Bill Murchison

"Lib-er-al adj. 1. a. Not limited to or by ... authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas ... b. tolerant of the ideas and behaviors of others; broadminded ... "

May I amend that definition from "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language"?

" ... c. except where necessary to show non-liberals their proper place. See 'Mozilla.' See also: 'Eich, Brenda, ex-Mozilla CEO."

A certain amount of satisfaction -- I'd hate to say pleasure -- accrues to non-liberals watching liberals fall all over themselves trying to explain why certain beliefs and convictions just can't be expressed in Today's Society. The reason (in Liberalspeak) that Mozilla forced out Brendan Eich, the inventor of JavaScript, last week is that no good liberal is going to put up with non-liberal thinking! Non-liberal thinking isn't thinking! It's bigotry!

Come to think of it, Eich probably should give thanks that Mozilla, besides canning him for once supporting a California campaign to affirm traditional marriage norms, didn't organize a tar-and-feather party in his honor.

Out he went anyway, as we all must have heard by now, to the disgust of the bedraggled few who believe what liberals used to pride themselves on believing; to wit, the right to speak your piece with relatively few societal constraints is a good thing rather than a crime against the social order.

But, then, I'm in the media. Many of us in the media share with John Milton, a liberal in his time, the odd idea that free speech bolsters rather than hinders civilization. I was once fond of assigning to my university's journalism students Milton's "Areopagitica" -- his attack on government licensing of the press. Discussion was a good thing, Milton contended. Tell what you think, let critics reply -- surely that was the ticket. "And though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting (italics mine) to misdoubt her strength."

In Liberal America they don't much care for my friend John. Eich's offense was to donate $1000 to the Proposition 8 campaign, a California voter initiative -- it passed by a healthy majority -- defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. It was hardly an eccentric claim, representing as it did a viewpoint held everywhere, always, and by all: until the movement for same-sex marriage got going a few years ago. This transformed -- in liberal eyes -- the marital terrain. Suddenly, everything we used to believe about marriage was Wrong and Evil and Homophobic.

And Brendan Eich didn't get it. Throw him out! Teach the bum a lesson!

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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