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August 22, 2013

The Left's League Of All Right Thinking People

While liberals often talk about needing "a conversation" on x, y, or z, what they really mean is, "Conservatives must confess their errors, engage in ritual self-condemnation and approved reeducation". How they set up this conversation is by declaring certain thoughts and positions approved and others deviant and beyond anything a respectable person would say or think.

What got me thinking about this is…hockey.

The NHL and hockey writers have become increasingly vocal in support of gay rights and same sex marriage. Most of it is based on a program called You Can Play that seeks to increase tolerance for gays in sports. As a spinoff from that, given the NHL’s participation in the upcoming Olympics in Sochi, Russia, there’s a great deal of focus on Russia’s law regarding what it terms the spread of gay propaganda.

The NHL and players who are likely to be at the Olympics are being asked about their feelings on the law and if they are deemed insufficiently outraged they are being criticized in hockey media.

What all this coverage amounts to s the left's vaunted conversation how (not if) we should be protesting the Russians at the winter Olympics.

Now that’s all fine. If people want to cross the streams of politics and sports, that’s their right. It annoys me no end but professional athletes and sports writers are as welcome to their opinions as anyone else.

What bothers me is the double standard. Some positions, such as gay rights and gun control are officially sanctioned parts of the liberal cannon so they may be and in some cases, must be, expressed. Should you have a view different from that held by the Cult of All Right Thinking People, well then you must be ridiculed and marginalize or worse.

Take for example the case of former NY Ranger Sean Avery. Avery was disciplined on more than one occasion for his on and off the ice antics and not always considered a fine upstanding citizen of the hockey community. However he stared in a pro same-sex marriage PSA in New York while the state was considering legalizing those unions. Suddenly Avery was an important voice who had much to teach his fellow players and society at large.

On the other hand player Agent Todd Reynolds responded in opposition to Avery’s support for same-sex marriage and was roundly and even savagely (auto start video) attacked in the media for it. It even cost him a client (to be clear, it’s a player’s right to change representation if they do not feel their agent is the person to represent them. I just wonder what would happen if a player dropped an agent because the agent supported same-sex marriage).

A Canadian sports announcer tweeted his support for Reynolds and was…promptly fired.

One sports writer even went so far as to note that the backlash against Reynolds was a good sign for gays in sports.

When people speak of how the gay movement still needs its own Jackie Robinson, it sometimes sounds as if what they really mean is that it will take a martyr, not just a sports hero with a social conscience.

But is that still true? Especially now that sports continue to present us with examples of how people such as the Reynoldses -- and not Avery -- face the bigger backlash for their views on gay rights?

You see, if you’re on the side of traditional marriage you’re “like a toddler” with whom there can’t even be a rationale debate. While pro-same sex marriage folks are just the best humanity has to offer.

It’s not just same-sex marriage that brings out the barely hidden liberal in much of the sports media. Take the case of former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas. After winning the Stanley Cup and the playoff MVP trophy in 2011, Thomas announced he wouldn’t go to the White House to meet with Barack Obama because he believes, “the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People,".

For this stance, Thomas has taken a tremendous amount of abuse from sports writers, politicians and even a fellow player (Again, what would the reaction have been to a player who joked at Avery's expense on SSM?). And of course there was an implication from an NHL employee that Thomas was a racist for not going to the White House.

Obviously it’s not just hockey. The irrational hatred of Tim Tebow (remember that outrage over the Superbowl ad with his mom?) based in large part on his Christian faith is well known.

Most importantly consider the angst the Russian law has created over participation by NHL players in next year’s Olympics. We didn’t see anything remotely like that in 2008. NBA players weren't asked whether or not they think there should be boycotts or demonstrations during the games over China’s barbaric one-child policy (athletes were reminded the IOC prohibits political displays).

Is the Russian law aimed at pro gay "propaganda" an obvious violation of the basic human right to freedom of speech? Of course. Is it the most hateful thing in the history of humanity towards gays? I'd say not.

