During Barack Obama’s first term, 2009-2013, I fell for the left’s propaganda. Peace and love. Fellowship around the world: all colors, creeds, ages, religions, sexual orientations, etc. Free health care. Free college tuition for my daughter.
I lived in an extraordinarily liberal test tube, a town whose sole reason for existing is to serve a land-grant university. Gainesville, Florida, due to its relentlessly boutique city commission, is also a “sanctuary city.” Its newspaper, Gainesville Sun, employs a censor to “moderate commentary.” (Richard Anguiano, who lived in Ocala, “warned me” on numerous occasions.)
I even attended Obama’s church, though not often, and allowed ministers and friends in the congregation to give my faith a sociopolitical twist. Black magic markers obscured “In God We Trust” on money; Muslims to deliver sermons; they belittled our Judeo-Christian roots.
I agreed that we should consider limiting Freedom of Speech and Press. After all, there were words that hurt, that we couldn’t repeat; stories that couldn’t be written; movies whose plot-lines required one member from every ethnic group and every sexual orientation — so as not to offend someone, not to hurt someone’s feelings.
I was open to discussing the removal of a statue commemorating Confederate dead from the courthouse lawn. Did it symbolize slavery, Jim Crow? Perhaps it symbolized small-government rebellion, stubbornness and old-fashioned meanness to the town’s pacifists and appeasers.
I imagined we could find common ground on the Second Amendment. Maybe I could hand over my handgun, but keep my shotgun. My friends could feel safe if we discovered the right combination. Maybe there were loopholes in law and licensing, and maybe tests would keep guns away from unstable individuals. Everyone would be happy. I could hunt with a bow and shoot clays and my leftist friends could focus on slavery in North Korea or child labor in India or the cruel treatment of women in Pakistan.
After all, I was professionally trained as a cultural anthropologist and no one is more convinced that the U.S. is the origin of evil than a graduate student returning from some God-forsaken village overseas, having spent a year as a “participant observer.” Few anthropologists view their own society, their own tiny self objectively, in historical context — in other words, with the same scale they judge the foreign (often primitive) societies in which they are immersed.
In short, I was willing to discuss anything: listen to arguments for a country without borders, for example. Drowning in leftist ideology, I came to believe there were accommodations that Constitutionalists and Conservatives should make. Compromises. And our troubles would go away if only we could dialogue with an open heart and mind.
It was all a set-up.
During Barack Obama’s second term, 2013-2017, I began to realize the game was rigged. “Discussing,” having “dialogue,” is nonsense. America’s left has absolutely no interest in listening or compromise. They are “true believers” and only they know what is right. Accept their point of view or they turn to intimidation and violence … and blame you for causing it.
Guns? They want yours and mine so that only police and military have guns. Free Speech? A child asks for a “brownie” at a New Jersey elementary school and armed police escort him out — interview the parents — call Child Protection and Permanency. Put a Confederate flag bumper sticker on your truck and see how long it takes to be vandalized. Free Press? Every day the media proves it cannot be objective. This is the essence of a Fascist state … and it’s coming to a Town Hall Meeting near you.
I was wrong. We can’t argue family values; American ideals; firearms in our free society; a powerful United States and a stable, if not always peaceful, world with people who have no sincere interest in our views. I believe Shakespeare was right when he penned these words for Henry V: “He who hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart … We would not die in that man’s company that fears his fellowship to die with us.”
I was wrong then, but I’m not wrong now. Don’t be wrong.
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