2012-2016: The Mask Falls
I ended the previous post with the following observation.
The stunning rapidity of success in achieving gay marriage combined with the apparent ascendency of a permanent Progressive national majority under Barack Obama had profound consequences for the Progressive Left, those being that they:
- Concluded U.S. public opinion was under their control, enabling them to do as they pleased
- Assumed Hillary Clinton was assured to be elected President, ushering in eight more years of a weaponized Federal Government assaulting all in resistance
- No longer needed to hide their true beliefs.
These beliefs led to actions by many gay marriage supporters that appalled a large segment of the nation’s citizenry.
As is so often the case, the earliest signs that something was amiss occurred in California. Between 2000 and 2008 the state was roiled by numerous political controversies associated with gay marriage. In 2008 the California Marriage Protection Act received enough signatures to be placed on the November ballot. It passed with 52% of the vote, but ultimately is struck down by the courts.
While this could be the story of Judicial overreach (which it is), the issue relevant to this current discussion is the violence and intimidation tactics used by the gay marriage movement both during and after this exercise of legitimate political debate.
A good overview can be found in this Heritage Foundation paper.
Supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry. Arguments for same-sex marriage are based fundamentally on the idea that limiting marriage to the union of husband and wife is a form of bigotry, irrational prejudice, and even hatred against homosexual persons. As this ideology seeps into the culture more generally, individuals and institutions that support marriage as the union of husband and wife risk paying a price for that belief in many legal, social, economic, and cultural contexts.
These assaults culminated in the 2014 forced resignation of Mozilla CEO and co-founder, Brendan Eich. His resignation was forced due to the discovery that he had contributed $1,000 in support of Proposition 8.
Events such as these, occurring on the “Left Coast” likely didn’t appear relevant to most people living in the Midwest. However, that sense of security was about to change in a big way.
In 2012 the Chick-fil-A fast food company was attacked for, as described in Wikipedia (as of this post date):
The Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy was a controversial topic focused around the American fast food restaurantChick-fil-A following a series of public comments made in June 2012 by chief operating officerDan T. Cathy opposing same-sex marriage.
The gay rights movement, with the full support of numerous major city mayors, attempted to boycott and intimidate the company. However, unlike in California, this onslaught was met and repulsed by a groundswell of popular support.
One might have thought that this defeat would have given pause to the Progressive Left. However, with the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in support of gay marriage, they came roaring back with a vengeance.
In 2013 a lesbian couple asked Sweet Cakes bakery to provide a wedding cake for their marriage. The owners declined to participate in a gay wedding on religious grounds. Rather than just going to another bakery that didn’t have these issues, the couple filed a complaint with the State of Oregon that eventually led to the imposition of a $135,000 fine for “damages” to the couple in question. This vindictive response to the shop owner’s exercise of their deeply held religious beliefs shocked many people. They began to realize that there was no “live and let live” philosophy at work in the aftermath of the gay marriage victory. Rather, there was what looked to all intents and purposes like a “scorched earth” policy in which the religious freedom of Christians was being openly assaulted.
That concern rose to outrage with the Memories Pizza incident in 2015. This event occurred within the larger battle over Indiana’s Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Memories Pizza underwent a vile campaign of hatred and intimidation, carried out by radical progressive groups. The whole sorry affair was initiated when Crystal O’Connor, owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, IN was trusting enough of a reporter to share how she would live out her Christian beliefs in a hypothetical situation that she had never actually experienced. She said that while Memories Pizza would not refuse anyone service, they would refuse to cater a same-gender wedding.
The Progressive left’s outrage machine switched into high gear, generating a campaign of hatred and potential violence that caused the shop to close down. Although they were eventually able to reopen, this event, occurring as it did in the heart of the Midwest, was noted and considered by many citizens in surrounding states.
The events of 2012-2016 opened the eyes of many citizens who had previously not given much thought to, or even generally accepted the Progressive Left’s narrative that they were the kind, honest, wise people who were seeking everyone’s common good. In point of fact, the very public actions and statements of the Progressive Left showed them to be vindictive, cruel and dishonest. In particular, they showed a hatred for traditional Christianity that burned brightly enough to be noticed by even those who were not normally focused on things political.
The conclusion of many was that they had been lied to. While the “Ozzie and Harriet” label was certainly applicable to some specific gay couples, the media narrative was nothing other than a falsehood that hid the true nature of the Progressive Left.
Although Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 Presidential election for many reasons, who can doubt that a significant component of her Midwest debacle arose from voters in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania taking note of the Progressive Left’s vile hatred of and cruelty towards anyone who dared to say or act against their policies. Candidate Hillary Clinton only confirmed those concerns when she spoke of those ‘irredeemable’ ‘basket of deplorables’.
The falling of the Progressive Left’s mask might have been recoverable had they quickly realized the problem and firmly replaced it. However, so cataclysmic was their loss of the Presidency to Donald Trump that all rational thought disintegrated into reactions far more primal, and true to their actual character.
However, prior to this something truly extraordinary occurred with respect to the Progressive moral pyramid’s top position. This occurrence was just as revealing of character, but of far greater immediate danger to the nation.