Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition*

imagesIn the Spanish Inquisition, if your beliefs did not conform to religious orthodoxy, you would be tortured to change them; and failing that, burned alive. America is different and, being nonconformist myself, I cherish that difference. I’ve always felt free to express myself. Yet even America has its Inquisitors.

Brendan Eich was not tortured or burned alive for his beliefs. images-1Not quite. But a campaign by gay activists recently forced him out of his job as head of Mozilla. His crime? In 2008, he donated to California’s referendum against gay marriage.

Now, such censoriousness might arguably be defensible were the beliefs in question especially stupid and/or heinous. Holocaust denial, say. Though in my view even Holocaust deniers have a right to hold and express their ideas (and not be jailed, as has occurred in Europe).

However, in Eich’s case, the views at issue were not beyond the pale. In fact, at the time, his was the prevailing view. That referendum passed, remember. Yet now, to have supported it is deemed so atrocious that a man should lose his job over it? Have Eich’s persecutors lost their minds? What about the other 50+% of Californians who voted “yes”? Fire them all too? (Good thing there’s a secret ballot.)

Gay marriage is a just cause. But it’s sullied when its advocates pursue it by unjust means. You (and I) might think opponents are wrong, but theirs is not an illegitimate opinion to which they have no right.

Unknown-2Unfortunately the Eich episode isn’t some isolated aberration. It’s all too typical of the mentality of the so-called “progressive” left, which thoroughly contaminates their politics. While the left is all “free speech” and “freedom of expression” and “academic freedom,” what they really mean is freedom for them and them alone. The hypocrisy mirrors Putin’s – he’s all against outside interference in a country’s affairs – Russia’s affairs — but not Ukraine’s. (And all against Ukraine “killing their own people” – after Putin killed at least 25,000 Russian Chechens.) The left even has a magazine named Dissent! I guess opposing gay marriage doesn’t count as dissent. Or at least not the good kind.

Eich is, again, no aberration. Remember when Larry Summers speculated that women’s underrepresentation in math and sciences might be due to brain differences? Truthiness didn’t save him from Harvard’s feminist political correctness Inquisition, which ultimately booted him out of the school’s presidency. images-2And in campuses all across America, students and teachers are criminalized and booted out for violating “speech codes” that sacralize particular political orthodoxies. Is this what the 1960s campus “free speech” movement was for?

Of course, the right too demonizes opposing views. But there’s a real difference. You don’t see the right seeking to punish anyone for their opinions. At one time communists were jailed, but nobody would seriously suggest that now. Indeed, for all the liberal alarm about the religious right and putatively looming theocracy, nobody – nobody – would seriously suggest punishing atheists! Only the left is into punishing dissent.

Why? Why is the left so gosh-darn intolerant? Because they are imbued with hypermoralism? Seeing politics as a morality play, with diverging views not just mistaken but evil? There is certainly a lot of that. Yet that’s true on the right as well, but, again, the right doesn’t generally seek actual suppression, and indeed punishment, of opposing opinions. Maybe the difference is that the right doesn’t imagine for a moment they could get away with it; whereas the left, certain of its monopoly on virtue and posturing on the high horse of a tolerance ethic, can get away with the worst intolerance. Sanctifying nonjudgmentalism, they are the most judgmental of people. And don’t forget McCarthyism and blacklisting — people persecuted, and kept from working, due to their political beliefs. The left still lionizes those victims and loves to cry “McCarthyism!” Yet isn’t the Eich story perfect McCarthyism?

The howling contradiction between the left’s professed ethos and its actual behavior seems baffling.

Then again, so many policies embraced by the left are likewise grounded in curbing other people’s freedom. Unknown-3Progressives seem to have an Orwellian understanding of the word. (They certainly have down pat 1984’s concept of “thought crime.”) And how about their excusing the rottenest human rights abuses by monsters like Castro or Chavez? But cynicism is a hallmark of left thinking too.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer recently addressed the whole Citizens United money-in-politics issue. There’s irresolvable tension between the undeniably corrupting effect political money can have, and the idea that in a free country government has no business regulating political participation at all (which always really amounts to incumbent protection). Krauthammer saw the ideal answer as full disclosure of political contributions and spending. But then he noted how disclosing Eich’s referendum donation resulted in the man’s persecution, ruining his life. Krauthammer therefore concluded that his full disclosure solution to the campaign finance conundrum is – as often happens – ruined by zealots. People should feel free to make political donations without expecting the Spanish (or American) Inquisition.

