Last week the Equality Town Hall held by my network, CNN, plainly revealed the radicalism that drives the Democratic Party today. In stark terms, candidates and audience members advocated for wholesale government-compelled social engineering to comport with their liberal secular-humanist agenda. Such proposals contravene foundational protections of our Constitution and also imperil Democrats’ electoral prospects for 2020.
Robert Francis O’Rourke continued his steady philosophical assault upon the Bill of Rights. Apparently, O’Rourke is no longer content to merely eviscerate the Second Amendment with his plan to confiscate tens of millions of firearms from law-abiding citizens. Like most leftists who disrespect the Second Amendment, he also promotes hollowing out the First Amendment as well. CNN’s Don Lemon asked if religious institutions should “lose their tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage.” The candidate answered in the affirmative, stating, “There can be no benefit, no reward, no tax break for anyone, or any institution … that denies the full human rights, and the full civil rights of every single one of us.”
In a sense, O’Rourke did America a favor by stating plainly the true goal of social liberal activists: to bring private groups into full compliance with their postmodernist precepts, by compulsion if necessary. The practical application of such extremism would clearly bankrupt mosques, Catholic schools, and faith-based charitable service organizations across our land. But such destruction is not a side effect but rather the very goal of this fascistic statism.
Consider the perversion of the inverse policy: What if traditional conservatives had tried to revoke the tax-exempt status of pro-gay-marriage mainline Protestant churches before our laws totally changed the millennia-old definition of marriage? Liberals would have rightly condemned such an encroachment, and the courts would have surely protected the rights of progressive churches to privately define marriage according to their beliefs. After all, our government should have no more say in determining a faith’s doctrinal beliefs on marriage than it does regarding baptism or bar/bat mitzvahs.
Apart from the legal radicalism espoused during the CNN forum, candidates also promoted a cultural ostracism and public condescension toward Americans who dare to subscribe to traditional beliefs on core issues of family and faith. When leading candidate Elizabeth Warren was queried about a hypothetical male religious voter who believes in traditional marriage, the Massachusetts senator remarked with clear snark that she would tell such a man to simply marry a woman “if you can find one.” Such patronizing elitism suggests that the Democrats have still learned little about Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral upset. Political correctness surely made Warren popular in the faculty lounge at Harvard, but it hardly appeals to working-class voters, especially in the upper Midwest where 2020 may well be decided.
In fact, a common theme among those Americans – the Obama-to-Trump swing voters who provided the electoral difference in 2016 – was a revulsion regarding the disrespect constantly showered upon them by politically correct coastal elites. Warren’s haughty rejoinder earned roars from the event’s invited leftist activists, but it clearly jeopardizes her odds of winning over the kind of Rust Belt voters who might cheer for high school football games on Friday night and pray in churches on Sunday morning. Moreover, her sarcasm exposes her own sharp disconnect from many millions of Americans – including many women, by the way -- who subscribe to the traditional marriage practices of the three great monotheistic faiths.
As for the audience at the CNN forum, their behavior also showcased an important reality. The “woke” leftist mob cannot be placated with anything short of total submission to their agenda. Even though the format and the candidates provided an hours-long expression of fealty to social engineering, the radicals still found reason to take umbrage. Numerous program interruptions and agitations from audience members encapsulated the true extremism of the social justice warrior movement. For these militants, legal gay marriage is hardly enough. After all, Donald Trump was the first candidate ever elevated to the presidency who supported same-sex marriage, and yet he is still persistently pilloried by these fanatics.
In 2019 America, our country has reached an overwhelming determination that consenting adults can pursue their private intimate lives as they wish. But such liberty is not enough for the intolerant liberal mob. Instead they demand not just the freedom to act as they like, but also the positive affirmation and approval of all citizens, most of all from conservative Christians. Unfortunately, there has been a swift devolution from “let us love whom we wish” to “endorse our drag queen story hour for kindergarteners.”
Sadly, the Democratic Party stretches itself ever more leftward to placate such demands, even when this posture does violence to our most sacred constitutional protections, especially religious liberty. These are not the Democrats my grandparents supported, as the party of FDR and JFK turns harshly against middle Americans. Accordingly, Americans must ascertain the full extent of the Democrats’ radicalism. In this regard, last week’s televised circus of extremism unwittingly enhanced President Trump’s reelection odds for 2020.