Given all the outrage I was expecting the punishment for breaking this law to be years at hard labor in Siberia. Not quite.

If you’re Russian. Individuals engaging in such propaganda can be fined 4,000 to 5,000 rubles (120-150 USD), public officials are subject to fines of 40,000 to 50,000 rubles (1,200-1,500 USD), and registered organizations can be either fined (800,000-1,000,000 rubles or 24,000-30,000 USD) or sanctioned to stop operations for 90 days. If you engage in the said propaganda in the media or on the internet, the sliding scale of fines shifts: for individuals, 50,000 to 100,000 rubles; for public officials, 100,000 to 200,000 rubles, and for organizations, from one million rubles or a 90-day suspension.

If you’re an alien. Foreign citizens or stateless persons engaging in propaganda are subject to a fine of 4,000 to 5,000 rubles, or they can be deported from the Russian Federation and/or serve 15 days in jail. If a foreigner uses the media or the internet to engage in propaganda, the fines increase to 50,000-100,000 rubles or a 15-day detention with subsequent deportation from Russia.

Huh? All this rending of garments and gnashing of teeth over...a misdemeanor?

Where exactly would a few bucks in fines fit on the lists of punishment for being gay in the Muslim world?

Fines vs. stoning, flogging, hanging and beheading. Why are we even talking about this? Oh right, Muslims are a protected class that one may not speak ill of.

I'm all for smacking Putin around but wouldn't all this time, effort and attention be better spent on say...trying to stop the execution of gays simply because they are gay?

Sure you can say, "let's do both" but then you need to...actually DO BOTH. I'm not seeing a lot of coverage of the terrible treatment of gays at the hands of Islamic governments.

And how much support do you think a hockey player would get if he came out against the barbaric treatment of gays or women in the Islamic world? Yeah.

Approved heroes...designated villains.

Say what you will about Russia's law but it’s not even remotely in the neighborhood of China's one-child policy. A policy that has the blood of hundreds of millions of unborn children on its hands and left untold millions more families in ruin.

That never came up in the context of the 2008 summer Olympics for the same reason that Kermit Gosnell was “a local crime story” and Wendy "No Restrictions On Abortions" Davis is a hero to Democrats and Todd Aiken somehow became the face of the GOP, even though her position is just as extreme as his. Abortion and same-sex marriage are the preferred policies of the elite liberal establishment and voicing support for them is the key to advancement in the ranks. This isn’t a conspiracy in the sense that lists are made and checks are run. It’s a conspiracy of the like-minded. Any liberal who happens to read this will scoff at the notion of all of this simply because the majority of them never question their own assumptions. They never notice that their instance on tolerance rings hollow to people on the other end of their attacks and ridicule.

This picking of heroes and villains along with the praise heaped on the former and scorn, derision and mocking dumped on the latter is the preferred Modus operandi of the left.

For the most part liberals don’t simply try to change hearts and minds, they simply stakeout a position and declare any opposition to it beyond the bounds of good taste and polite company. They reward friends and punish enemies.

Are you an American gold medalist? Great, you can head the US delegation at last year's summer Olympics. Oh, you oppose same-sex marriage? Out the door you go then.

Support same-sex marriage? Well, then you Mr. Hockey Player with the history of anger issues, you will get glowing media coverage. You Mr. Agent and you Mr. Announcer dare to speak out the agreed upon consensus…you will be attacked and you will lose your job. A hockey player expressing conservative views? Well, that’s just divisive and putting yourself ahead of the team. Clearly that makes you a “nutbar”.

And for those things that are too hard to mock and ridicule, like hundreds of millions of state forced abortions, well don’t worry, those…unpleasant things can simply be ignored.

Is it any wonder that most people watching this would chose to stay quiet if they find themselves holding unapproved views?

The control over most pop culture institutions is a great tool for the left but what they really understand is the appeal of simple narratives, of good vs. evil. If you can cast yourself and your opponents in the right role, you’re more than halfway to victory.

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posted by DrewM. at 11:09 AM

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