Conservatives Need To Grow A Spine

Douglas MacKinnon

10/6/2011 12:01:00 AM - Douglas MacKinnon

I once had a conversation with a well-connected Democrat in Washington, D.C., with regard to lack of advertising in conservative publications.

Without missing a beat, she said it was because "advertisers and corporate America are petrified of the far left. The executives at these companies fear that if they advertise in conservative outlets, the far left will harass them, boycott them, threaten them, and picket them forever until they give in to the thuggish behavior."

I then pointed out that these same companies who for the most part shun conservative outlets are thrilled to advertise in far-left magazines like Mother Jones and Vanity Fair, and far-left newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post.

"Precisely," she responded. "Because these companies know beyond a shadow of a doubt that conservatives will never lift a finger in protest. They may offer an initial objection, but in the end, they will do nothing."

Unfortunately, my Democrat friend is all too correct. There have been endless examples of where conservatives could and should have risen up in protest against advertisers or liberal outlets, and didn't.

When do conservatives say "no more?" When do they finally draw that uncrossable line in the sand? As an independent conservative, I am more and more worried that day will never come. As my liberal friend says: "That's not the conservative way. They are much too polite and civilized for the hand-to-hand combat the far left lives for."

Well, another glaring example of when conservatives and defenders of free speech can and should rise up against the politically correct censorship of the far left is upon us in the guise of liberal ESPN dropping Hank Williams Jr. from Monday Night Football.

What did Mr. Williams do wrong? He dared to touch the third rail of the far left and publicly criticize their oracle, Barack Obama. On the Fox News show "Fox & Friends," Mr. Williams opined that GOP House Speaker John Boehner participating in the "golf summit" with Mr. Obama was "one of the biggest mistakes ever. ... It would be like Hitler playing golf with Benjamin Netanyahu." Goodbye.

To be sure, I wish everyone in the public eye would stop invoking Hitler's name for anything. That said, Williams wasn't comparing Obama to Hitler. As is his right, he was simply using that example to highlight how nonsensical the "golf summit" was to him.

All Americans and all conservatives should understand that liberals firmly believe that free speech exists only for them. Not only will they do all in their power to deny the privilege of free speech to Republicans and conservatives, they will also purposefully twist and exaggerate words to destroy certain Republicans.

For the latest example of that tried and true tactic, look no further than the Washington Post's ongoing smear of Rick Perry.

With regard to Hank Williams and ESPN, this is an attack on free speech that conservatives should fight. The far-left ESPN is owned by the further-left Walt Disney Co. As such, its sports "reporters" and executives are hired based on the politically correct rules of diversity, skin color, sexual orientation, gender, religion and of course, adherence to liberal ideology.

Ironically, while the far left now controls ESPN — as well as the major newspaper sports pages— I have no doubt the vast majority of viewers who watch this liberal network are conservative, Republican or independent. And yet, they are accepting of the continual purge of conservative or independent thought and common sense from that network. Why?

Shouldn't conservatives and those who allegedly cherish free speech (ACLU anyone?) be up in arms against ESPN for dropping Hank Williams? Shouldn't viewers make their displeasure known to ESPN and Disney?

If the shoe were on the other foot and Fox Sports had dropped a liberal entertainer because he had said something negative about a Republican candidate, you can bet the liberals would be marching in front of Fox headquarters and assailing and threatening all of their sponsors. And they would never stop until they exacted their pound of flesh.

My Democrat friend is betting big that conservatives will once again sit on the sidelines and hope someone else takes up their battle. She is most likely right. But if she is, what will it take for conservatives to finally charge the castle? Free speech is under attack, traditional values are being vanquished, and time is running out.

If those realities are not enough to force conservatives to finally take a stand, then we are all in trouble.