The facts of this case seem to be pretty straightforward: A talented makeup artist from Kansas won a national contest, entitling her to a swanky trip to Los Angeles and a generous gift card. After the decision was rendered, it was revealed that the victor was -- gasp -- supportive of President Trump, an irrelevancy that nevertheless led directly to the rescission of her crown. In End of Discussion (of which there's a new paperback edition with fresh content arriving on August 1st), Mary Katharine Ham and I decry the hard Left's exhausting and obnoxious efforts to politicize every aspect of American life. This is an egregious example of that phenomenon, wherein a woman who won a competition fair and square, on the entirely non-ideological merits, is being punished for thoughtcrimes. Rich Lowry's wry observation about the kerfuffle is an understatement:
There shouldn't be political tests for make-up contests https://t.co/1fIf87WEsQ— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) July 24, 2017
Aggravating details, via the Kansas City Star:
An Instagram post showing support for President Donald Trump apparently disqualified a local makeup artist from a national contest. Gypsy Freeman, who splits time between Wichita and Florida, last month was declared the winner of an Instagram contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty, according to screenshots taken by Freeman. The winner of the Saint + Sinner Contest – and a guest – was to be flown to Los Angeles to attend the launch party of a new makeup line from Kat Von D, perhaps best known for her role on “LA Ink.” The approximate value of the prize package, which included a $500 gift card to Sephora, was $2,100...When Freeman was announced as the winner, curious Instagrammers went to her page and found a pro-Trump post from Election Day last year. That evening, she received a direct message from Kat Von D’s personal Instagram account, telling her the celebrity had “drawn a personal line in the sand between myself and anyone who supports that man,” according to screenshots of the conversation. “My launch party [and my brand] celebrates many things that Trump is against,” the celebrity went on to say, according to the screenshots. “And I just need you to know that I personally have a hard time with inviting anyone who would support such an anti-feminist, anti-homosexual/LGBT, anti-immigrant, and anti-climate change fascist such as Trump.”
Ms. Freeman says she took the political snub in stride, expressing her disappointment to Kat Von D in a direct message reply. This prompted another tirade from the celebrity, who said she simply can't stand to be around people who disagree with what she stands for, replete with an inevitable Hitler comparison:
“I won’t be upset with you if you can’t have us there for these reasons, and I wish you the best. We would love to be there, of course, but I sincerely do understand if you decide to replace us with someone who supports the candidate you support,” [Freeman wrote]. The celebrity then replied, according to the screenshots provided: “It’s not about inviting people based on their political stance – it’s just extremely difficult (borderline impossible) for me to be friends with or associate with anyone who would support a man who goes against everything I stand for. I would feel the same way towards people who supported Hitler, or any other fascist.” Multiple phone calls and messages left with Kendo Holdings, the parent company of Kat Von D Beauty, have not been returned.
In the end, the photographer who documented Freeman's winning entry -- who apparently holds the "correct" views on non-makeup-related matters, or at least doesn't publicly advertise her heresy -- attended the LA event, instead of the woman who actually earned the W. The paper reports that all evidence of the contest, including the contest rules (none of which Freeman violated), have been scrubbed from the web. Ms. Freeman rightly calls the entire episode "really unfortunate," defiantly noting that she's refused to take down the pro-Trump image that prompted the robbery her of her legitimate-attained triumph: “I didn’t erase (the Trump post) either,” she said. “Part of the great thing about this country is having freedom of speech...It’s definitely bigotry – it’s everything that they’re calling us, they’re doing,” she said. “It’s a huge case of hypocrisy.”
Indeed. A recent Pew study documented how liberals are far more likely than conservatives to say a friend's support for the "wrong" presidential candidate would "strain" that personal relationship. The Washington Post's headline on the data: "Nearly half of liberals don’t even like to be around Trump supporters." This trend reflects previous findings, including liberals' relative inability to understand or articulate conservative values, and left-of-center social media users' much higher propensity to block or 'unfriend' people with opposing views. Nevertheless, these same people likely congratulate themselves as champions of "tolerance," which comes with an asterisk. They make exceptions for "intolerance," you see -- a label that they promiscuously apply to tens of millions of their fellow citizens. Make America Talk Again.