Here yet again we see the scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners style of partisanship poisoning our body politic.

Unknown-1Jefferson said that the best response to bad ideas is not suppression, but better ideas. Nobody should expect the Spanish Inquisition, and punishment for their beliefs. In general I see people whose views differ from mine as being wrong, but not evil. These are the precepts of a genuinely free and good society. But undermining those crucial precepts – as happened in the Eich case – may be not just wrong but evil.

*For my younger readers, the reference is to a famous Monty Python skit. In a conversation, one guy being questioned a bit closely blurts out, “Well, I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition!” At that, a bunch of red-robed churchmen suddenly materializes, intoning “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

UPDATE NOTE: The comments by “Rob” illustrate exactly what I’m talking about regarding the left-wing mind and freedom of speech. Worth a look; really frightening.

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45 Responses to “Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition*”

  1. Mauricio Torres Madrid Says:

    No ceo que sea justo que se catigue a una persona por sus creencias así éstas vaya en contra de la situación objetiva todos tenemos el derecho de advocar por nuestra posición. Igual espero que la gente en general sea lo suficientemente conciente para ver y juzgar la realidad de manera considerada para tomar la mejor decisión. El progreso de una sociedad está marcado por los avances en entender la realidad cada día mejor.

    (Translation per “Google Translate”: Ceo not be fair to catigue a person for their beliefs and they go against the objective situation we all have the right to advocar our position. Just hope that people in general are aware enough to see and judge reality so considered to make the best decision. The progress of a society is marked by advances in understanding reality better every day.)

  2. Rob Says:

    CEOs are the most visible representatives of their companies, and as such need to be accountable for all their public statements being consistent with the image their company wishes to project. Netscape was fully justified in asking him to step down if they felt his publicly expressed opinions were not what Netscape expected from their management. I have no doubt he’ll get many offers from companies with a different set of values.

  3. rationaloptimist Says:

    It was not a public statement by the company. It was a private personal action by him as an individual, years before he became CEO. I am sure that if he had contributed on the OTHER side of that campaign, and then was fired for it, the left would be up in arms shouting “McCarthyism!”

  4. Rob Says:

    It matters not whether the statement was made before he took up the reins of Mozilla. It was made publicly, and the man obviously refused to comply with what the board asked of him to clean up the company’s image. That was his right. But it was the right of the company to ask for his resignation.

  5. Rob Says:

    Public figures must expect a higher standard of scrutiny than the average Joe, more so because of the influence and power their position entitles them to. You cannot expect to have impunity and power at the same time.

  6. rationaloptimist Says:

    I might agree with Rob if (as said in my original post) the CEO’s opinion in question was outside the bounds of what is generally considered acceptable. But that can hardly be said with a straight face concerning his support for a referendum in 2008 opposing gay marriage. There may be zealots now who would hold such an opinion illegitimate; but much as I support gay marriage, I cannot condemn its opponents as villains holding some impermissibly vile view. Theirs was a legitimate position in 2008, and I daresay remains so today. I do not want to live in a country where everyone is required to conform to a received opinion on pain of penalty.

  7. Rob Says:

    I think it is disingenuous to state that he must conform to a new standard. For example, I put forward George Zimmerman, who has become a wealthy man and hero among some by simply not conforming to the accepted standard of public behavior. Watch the guy’s career after this (the CEO, I mean) – I have seen much worse offenders of human decency catapulted to golden parachutes by defending the mores of the previous century’s white ruling class. The court of public opinion is one of the few that is left relatively unbiased by massive sums of right wing money – that’s why the freedom of the internet is under assault as we trade arguments tonight.

  8. jaguaressprophetess111 Says:

    So true.

  9. Rob Says:

    Calling gay rights activists inquisitors in a country that produced McCarthyism and the KKK is also a pretty distorted view of the truth. America has always had, and always will have it’s inquisitors, and the strongest of them are not any minority group.

