02.25.2014 2

The Bullying of America

By Rick Manning

Charles Krauthammer would seem immune from professional bullying.  An accomplished columnist and television political analyst, Krauthammer is well known for taking well thought out conservative positions and defending them elegantly.

That is until Krauthammer committed the cardinal sin of saying that he was unsure of whether global warming existed.  Of course, he also said that he was unsure that it didn’t exist, but it was this uncertainty about the environmental doctrine that caused a purported 110,000 people to sign a petition condemning Krauthammer and demanding that the Washington Post not print his column.

Phil Robertson is a character on Duck Dynasty, the most watched cable show in history.  As virtually everyone knows, he told a reporter that he believed in the traditional Judeo-Christian view on marriage, and after complaints his cable network A&E suspended him for this benign opinion.

In Hollywood, the star always wins and Robertson was reinstated, but the message was sent to others.  Follow the liberal orthodoxy or put your career in jeopardy.

Mark Stevens owns a New York public relations firm which advertised on local New York City radio – a buy which included the Rush Limbaugh program.  After Limbaugh made intemperate remarks that riled the left, Stevens’ small staff suffered through thousands of hate phone calls demanding that he stop advertising on Rush.

Stevens called the attacks “internal American terrorism” and told the callers to pound sand.  He continued to advertise on Rush, but who knows how many advertisers ended their commercial buys on the EIB network due to this orchestrated intimidation attempt?

If the left can unabashedly and effectively go after one of the most respected conservative columnists in America, the star of the highest rated cable show in history, and the advertisers of the king of talk radio then what chance does someone without that kind of high profile have?

These are just three examples of a growing trend in American political discourse, instant response bullying designed to force people to conform to liberal orthodoxy.

Coca Cola and Pepsi Corporation both donate to a number of entities across the political spectrum to promote their corporate interests.  Recently, the left successfully swarmed them and others with a campaign designed to get them to drop their donations to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group comprised of conservative state legislators and private partners that promotes cross state information sharing of model legislation on issues confronting the nation.

The offending issue was the promotion of voter identification laws that prevent voter fraud.

To be clear, it is people’s right to express their opinions at the cash register and let businesses know why they are making the decisions they are.

Veterans and other conservatives have made a point of not purchasing movie tickets for movies starring Jane Fonda due to her traitorous actions in Hanoi during the Vietnam War.  But those same veterans don’t harass movie goers at local theaters and the theater management itself over showing Jane Fonda movies.

The difference in today’s domestic economic boycott is that the left has escalated their efforts using an extremely sophisticated instant communication system designed to mobilize people to be offended almost instantaneously, and now they are looking for targets to use it on.

And that is why they are determined to use every government agency at their disposal to disclose corporate contributions to groups that engage in limited political advocacy.  To unleash this intimidation tool on generally apolitical corporate givers who are merely trying to protect their interests against an ever increasing government onslaught of constricting laws and regulations.

Rather than complain about this fact, those who are for limited government need to up their game to provide a counterweight by purchasing products of those companies under attack and letting those companies know that they appreciate their support.

So, the next time you hear about a company that comes under attack from the left, go out and support them by purchasing their product.  And when you discover that the now deceased founder of a company like Progressive Insurance is neck deep in the far left movement, feel free to find an insurance alternative and let Flo know why you made this economic choice.

Using your own personal power of the pocket book is smart and effective.  In this rare instance, conservatives need to learn from the successes of the left rather than simply shake their collective heads and wonder what the world is coming to.

After all, the one thing a bully understands is when their intended victim punches them back.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government

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