Krauthammer on the Thought Police

NRO has this piece, which is spot on:

Thought Police on Patrol
No longer trying to win the debate, the Left is trying to stop debate altogether.
By Charles Krauthammer

Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to the Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.

The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the Left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.

The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced. [Yep.]

Sometimes the word comes from on high, as when the president of the United States declares the science of global warming to be “settled.” Anyone who disagrees is then branded “anti-science.” And better still, a “denier” — a brilliantly chosen calumny meant to impute to the climate skeptic the opprobrium normally reserved for the hatemongers and crackpots who deny the Holocaust.

Then last week, another outbreak. The newest closing of the leftist mind is on gay marriage. Just as the science of global warming is settled, so, it seems, are the moral and philosophical merits of gay marriage.

To oppose it is nothing but bigotry, akin to racism. Opponents are to be similarly marginalized and shunned, destroyed personally and professionally.

Like the CEO of Mozilla who resigned under pressure just ten days into his job when it was disclosed that six years earlier he had donated to California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

But why stop with Brendan Eich, the victim of this high-tech lynching? Prop 8 passed by half a million votes. Six million Californians joined Eich in the crime of “privileging” traditional marriage. So did Barack Obama. In that same year, he declared that his Christian beliefs made him oppose gay marriage.

Yet under the new dispensation, this is outright bigotry. By that logic, the man whom the Left so ecstatically carried to the White House in 2008 was equally a bigot.

The whole thing is so stupid as to be unworthy of exegesis. There is no logic. What’s at play is sheer ideological prejudice — and the enforcement of the new totalitarian norm that declares, unilaterally, certain issues to be closed.

To this magic circle of forced conformity, the Left would like to add certain other policies, resistance to which is deemed a “war on women.” It’s a colorful synonym for sexism. Leveling the charge is a crude way to cut off debate.

Thus, to oppose late-term abortion is to make war on women’s “reproductive health.” Similarly, to question Obamacare’s mandate of free contraception for all.

Some oppose the regulation because of its impingement on the free exercise of religion. Others on the simpler (non-theological) grounds of a skewed hierarchy of values. Under the new law, everything is covered, but a few choice things are given away free. To what does contraception owe its exalted status? Why should it rank above, say, antibiotics for a sick child, for which that same mother must co-pay?

Say that, however, and you are accused of denying women “access to contraception.”

[…]

Read the rest there.

This is how the Left operates, within the Church as well. I have never seen such narrow-minded despotism as that manifested by liberals: priests, religious, prelates in positions of authority. Just challenge them and see what happens.

I hope the Olympian Middle will not drift into their tactics.  I am not sanguine.

Where is this going? Krauthammer’s evocation of 1984ish “thought police” is probably where this is going.

I refer you also to the final book of Michael O’Brien’s Children of the Last Days” trilogy, Eclipse of the Sun.

 

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liberals, Religious Liberty, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Olympian Middle and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Krauthammer on the Thought Police

  1. HyacinthClare says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Children of the Last Days, but I kept thinking how the internet and the instant communication available today would make the imposition of the tyranny infinitely more difficult than O’Brien anticipated. And then I see the way people collapse before the thought police and I think, “Well, maybe not.” Most of us are not ready to be heroes; but SOME of us MUST be or the dark will certainly descend on us all. May God have mercy and kick us hard!

  2. DisturbedMary says:

    Ah yes. Case closed on any discussion of illegal immigration in our Church as well. No opinions welcome even while O’Malley and Company stage political theater at the border using the Mass for photo ops.

  3. Priam1184 says:

    The Thought Police are already here and have been for quite some time Father. They make their home and their base of operations in the legions of malformed consciences that exist in our world. As to being anti-science: given the current state of what we call science and the ends it seeks to achieve we should all wear the moniker “anti-science” with pride.

  4. Mike says:

    Science tells me that a distinct human life begins at conception and that oral contraceptives are carcinogenic. Who’s opposed to science?

  5. robtbrown says:

    These people usually don’t need the law changed to suppress thought. They rely on accusations, back stabbing, and social pressure. The irony is that these same tactics have been used by liberals in the Church to suppress Latin liturgy and promote women’s ordination and concelebration.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    Krauthammer is spot on.

  7. Sonshine135 says:

    Isn’t it interesting how this article coincides so beautifully with today’s Gospel reading? The Jews were ready to stone Jesus, because they had closed their minds to the scripture and to what Jesus’ true nature was. Aren’t we part of the many that went with Jesus to the Jordan? “Progress” has yielded minds that are no more opened than they were 2,000 years ago. It is the exact same sins rooted in human pride and arrogance.

  8. wmeyer says:

    When discussion and investigation are prohibited, it’s nothing to do with science.

  9. OrthodoxChick says:

    How times have changed. When I was in my rebellious teens and 20’s (during the Reagan/Bush 41 years) the leftist religious sisters and college professors were promoting the popular bumper sticker mantra “Question Authority”. Now that they’re running the show, suddenly, conformity is king. Fancy that.

  10. SKAY says:

    “When discussion and investigation are prohibited, it’s nothing to do with science.”
    Great point wmeyer.

  11. Justalurkingfool says:

    Thugs are thugs are thugs.

  12. Angie Mcs says:

    Krauthammer is so often a light in the darkness, speaking up on things that need to be said. He is very concerned for this country and where it is headed and rightly so. When I watched this segment, I also watched another one of his commentaries on Benghazi. I am still astounded that that story never caused massive outrage, especially those infamous words “What difference does it make”? Instead, we can already see how the media is preparing and shaping Hillary for 2016, and trying to separate her from this horrible tragedy. Yes, I am going off topic but how can this have happened in the first place and been brushed aside by the media? In a country where people have become so numb to events and accepting of whatever garbage they are being fed, it is no wonder that the Thought Police are going forward in so many ways? 110,000 signatures to shut down any rights to opposing thoughts on an issue, yet no great concern about what happened in Libya that night? It is truly scary. We have been counting the days left in this administration, yet what may come next may be even worse.

  13. NoTambourines says:

    Krauthammer makes the same point that I’ve found bothersome: “To what does contraception owe its exalted status?” I’m a woman, I’ve never used it, and I won’t use it. Why can’t I at least commute my contraception freebie to something that’s actually medically necessary? Or at least a free roll of Smarties? They kind of look like pills.

  14. iepuras says:

    My spouse grew up behind the Iron Curtain. Since we married, I have rarely used social media or communicated anything really important electronically, including by phone. Everything happening in this country is eerily familiar to him.

  15. tskrobola says:

    Krauthammer is one of those indispensible folks — a man of moderation, a non-ideologue who appreciates the necessity of traditional family/culture in making the world tick.

    I saw him go toe-to-toe with the dreadful Jon Stewart and CK did a great job of keeping Stewart off-balance with self-depreciation and wit, and without falling into the right-wing shibboleths and talking points that are cannon fodder for smart but crooked lefties like Stewart.

    Some of the best friends of the conservative movement are people who don’t share our Catholic faith but who through intelligence and humility largely embrace God’s values, or at least recognize our good will and want to give us space to exercise our faith and promote our values in the public square.

    We will need more and more of these kinds of friends in the coming age. Religion was once feared as a cultural force, then respected, then tolerated, and now is getting rocked by the totalitarian leftists who command so much power and attention in the Western world now.