  10. rationaloptimist Says:

    Yet here it’s a “minority group” — and, one must think, its sympathizers — that practiced McCarthyism. Strange indeed that YOU bring in that word, so aptly describing what happened here. I obviously don’t agree with you Rob, but per Voltaire defend your right to say it. Apparently you don’t recognize the same right for people, like Eich, with whom you don’t agree.
    I’m almost surprised you don’t advocate shutting down my blog because you don’t like my viewpoint. You say that Eich is different because he’s a big CEO. But if a big CEO’s freedom of expression isn’t safe, then whose is? What about yours?

  11. Rob Says:

    He has the right to say whatever he wants, and his company has the right to can him for it. And others have the right to denounce him for denying basic rights to a group of people based on their sexual preference. I again assert that any powerful public figure must expect closer scrutiny of their comments and actions, past and present, and risk loss of their job or status if these run too far afoul of what is publicly acceptable at the time. This is nothing new, and has always been true in the US.

  12. rationaloptimist Says:

    The problem is your view of what is “publicly acceptable.” What Donald Sterling said is not publicly acceptable! But Eich? Donating to a ballot referendum THAT PASSED? How can that not be publicly acceptable? In a democracy??

  13. Rob Says:

    That’s exactly my point. It is no one’s right to dictate what is publicly acceptable to others. Each individual and organization should be free to make their own choice of what is publicly acceptable but must also accept the consequences of how others react to their public expressions. Freedom of action is not the same as freedom from consequences. It is the confusion of these that is at the root of most political arguments.

  14. rationaloptimist Says:

    So then you must say the persecution of communists, and their blacklisting, during the McCarthy period, was perfectly OK. After all, they didn’t have “freedom from consequences” for their public expressions. And of course at the time their stance was not “publicly acceptable” in the eyes of a great majority of Americans. Right?

  15. Rob Says:

    Not at all. Their persecution was judged by the public at large and eventually found to be unacceptable. There may come a time where the persecution of racists and homophobes is widely condemned, but I don’t think America has gotten to the point that your view will is prevalent. Nor do I really think we want to stop criticizing such people.

  16. rationaloptimist Says:

    Such casuistically tortured logic to rationalize your hypocrisy. Are you for or against McCarthyism?

  17. Rob Says:

    It is not hypocrisy. If you can’t see the difference between gay rights groups and minority rights groups calling attention to prominent racists and homophobes and McCarthyism, you really need to examine the roots of your belief system.

  18. rationaloptimist Says:

    OK. McCarthyism is OK when done by groups you approve of but not when done by those you don’t approve of. End of discussion.

  19. Joel Says:

    I think you have correctly characterized Rob’s position. Rob argues it is acceptable to force Brendan Eich out of his job because of his private beliefs. If, in similar circumstances many years ago, a CEO was forced out of his job for his private homosexual activities, that would have been equally permissible according to Rob’s argument.

    I call this type of thinking tribalism, and I think it is common, if not ubiquitous. At some point in our evolutionary history this mode of thinking served mankind very well, so we could say it is quite natural. But, as you once said, “Just because it is natural, doesn’t make it right”. (I really like that quote, I hope I got it right.)

    With examples becoming more publicized, I am optimistic that many on the left will recognize this behavior, and move past tribalism to a more mature world view.

  20. Joel Says:

    By the way, have you written on the nature of Evil? If so I don’t recall it. That would be worth a column, or more likely an entire book.

  21. Rob Says:

    A witch hunt is when people are persecuted for a belief or action that is not harmful. Advocating a more just, socialist America is not harmful. Advocating discrimination against minorities is, especially when the advocate has the power to enforce their discrimination in a company or community. Get the distinction?

  22. rationaloptimist Says:

    Rob: No. The distinction is simply between what YOU believe, and what others differently believe — others who are equally convinced that their views are wrapped in virtue and yours are not. You are an absolute ideologue unable to see that people can legitimately differ on such things. (Certainly there are those who would say “advocating a socialist America” is indeed exceedingly harmful. I might be one myself.)
    Joel: Thanks for your comments. I have written a few pages on the subject of “evil” in my book, The Case for Rational Optimism.

  23. Rob Says:

    No. You missed it completely. Corporations do have the right to hire or fire for any reason not prevented by law. Thats why we need laws to protect persecuted minorities in the workplace. We don’t need laws to protect those who would persecute if they could somehow hide behind freedom of speech.

