The Left’s scathing condemnation of political pundit Kirsten Powers’ new book “The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech” has proven to be a self-fulfilling prophecy and a publicity boon. Powers, whose professional background included a stint as a Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Public Affairs with the Clinton Administration, is now a Fox News Contributor and a columnist with publications including USA Today, Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Instead of giving Powers, who still describes herself as a liberal, a platform for a civil discussion on her book, the Left quickly challenged her credibility as a Democratic insider and accused her of homophobia.
Oliver Willis of the liberal organization Media Matters took potshots at Powers by saying that her contributions to Fox News and to Heritage Foundation, coupled with her “anti-choice” position, disqualify her as a liberal Democrat. Zack Ford of the liberal website Think Progress LGBT took to Twitter to accuse Powers of “demonizing LGBT people and sugar coating actions against LGBT equality as forgivable or not harmful.”
The Left’s swift attempt to denigrate Powers shows that they are not familiar with her past history of supporting gay equality and standing up for gay marriage during her days as a Clinton staffer in 1990’s, a time when few Democrats openly accepted gay marriage. More importantly, the Left’s efforts to demonize Powers shows that they are completely unwilling to have a conversation about ideas which do not dovetail completely with their beliefs. The Left has also proven to be completely unwilling to accept criticism. It is very interesting that the Left, which claims to be such a strong supporter of free speech, appears to only be a supporter of free speech they agree with. Hence, they are quick to dismiss Powers’ book, which details how conservatives and Christians often are silenced or accused of bigotry or stupidity for their viewpoints. Powers’ book also explores the way conservative women are mistreated by liberals. In some instances, liberal women are among the worst perpetrators of inappropriate characterizations of conservative women. For instance, landmark feminist Gloria Steinem once told New York Magazine that conservative women leaders such as Michele Bachman and Sarah Palin exist to “oppose the women’s movement. That is their job.” And of course, given that Powers is a Fox News contributor, her book also gets into President Obama’s seemingly personal vendetta against Fox News. Interestingly enough, Powers, in part, attributes her recent conversion to Christianity from atheism and her experience as a Fox News contributor with making her aware of the Left’s war on “free speech.”
The Left’s reaction to Powers’ book will ultimately have the end result of boosting the book’s sales. They have proven themselves to be the perfect case study for the hypocrisy which she described in “The Silencing”. According to Powers, “It is easier for the illiberal to demonize their opponents and sanctify themselves as moral beings that treat differences of opinion respectfully”. Apparently, if the Left’s treatment of Kirsten Powers is an example of their willingness to treat differences of opinions respectfully, it would be scary to see what their disrespect looks like. No, the Left has proven themselves to be just as “intolerant” as Powers portrayed them to be. For if they were truly open-minded, they would have been willing to listen to her point of view instead of trying to discredit her. In many ways, they were probably harder on her than they would have been on a conservative. After all, to a liberal, the only thing worse than a conservative is a liberal who is willing to be critical of other liberals.
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