the only place where dissent will live.