Photo credit: Jennifer Moo via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Totalitarian Left Begins Its Crackdown on Thoughtcrimes


Photo credit: Jennifer Moo via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Photo credit: Jennifer Moo via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Yesterday here at The Pulse 2016, Jane Robbins noted a frightening implication from a federal judge’s recent decision to strike down a Mississippi religious liberty law. It is no longer enough for the left that same-sex couples receive equal treatment under the law when it comes to marriage; they must also receive full approval from every government employee:

. . . It is not enough that a clerk accommodate a same-sex couple’s demand for a marriage license by asking someone else in the office to issue it; rather, her labor must be dragooned — unnecessarily — in service of a result she finds morally objectionable.

There is something sinister about this. It reeks of Soviet-style tyranny, employed to alter the citizen’s thinking — to sanction no private space in which he or she is allowed to dissent from the State-sponsored orthodoxy. The judge and his ideological comrades are determined to control not only how every person acts, but ultimately, how every person thinks. Disagreement can mean unemployment. Perhaps, someday, it will mean something worse than that.

Lest the reader think this is something new or unprecedented, however, take a look at this story in Politico about potential Hillary Clinton VP pick, Sen. Tim Kaine. Politico points out that some progressives are not thrilled by the prospect of Kaine’s selection, including pro-abortion activists. But pay close attention to their reasoning:

If you’ve only been loosely following Kaine’s career, this reaction from the left might seem a surprise. In the Senate, Kaine tallied a respectable 90 percent score in the liberal Americans for Democratic Action rating of 2014 Senate votes. He once was thought to be too liberal to win a statewide race in Virginia. So why is he being treated like the second coming of Joe Lieberman, long despised in progressive circles as a conservative “Democrat In Name Only.”

Partly it’s the way he navigates tricky subjects. On abortion, he carries a perfect score from Planned Parenthood regarding his Senate votes—but Kaine is also a devout Catholic who says, as he did on Meet the Press last Sunday, “I don’t like it personally. I’m opposed to abortion.”…

…When The Hill newspaper tried to get Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List— abortion rights groups that endorsed Clinton—to comment on Kaine’s VP prospects, all clammed up. But Ally Boguhn, political and campaigns editor at the reproductive health news site Rewire, conveyed to Politico Magazine the hesitation found in abortion rights circles: “other Clinton VP options are more roundly pro-choice and seem to align better with a campaign platform hoping to appeal to reproductive rights advocates and supporters.”

Tim Kaine’s voting record is about as pro-abortion as they come, so much so that he carries a perfect score from Planned Parenthood. Nevertheless, abortion supporters are still unsettled by him. Why? It is fair to assume this is because of his stated personal views regarding abortion — views which, by the way, clearly have not influenced his actions. But it is enough for the left that he may think the wrong way to justify opposition to his vice-presidential candidacy.

There are, of course, many other examples of this sort of reasoning. Consider the case of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was berated in an interview by CNN’s Anderson Cooper after the Orlando attack for not tweeting support for Gay Pride Month, despite the fact this had almost nothing to do with the efficacy of her efforts to assist the attack’s victims and their families.

Or consider the case of Wyoming Municipal Judge Ruth Neely, who was threatened earlier this year by the Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics with being fired from her job and fined $40,000 for simply stating to a reporter that she could not in good conscience perform same-sex weddings, never mind that she had no authority to solemnize weddings in her role as a judge:

This was sufficient for the agency to claim that she had “manifested a bias” and to issue her an ultimatum saying that they would forego prosecution only if she agreed to “resign both of her judicial positions, never again seek judicial office in Wyoming, admit wrongdoing, and allow the Commission to publicly state that she had decided to resign in response to a charge of judicial misconduct.” This despite the fact that no one has ever asked Judge Neely to officiate a gay wedding in the first place. This despite the fact that the Wyoming Constitution explicitly states that no one can be found incompetent to hold public office “because of his opinion on any matter of religious belief whatsoever.” And this despite the fact that in her role as a municipal judge she has no authority to solemnize weddings, and that as a part-time magistrate she is under no legal obligation to perform any marriages at all, a fact which the state agency admits. Other magistrates can and do decline such requests because, for example, they only want to perform marriages for friends and family, or they would rather go fishing, or they simply “don’t feel like it.”

Or consider the case of former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired from his job last year after a controversy erupted over Cochran’s espousal of traditional Christian teaching against homosexual acts in a book he self-published a few years earlier — never mind the fact that an internal investigation found there had been no complaints of discrimination during Cochran’s tenure.

There is clearly a trend here, and a comment from Atlanta City Council Member Alex Wan on the Cochran controversy reveals the full totalitarian extent of the left’s ambitions: “I respect each individual’s right to have their own thoughts, beliefs and opinions, but when you’re a city employee, and those thoughts, beliefs and opinions are different from the city’s, you have to check them at the door.”

For progressives, in order to work in government, one must fully agree with their beliefs — or at least act as if one does — or else one is unfit for public service. Welcome to 21st-century America.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for

Paul Dupont

Paul Dupont is editor of

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