  24. rationaloptimist Says:

    So . . . donating to a referendum that passed is “persecution” of a minority? Wow, it’s so revealing that you cannot see how your ideology twists your reasoning. You really are the perfect example of the kind of mindset that I was writing about, that is so poisonous in our politics today. (People on your side must be protected. Everyone else is fair game.)

  25. Rob Says:

    A bit of the pot calling the kettle black, I think. I can understand where you are coming from, because I was raised in a very Red state by a father who was as conservative as they come. It was only after years of living outside the US and seeing through the eyes of other cultures I came to see how harmful the Republican and Libertarian points of view are, both to America and the rest of the world. So yes, I guess you can mark me down in your little book of those we must take care of when we buy the next election.

  26. rationaloptimist Says:

    No, unlike you, I believe in freedom of expression.

  27. Rob Says:

    Freedom of expression cannot be extended to harmful speech. I have just given you a perfect example. My father and others in the community instilled racism and prejudice into myself and my siblings from birth. If you include hate speech in free speech, you condone the whole system of abuse and repression that continues to sully our country.

    The KKK still exists because of people like you.

    Freedom is not free, nor can it exist without limits. It is the Libertarians who are most out of touch with reality in their cozy ideology, not the liberals, my friend.

  28. rationaloptimist Says:

    It’s obvious that further replies to Rob will be pointless. Readers can judge the matter for themselves.

  29. Karl Miller Says:

    Hey, some important points you’re both missing:

    1. The Prop 8 campaign wasn’t just “against gay marriage” it was an unprecedented attempt to change the state constitution to deny human rights to a specific group of people. It was also a particularly disgusting and vile smear campaign against gay people in general, funded largely by out-of-state Mormons, not locals. Regardless, you cannot be fired for having manifestly awful beliefs. But …

    2. Eich was not fired; he resigned. If he had held his ground, he would have been protected by federal law. He could have stood on principle with the backing of all bigots (together with countless liberals like me), but he chose not to.

    3. His rights were not abridged in any sense and his company did nothing wrong by asking him for a statement on the matter. That is why “McCarthyism” doesn’t capture what’s happened here. The government had nothing to do with it. By contrast, consider the parade of federal nominations blocked by the Republican Congress simply because they object to the job existing in the first place. Who is harassing whom again?

    4. The revelation of Eich’s 2008 donation to Prop 8 should have occasioned either a meaningful apology, an explanation of his thinking since then, or some articulation of how he planned to keep his awful beliefs separate from his work as a Silicon Valley CEO. He did none of those things. He offered a vague apology and then resigned like a little bitch, if I may say so. It’s hard to defend someone who does not want to be defended.

    There is no persecution from the left here, unless angry comments and letters constitutes persecution — and I think we all agree that’s just more free speech. By contrast, right wing CEOs like David Siegel routinely and openly profile and obstruct their employees based on their political beliefs. And please remember that the right routinely persecutes, harasses, threatens and, yes, murders people in my fiance’s line of work: women’s health. So I’m sorry if an angry e-mail gets you all flustered, but … you would do well to get off your indignation high for a moment. Or may I ask what it is about right-wingers that causes them to assassinate those they cannot defeat through reason?

    My bottom line: Eich should not have resigned. But a good CEO knows how to handle a PR problem and he clearly didn’t.

  30. EriK Says:

    rationaloptimist,
    your tolerance is impressive, but understandably not unlimited. Rob’s not so much. “Freedom of expression cannot be extended to harmful speech.” says it all about Rob.

  31. Rob Says:

    I think it unlikely his resignation was voluntary. Most probably he was asked to take certain steps as damage control, and when he refused, was asked to resign. There have been many successful boycotts of companies over the last few years, and this is emerging as the best tool to combat corporate malfeasance in the absence of strong or at least enforced regulation. I probably would have switched to Chrome if he had stayed with Mozilla.

  32. Rob Says:

    Let me put this in a way that you guys can understand. Suppose your child had a mental disability and was constantly being put down by other kids at school. Would you be nobly defending their free speech then? You preach tolerance of speech you don’t find offensive or damaging personally. And you would enforce your standards on others if you could. You are the hypocrites if you won’t admit that. There will always be laws and a line of political correctness that will directly or indirectly limit our speech. The absence of limits on speech (and actions) is called anarchy, which sometimes seems to be the goal of Republicans and Libertarians.

