The recent spate of Democrat politicians and pundits calling for the "re-education" of Trump voters is chilling and reminds me of an incident I experienced in 2019.
As a professional speaker, only once I have been disinvited to speak in my 36-year career, while otherwise delivering 1,056 presentations to a virtual who's who of prominent organizations, often for exceedingly high speaker fees. The dis-invitation, months after the original invitation, occurred in Raleigh, North Carolina.
In February 2019, after hearing a general call for speakers, I forwarded my speaking credentials and suggested a topic to the group's meeting planner.
On the Frontier
The "Group," self-proclaimed as being on the frontier of spirituality and fellowship, meets monthly featuring a retained speaker on some theme related to spirituality. I have been an 11-year audience member of the presentations they provide and thus felt assured that my presentation, "Maintaining Spiritual Balance in a World of Rapid Change," would interest their members. The meeting arranger, who I'll call "Julie," agreed.
Over many weeks, Julie and I discussed the presentation description, the sub-topics to be covered, and pitching the idea to the board of directors. Finally, we nailed it. The board approved the date, ultimately set for October 3, 2019.
I Write a Lot
As an author, I've had 67 mainstream books published on work-life balance, harmony, integration, and on a few related topics. In all, I've had 4,300 articles published. I am currently a columnist for eight publications, primarily in the business and professional services arena.
I am a non-affiliated voter and write intermittently about social issues. In February 2019, I wrote how some Hollywood filmmakers produce movies as GOP hit pieces. I focused on the movie Vice, starring Christian Bale in the title role. The movie was very loosely based on the life experiences of former U.S. Vice President, Dick Cheney.
An Unabashed Hit Piece
So much was inaccurate about Vice that I could've written a book-length review. While I am no Cheney fan, the presumptions made in Vice about what Cheney was thinking, or said, in private are beyond the pale.
The script of Vice implied that Cheney wanted to attack Iraq without cause, had advanced knowledge of the 9-11 attacks, and was complicit in the conspiracy (i.e. had Americans murdered). And that wasn't even 10 percent of the movie's distortions.
Sometime in April 2019, one of the Group's board members read my article, with strong disapproval. The article had nothing to do, of course, with my presentation on maintaining spiritual balance in a rapidly changing world. In fact, at no time in my 36-year career or in my 1,056 previous presentations have I ever uttered a single political sentence or sentiment.
This did not matter. The Group, which lauds itself as progressive and tolerant, held a board discussion and decided that I would not be a worthy presenter. Instead, they scheduled a speaker billed as, "A mystic, spiritual counselor, channel, and healer."
A Tearful Call
In late April, Julie left me a message to call her. When I returned the call, she became tearful as she explained to me that the Group doesn't deal in political issues. That's not entirely true: Each of their presentations going back at least 11 years, in one way or another, espouses liberal and progressive views. That is beside the point – I knew what she meant.
I told her, "No problem, the article I wrote is an observation that I made about Hollywood. My presentation to the group in October has nothing to do with that, nor would I be uttering a single word of my political or social views." My words had no effect. Julie, even more tearful, explained that the Board's decision was final. I was dis-invited to speak... And gee, I had already agreed months before to donate back to them their modest speaker fee.
This Group, which prides itself as being a bastion of diversity and human potential, revealed their hand, as have so many other groups like them. See things from their worldview, or be disinvited. Think as they think, or be regarded as unworthy. Offer a dynamite presentation for the October program, but have an article in a monthly community newspaper four counties away, and you're out. This intolerance pervades the Left, and virtually everyone on the Right is now realizing it.