“No, You Can’t Disagree”

There is a growing trend among some, although not limited to but seemingly more prevalent among more liberal activists and groups, where you are not allowed to disagree with someone’s political beliefs or you will be threatened. 

The Georgia legislature recently passed an abortion bill that some in Hollywood (California, not Georgia) don’t like.

A petition started by Alyssa Milano, and signed by several celebrities, including Amy Schumer, Alec Baldwin and Rosie O’Donnell urges a boycott of Georgia—the whole state. Milano wrote that if the bill passed, “we cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia.” (Or course, this is sort of routine for Baldwin, who said during the last several elections that he would move out of the country if his candidate didn’t win. Obviously, he has yet to fulfill his threat/promise).

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) wrote in a letter shared on Twitter that they “urge Gov. Kemp to veto the bill.”

So, these groups can’t accept that someone may disagree with them. They refuse to accept that a state can make its own laws, with which they may or may not agree. They think that people that disagree with them should be punished.

 

Though it’s one thing when people or private groups threaten boycotts. One can easily argue that people can do what they want, even if it’s threatening someone just for disagreeing on a political issue. But it’s quite another thing when the government does it.

The San Antonio City Council recently voted against an application by Chick Fil-A to operate a restaurant in the San Antonio airport because it didn’t like the owner’s religious beliefs, which includes a traditional view of marriage. Chick Fil-A, which is widely known for its community involvement and charitable work in the communities where it does business. Yet because the City Council doesn’t like the religious beliefs of the owners, it refuses to let them do business. Isn’t that the definition of religious discrimination?  (on a related note, the Texas Attorney General has asked the Federal Dept. of Justice to investigate just that-if the City Council discriminated based on religion)

But the bigger question all around Is if that is really how we want our society to operate? Should we carry around a political checklist and then make decisions on who we will do business with or where we will buy from based on if they agree with us or not? During the holidays, I often go to Starbucks for the pumpkin spice coffee. Should we consider the decidedly liberal politics of the owner in Seattle before we make the trip to the local barista? Or should conservatives not consider insurance from Progressive, run by George Soros, the radical leftist who has thrown millions into the last few election cycles and who funds several far-left activist groups like MoveOn.org? Or your neighbor who has a small business but disagrees with you on….well, we could go on and on. Is that what we want in our society?

Thinking Man submits that such behavior is part of what has led to the incivility in politics and in the country. More and more of us hate and vilify people who don’t agree with us and tend to associate only with those who think like we do. And we don’t separate the political from the person. And that’s a shame.

 

At a recent forum at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Karl Rove, former adviser to President Bush, and David Axelrod, former adviser to President Obama, appeared together and spoke about elections and politics. The below excerpts of that discussion is worth repeating:

Rove: “We’re getting into a habit where people think their political opponents are their enemies … but (1858 U.S. Senate candidates Abraham) Lincoln and  (Stephen A.) Douglas were able to talk in the same room.”

Axelrod: “We cannot have a functioning democracy if we’re not willing to talk with each other. … When you know who people are, it’s harder to hate them. We are not combatants, we are human beings — fellow human beings who have shared experiences.”

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