  33. Rob Says:

    Or an even more pertinent example. Suppose I was your children’s high school history teacher and spent a class showing how a socialist democracy like Denmark has achieved a much better outcome than the US since Reagan began the destructive path we have been on in the last 30 years. Would you be defending me at the PTA meetings?

  34. rationaloptimist Says:

    Karl: I agree with you that Prop 8 was bad policy, I would have voted against it, but your extreme rhetoric vilifying its supporters is way too much. One more time: the referendum reflected what was in fact the prevailing view. It PASSED — even in California, one of the most liberal states. For all Karl’s invective about it, Prop 8 in fact merely codified what had been uniform policy throughout America for over two centuries. So, once more, I think Rob’s and Karl’s demonization of its supporters as holding unacceptably vile views is untenable. Theirs was a legitimate political opinion.
    “Eich was not fired; he resigned” — in fact he was forced out, as a result of a campaign seeking exactly that.
    Rob’s hypotheticals are obviously non-analogous. Freedom of speech is not applicable in such cases, just as it doesn’t cover shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater, to use Justice Holmes’s famous example.
    A reading of Rob’s comments illustrates exactly the mindset I was writing about in my original post, and shows that it wasn’t merely my fevered imagination that people like him actually exist.

  35. Rob Says:

    My last example most certainly is analogous, because by your admission you most certainly would try to stop my free (and factual) speech about the bankruptcy of Reaganomics, ang likely work to get me fired and barred from teaching in your state. Luckily people like me are rapidly becoming more prevalent than people like you, and in a couple more census cycles you’ll no longer be able to gerrymander your way into claiming you speak for the majority in America.

  36. rationaloptimist Says:

    I would “most certainly try to stop [your] free … speech about the bankruptcy of Reaganomics, and likely work to get [you] fired …” ??
    Really, Rob? Really? Have you actually READ any of what I’ve written? Stop your free speech? You know, I COULD easily have deleted your comments on my blog, if I wanted to stop your free speech! Have you ANY idea how ridiculous you sound?
    Unfortunately you may be right that people like you are becoming more prevalent than people like me. Pray for America.

  37. Rob Says:

    What else was I to conclude when you called my example like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded room?

  38. Rob Says:

    To my way of thinking, most of the right wing free speech being defended these days is shouting “Fire!” In a crowded room. And I most certainly would not try to shut down your blog unless it was clearly inciting others to evil acts, as is the case with the ones promoting vigilante use of firearms.

  39. rationaloptimist Says:

    The First Rule of Holes: when you’re in one, stop digging.

  40. Karl Miller Says:

    No, I think I *will* vilify anyone who supported Prop 8, thank you very much, and I think both reason and decency would compel the same vilification. But to repeat my point from above: I would *not* ask someone to lose their job because they supported Prop 8 once upon a time. On balance, I’m more with Frank than Rob on this particular instance, but there’s some tangled reasoning on both sides.

    A CEO is not the same as a regular employee. A CEO is a political position in the most basic sense of the word and any CEO will tell you so. That does *not* mean that a CEO should be compelled to pass some partisan issues test, but if that same CEO has made loud, hateful statements in the past, they should be prepared to articulate why they made them and Eich didn’t do that. To me, that doesn’t make him an irredeemable person but he is clearly a rather tone-deaf and inept CEO, in which case: no real loss here.

    I’m guessing Frank agrees that money = speech, so Eich was “speaking” the same garbage that the Prop-8 campaign was spreading in 2008. And if, as the saying goes, sticks and stones break one’s bones … well, again, the right has used those tools more often than the liberal’s nasty words, so please let’s drop the victimization, okay? Eich could have stood up for himself but he didn’t. He could have retained his ridiculous beliefs *and* smoothed things over, but he didn’t. He knew he wasn’t just wrong for this non-profit company, but wrong for the title CEO, so he left. Pity. I agree the Left was hysterical and absurd to demand his ouster, but the dude clearly didn’t have the mettle to be the CEO of a Silicon Valley open-source non-profit (any more than I would have the mettle to be the CEO of an anti-abortion non-profit in fucking Mississippi), so … what’s the real tragedy here? That he had to beat back an angry inbox for a couple weeks? I’m sorry, but next to the death threats our nation’s doctors get from right-wing fundamentalists, I frankly don’t give a shit. He should have stayed an engineer.

