What was once but a fringe subset of beliefs within the Democratic Party meriting little reason for serious concern, has quickly become a major force behind the platform and behavior of the party and its members.
The party now seems overwhelmingly beholden and hostage to the beliefs of left-wing extremists within its ranks - and even if many of the party’s members may not subscribe to these beliefs themselves, they are largely silent as leftist extremism continues to take hold across the country.
Let it be clear: It is not the expression of these beliefs which is worrisome – even extremists should have the right to freely express their philosophies. All ideas deserve a fair trial in the courts of our minds.
What is worrisome is the ideologically controlling and manipulative methods that have enabled the extremists within the Democratic Party to bring their once fringe ideas to the mainstream. These extremists relentlessly attack dissenters, even when those dissenters provide counter-arguments based on logic and sound information.
Anti-Americanism, anti-capitalism, anarchism, Marxism – all have become completely regular and acceptable beliefs to hold within the party, and dissenters to these belief sets are swiftly met with social pressure to conform, intimidation, ideological bullying, censorship, or even the threat of physical danger. Because the Democratic Party has enabled, validated and provided a platform for such tactics of ideological control, they have not only caused those within their own party to become hostage to a far-left, extremist and hostile minority – they have caused the entire country to become so.
Above everything else, my foremost reason for leaving the party this year came down to this: the Democratic Party poses a threat to freedom through its complacency towards leftist extremism and the fear tactics that keep it alive.
The free exchange of ideas among people is the greatest tool we have to build a society that works for everyone. And ideas should be adopted organically, not through fear, coercion, intimidation, bullying, and pressure to conform – which have sadly become the hallmark tactics of some of the loudest and most active members of the Democratic Party.
My assumption is certainly not that all Democrats condone this behavior when it comes to their privately held beliefs. In fact, I’m inclined to think that the vast majority of Democrats do not. However, my anecdotal experience this year was that nearly all Democrats have enabled such threats to freedom through their refusal to make their private feelings about this extremism public – they do not openly condemn this behavior for fear of being subjected to the same tactics of ideological control they see employed against critics of the far left. Or even worse, for fear of being accused of being a Republican.
Fancy that – it is now markedly taboo to publicly identify as a member of a major U.S. political party. When I came out as a Republican, I was subjected to dozens of private messages and public posts in which I had my character shamed and my experiences and beliefs invalidated. Anonymous Instagram profiles, in particular, held nothing back, emboldened by the protection afforded to them by their anonymity. I even ran into two different fake dating profiles that were set up for the sole purpose of harassing me. I faced a near-constant influx of online harassment over the two weeks following my public statement that I had switched parties.
It’s no wonder so many Republicans in 2020 have chosen to keep their politics a secret - the scare tactics of the far left unfortunately have proven to be effective tools to suppress dissenting ideas.
Think about it – have you ever in your life witnessed a time in this country when such a vast number of people were silent (or silenced) about their beliefs? When right-wing perspectives were relegated to such a near-underground status in a country that purports to be “free”?
Donald Trump won approximately 74 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, as compared to Biden’s roughly 81 million.  In the months leading up to the election, did you feel like you saw 7 Republican opinions expressed publicly for every 8 Democratic ones?
Donald Trump also won roughly:
- 1 out of 2 American Indian, Native American, or Alaskan Native votes 
- 1 out of 2 Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander votes 
- 1 out of 3 Muslim votes 
- 1 out of 3 Asian votes 
- 1 out of 3 Latino votes 
- 1 out of 4 LGBT votes 
- 1 out of 5 Black male votes 
- 1 out of 10 Black female votes 
Did you also know that only 24% of 2020 voters were self-described liberals, while 38% were self-described conservatives? 
Do you feel like you saw all of the above people’s voices represented in public discourse during the past year? Or do you think that conservative voters may have been silenced for fear of harsh criticism and public shaming?
The push towards leftism in the Democratic Party has made it such that even moderate opinions that have historically never been considered endemic to the Republican Party are now considered “right-wing.” These stances are therefore seldom publicly championed by members of the Democratic Party (or anyone at all, for that matter). As a thought exercise, imagine if you posted the following stand-alone phrases on one of your social media accounts:
- “America is a great country.”
- “Family is important to a society’s success.”
- “Law enforcement is an honorable occupation.”
Is it not alarming that all of these mild statements could now illicit fierce criticism from your left-wing friends? Is it not even more alarming that the threat of leftist backlash is so pervasive in our society that it seems to have silenced virtually all of those who still love this country, believe in the power of family, and respect and honor law enforcement officers?
What does it say about the state of free thought in our country that simple conservatism has effectively become the new counterculture? That even though nearly 4 out of 10 voters in this country are conservative, conservative voices have become practically nonexistent in our day-to-day lives?
These are all symptoms of the ideological absolutism and hostility that has become so pervasive, largely within the past year.
This should signal a worrisome trend not only to Republicans, but to Democrats as well. Societies that fall prey to such trends of ideological absolutism and suppression of free thought become subject to adopting just about any toxic agenda. Why? Because groupthink and pressure to conform prevent policy proposals from being subjected to any scrutiny whatsoever – and the effectiveness or lack thereof of such policy becomes a gamble, rather than a matter of strategy and planning.
In ideologically suppressive environments, policy cannot be subjected to an appropriate level of scrutiny, and therefore has a far lesser chance of being well-constructed and producing the outcomes it intends to create. In free environments, policy can be crafted based on a balanced analysis of both its criticisms and praises – those environments are therefore much more conducive to the creation of effective policy that produces the results we want to see.
- Idea suppression has implications far beyond simply posing a threat to free thought.
- Free thought, or the lack thereof, determines the very environment in which a society's policy is created.
- If we threaten free thought, we threaten sound policy.
- If we threaten sound policy, we threaten society.
Democratic complacency towards (and widespread participation in) idea suppression fosters an environment that is hostile to free thought, and therefore hostile to a free society.
If a society prevents and suppresses the open, honest and free exchange of thought, it will never be able to determine what does good, and will instead be relegated to govern itself according to whatever sounds good to the prevailing majority.
And if a society crafts policy based merely on what sounds good rather than what does good, it is doomed to fail.
“There are moments when one has to choose between living one's own life, fully, entirely, completely - or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands.” - Oscar Wilde