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OPINION

Dissent From Leftist Narratives Is Moving Toward Critical Mass

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

As the nation continues its precipitous decline under the weight of the deceitful and destructive policies of the uber-Left, something important is happening -- slowly and incrementally, but definitely -- in our most impactful cultural institutions, including the media, the entertainment industry, Silicon Valley, academia and the medical profession.

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I'd love to tell you that conservatives are gaining ground in these spaces. Alas, in most of them, conservatives continue to be present in small numbers -- ignored if they're lucky, marginalized, canceled, or fired if they're not. But what is happening is the departure of self-proclaimed liberals and progressives from their previously sacrosanct enclaves.

Some voluntarily leave their tribe. Some are forced out. The internet is filled with accounts of tweets from, interviews, and podcasts with these individuals describing their "aha" moments -- the stark realizations that the movements they believed in had left them behind.

Even if they continue to consider themselves "liberal" (and many do), they acknowledge that their definition of the term entails adherence to certain principles. For some, those principles are the protection of civil liberties like freedom of speech. For others, it is opposition to discrimination in all its forms. Still, others have been advocates for the rights of women, children, minorities, the homeless, or those suffering from mental illness. Or perhaps they have defended academic freedom and rigorous scientific inquiry. Undergirding all of the above is a commitment to truth.
One by one, they have seen these core principles cast aside in the name of political expediency or rank cowardice. This trend has been most visible in the media. Award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald founded The Intercept in 2014. When its editors placed constraints on his writing, Greenwald resigned and moved to Substack, where he could write without censorship. Similarly, Bari Weiss resigned from The New York Times in 2020, exposing a toxic work culture where she was smeared as a bigot, a racist, and a Nazi (Weiss is Jewish) for daring to depart from the party line. Weiss wrote that the truth was viewed at The Times not as something to be investigated and discovered but as "an orthodoxy is already known by an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else." "Intellectual curiosity," she concluded, "is now a liability at the Times." Weiss, too, moved to Substack, where she subsequently launched her own online news and commentary site, The Free Press. Also present on Substack are Matt Taibbi, author and former editor for Rolling Stone magazine, and Michael Shellenberger, an environme!
 mental activist and author of best-selling books "San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities" and "Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All."

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Weiss, Taibbi, and Shellenberger were instrumental in reviewing and releasing what has become known as the "Twitter Files" -- information about Twitter's collaboration with government operatives in the FBI, CIA, and other agencies to censor, silence, and smear as Russian agents everyone who dared to expose government lies. The internal emails and other documents were turned over by Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk, who purchased Twitter in 2022. (Musk, like fellow Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, has also abandoned the Left.)

Taibbi and Shellenberger recently testified before Congress in a hearing about the weaponization of government. They saw firsthand how the Left treats anyone who dares expose the truth about government overreach. Not only did Democrats simultaneously deny and defend government censorship, but Stacey Plaskett, a non-voting delegate from the Virgin Islands, threatened Taibbi with prison time and referred to Taibbi and Shellenberger as "so-called journalists."

Some of the most considerable government censorship and disinformation campaigns have been related to the COVID-19 pandemic: the origin of the virus, the funding of dangerous research, the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 shots, and the existence of side severe effects therefrom. Dr. Robert Malone, one of the inventors of mRNA vaccine technology, warned of inadequate development and testing protocols with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, for which he was banned from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. (He was reinstated on Twitter once Elon Musk acquired it.)

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Indeed, COVID has made skeptics of even the truest of former true believers. Comedian-turned-podcaster Russell Brand recently hosted actor Tim Robbins, long known for his vocal activism in support of left-wing causes. Robbins flipped sides on COVID after becoming concerned about changes to definitions (like "vaccine" and "immunity"), implementation of protocols that defied scientific knowledge, and hostile behavior. "We turned into tribal, angry, vengeful people," Robbins said. He has taken an even harder line against Democrats and the media who attack those exposing censorship and disinformation, calling them "f---ing fools."

Feminist author and academic Naomi Wolf have also found herself cast out as a result of her concerns about the mRNA vaccines' effect on women's health and fertility. Two months ago, Wolf penned an apology to conservatives everywhere, admitting that she had been taken in by massive government and media propaganda campaigns. Professors (and progressives) Bret Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, refused to participate in a day of forced segregation at Evergreen College, their former employer. They were forced to resign. The New York Times characterized these events as "the left turn(ing) on its own." Weinstein and Heying are now frequent guests on centrist and right-leaning podcasts and talk shows.

This phenomenon is playing out in the federal and state governments as well. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ) switched parties in 2019. U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and Tulsi Gabbard, former congressional representative from Hawaii, both left the Democratic Party last year. According to a recent article in Vox, of the 169 state lawmakers who have switched parties in the past 30 years, 80 switched from Democrat to Republican.

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In addition to their disillusionment with their former allies, the defectors have discovered that they have a common cause with those they once would have considered ideological opponents -- if not "sworn enemies" -- on the Right. This expanding constellation of rebels and free thinkers is reshaping political alliances and cultural conversations. If it can reach critical mass, it has the potential to transform American society in ways we desperately need.
      

To find out more about Laura Hollis and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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