    Rob, the best historical analog here is anti-miscegenation law — which was supported by plenty of majorities and was never right when it was so supported, Frank. We have the law so that we don’t *need* to wage pissy boycotts like the one Rob suggested. I don’t want to *shop* for human rights; I want to *compel* them through argument and democratic process.

    I don’t know where Andrew Sullivan ranks on either Rob or Frank’s list, but I think he’s found the crucial middle in this issue. We should be magnanimous in victory here and channel some of the grace and compassion that animated our country’s other great civil rights battles. At the same time, people like Eich should be able to say something meaningful when their money stops doing the talking.

  41. Rob Says:

    Hi Karl, I appreciate your comments, but think your so-called middle ground is exactly what enabled the rich/corporate backlash against the New Deal that allowed Reagan and his followers to destroy the middle class. In the face of almost total corporate oligarchy today, Boycotts, strikes and protests are almost the only tool the common man has to combat the rising influence of corporations on our country. If you think our democratic process is still working, especially since disastrous Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, you are completely out of touch with the reality on the street. The rich and corporations are buying elections and politicians pretty much at will, and sending candidates to Washington and our Statehouses that almost no one would have voted for if they had not been dazed and confused by money-speech. The myth of a liberal press is the most absurd notion they have invented – there is no liberal press. There are only corporate propaganda machines to target each different segment of the voting public. Fox is for the true believers, to rile them enough to get them to vote. CNN is to daze and confuse the folks who can’t be bothered to vote and make sure they are so preoccupied with trivial pursuits they forget to vote again this year, and MSNBC is to lull soft liberals like you into thinking their middle ground, soft pursuit of justice and sensibility is actually going to accomplish more than slowing down the corporate takeover of America.

    The only segment of the Democratic party that has a chance of turning things around is the progressive Elizabeth Warren wing, who refuse to let simplistic ideals about freedom prevent them from pushing for what is truly just and consistent with returning to a more reasonable balance of power between the corporate elite and the worker class.

  42. njmolinari Says:

    Good post and good comments all around.

  43. Karl Miller Says:

    What on earth do you expect, Rob? The only solution I see in your post is Elizabeth Warren – a remarkable woman, to be sure, but voting for her means you trust the democratic apparatus to work at the end of the day, too. I assume you’ll be canvassing for the mid-terms this fall? And volunteering for your state and local candidates, too? Can you name them without Googling? All this left, right, and center talk is keeping both you and Frank from examining the issue unto itself.

    Boycotts, protests, and sit-ins work great when the civil rights dispute concerns municipal utilities like buses. Or public spaces like restaurants and schools. Or foreign countries with awful laws we cannot change. My point is you shouldn’t have to boycott private companies for their leaders’ beliefs because when you make morality itself a *cash transaction* you deplete concrete political change. You become the “soft liberal” with no connection to life on the streets. Rob, you rail against the influence of money, but then confess your only weapon is … your money! I take it we should have waged the Civil War by having the North secede from the South? Or by boycotting cotton until the South gradually wised up and treated people like humans? Nonsense. The transactional morality you advocate is libertarian, not liberal. So call me names all you like, but you’re the one violating progressive ideals here.

    Think about it. Why filter every purchase through every moral requirement at every stage of production when the law exists to make such protest purchases moot? I still order Papa John’s pizza even though John himself has been an embarrassingly stupid opponent of Obamacare … because we have Obamacare. That’s what matters. John adds a dollar to each pie so the dude cooking it doesn’t cough and drip all over it … which is totally worth a dollar to me and rather proves Obama’s point. And Rob you must know that for every Eich out there we have countless millions more you are enabling by paying them money for things, so … hope you do your research. Or you could, you know … organize and vote.

  44. Karl Miller Says:

    More Monty Python references please!

    Sometimes blog comments feel like the Argument Clinic, don’t you think?

  45. Rob Says:

    I spent several weekends canvassing for the Dems in the last presidential election in the crucial state, Ohio. So I’ll thank you not to attack my involvement in the mainstream political process. I am also actively boycotting Walmart and McDonalds for their labor abuses. These are not local, and they are having an effect on these companies.

    If I am not as active as I would like, it is because my wife’s career has forced us to move 4 times in the last 5 years, and permanent alimony keeps me constantly glued to more demanding and less meaningful work than I’d prefer to be doing at this stage of life. But I am sure I am making a difference. Are you?

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