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The Withering Away of Rights on the Left

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My experiences recently on Facebook and Daily Kos have quite sharply demonstrated that the political correctness idea has morphed into a lynch mob mentality within progressive culture. For decades now, conservatives have decried PC alarms sounding from the left as infringements on free speech, press, and expression. One hears less and less about this, primarily because political correctness largely won the war.

The seriously inappropriate jibes and labels used in the past are not accepted any longer. Just look at how the GOP has danced around the reasoning for its visceral and repulsive hatred for Barack Obama. The GOP members of Congress literally never gave him a chance. Seven plus years on, they continue to demand that they will dictate how things work in Washington and that nothing the President submits for action will be even looked at unless the starting point is Obama's position is wrong. No other president in history has faced this kind of animus. The fact that there is absolutely no justification offered for it demonstrates that the only possible reason is the shade of his skin.

We can't accuse the GOP of being racist no matter how obvious it is from Donald Trump's strategy, because no one in government is supposed to be racist any longer. If we do, that generates an overwhelming discussion regarding what racism is. The All Lives Matter crowd demonstrated that many people, if not most, still do not understand that Black Lives Matter means treating people equally, not treating one group specially. They do not get that being black is, in the eyes of far too many police officers, store owners, and neighbors, criminal behavior.

PC hardly came up in All Lives Matter discussions. Almost no one was disagreeing that everyone is equal under the law. What was not understood was the enforcement or application of equal under the law is not uniform across skin colors. Donald Trump's attractiveness stems from bringing back the politically incorrect terminology that was no longer acceptable but everyone still knows. He has hit the sweet spot of still-vigorous bigotry no politician dared to aim for.

Now, the more serious problem is that progressives have absorbed the same agree-with-me-or-leave attitude that was adopted years ago within the GOP. The GOP has been cleansed of moderates and anyone who will not kowtow to certain sacred cows likes prohibiting abortion, refusing to raise taxes on anyone, opposing marriage equality, and saber-rattling directed at Muslims and "illegals." Majorities of those supporting either of the two remaining candidates for the Democratic nomination will not stand for even the smallest, most constructive criticism of their fearless leaders. Everyone is expected to only offer enthusiastic praise and fight off anyone who dares to question anything said or done by the candidates.

Along with Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are leading nothing less than core cult-like, demagogic movements surrounded by varying thicknesses of rational, easy going supporters who are learning not to do anything to antagonize the hysterical followers seated closer in. Anyone who does walk into the sanctum of reverence and speaks must say only positive things or bash opponents. Those who don't are trolls, Shillbots, or whatever silly label the offended are using. Those who don't must be expelled, blocked, after being harassed and insulted.

This savage response by unquestioning supporters contradicts so many civil liberties one wonders what kind of leftist dictatorship these thugs think they are promoting. No transgressor receives a hearing. No miscreant is allowed access to his accusers. No sinner learns what sin she committed. Stop and notice that they are acting identically to some of Trump's supporters and no one can run fast enough to outstrip their venomous spittle. Seriously, where else is dissent of any sort so ferociously condemned and exiled?

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It is bad enough that Bernie Sanders' campaign has not adopted any of the methods or technologies available to promptly and cheaply respond individually to inquiries, suggestions, or even job applications. It is hypocritical enough that Bernie Sander's campaign follows the exact same playbook as every other candidate when it comes to begging for money at every single turn rather than trusting his supporters to donate and instead give them informative messages and guidance on how to promote his candidacy face-to-face. It is suicidal for Bernie Sander's campaign to ask supporters to be civil from podiums but ignore what supporters do in social media and news sites because those are "not connected to the campaign."

Every day the number of people antagonized by the purist Berners grows. Every day the number of people available to become allies to help enact Bernie's policies drops. Belittling, angering, insulting comments are tossed like cherry bombs indiscriminately by people who have no idea what will be required once Bernie is elected. They are chasing away people who will be needed and making a mess of the field where the battle will be played out. So long as Bernie Sanders and his campaign do nothing to stop these assaults, any hope he has of achieving his political revolution become dimmer.

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Bear Kosik is a political scientist by training. His Remaking Democracy in America was published in the fall of 2018 by Stairway Press. Well-received science fiction novels (two under Hugh Dudley) are available on Amazon. Several screenplays (more...)

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