Patrick Garry
Dictators against dissent
By Patrick Garry
December 28, 2021

The political Left in America has its roots in dissent. It arose as a dissent against the prevailing norms, ideology, and institutions in American society. During the World War I era, for instance, the Left promoted socialism, opposed capitalism, dissented against the war, and tended to side internationally with the Soviet Union.

As an ideology rooted in dissent, the Left advocated an expansive First Amendment conferring constitutional protections on speech that sharply opposed the beliefs and opinions of the majority of Americans. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, when it embraced communist ideas and protested traditional cultural values and institutions, the Left strengthened its association with the First Amendment. In our current age, however, that association has become not only a myth but a flat-out falsity.

Conservatives have known for years that the Left has no tolerance for dissent. It has shouted down conservative speakers and imposed harsh speech codes on college campuses. It has demonized parents who criticize the leftist agendas of school boards. It ruins the careers of people who disagree with the racial and gender dictates of the Left. In general, as has become well known, the Left has implemented a “cancel culture” within American society.

The singular aim of this cancel culture is to eradicate and eliminate all dissent that opposes leftist views. And through its control of the media and academia, the Left possesses the tools to enforce its censorious aims.

Cancel culture has also infiltrated the justice system. The Left does not treat trials like an independent exercise of truth-finding carrying a presumption of innocence. Instead, trials have become either an opportunity for the jury to confirm the Left’s viewpoint, or an opportunity for the Left to condone and encourage widespread rioting.

If any doubt exists as to the ferocity of the Left’s intolerance of dissent, one need look no further than the experience of Senator Joe Manchin. As a Democrat, and as a vital lynchpin to the razor-thin control Democrats currently hold in the U.S. Senate, Manchin should be a treasured commodity to the Left. But when he refused to support President Biden’s massive spending program known as Build Back Better, Manchin was subjected to a torrent of condemnation and slander…from the Left.

He was called a traitor, a stooge of corporate America, and of course, as anyone who dissents from the Left, a racist. One prominent leftist said that Joe Manchin, through his opposition to Build Back Better, wanted to make America just like West Virginia: “poor, illiterate and strung out.”

Leftist activists located the Manchin home and harassed the Manchin family. The White House essentially called him a liar.

Even though Joe Manchin possesses a solid reputation for civility in the political arena, the first response of the Left was to slander him, harass him, and intimidate him. If the Left will do this to a vitally important Democrat, look out, mainstream America: if you dissent, you will soon discover what conservatives have known for years.

© Patrick Garry


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Patrick Garry

Patrick Garry is a professor of law at the University of South Dakota, and Director of the Hagemann Center for Legal & Public Policy Research... (more)


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