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Progressive Politics Permeate, Poison

Jessica Raven, triggered by pro-Kavanaugh tweets into running for PTA (WUSA screengrab)

What must it be like to work in such a lunatic environment? From the NYT:

“I want to apologize,” the Facebook executive wrote last Friday in a note to staff. “I recognize this moment is a deeply painful one — internally and externally.”

The apology came from Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for global public policy. A day earlier, Mr. Kaplan had sat behind his friend, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, when the judge testified in Congress about allegations he had sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford in high school. Mr. Kaplan’s surprise appearance prompted anger and shock among many Facebook employees, some of whom said they took his action as a tacit show of support for Judge Kavanaugh — as if it were an endorsement from Facebook itself.

The unrest quickly spilled over onto Facebook’s internal message boards, where hundreds of workers have since posted about their concerns, according to current and former employees. To quell the hubbub, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, last Friday explained in a widely attended staff meeting that Mr. Kaplan was a close friend of Judge Kavanaugh’s and had broken no company rules, these people said.

Yet the disquiet within the company has not subsided. This week, Facebook employees kept flooding internal forums with comments about Mr. Kaplan’s appearance at the hearing. In a post on Wednesday, Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook executive, appeared to dismiss the concerns when he wrote to employees that “it is your responsibility to choose a path, not that of the company you work for.” Facebook plans to hold another staff meeting on Friday to contain the damage, said the current and former employees.

Read it all. It gets even more berserk. It’s a company full of SJW snowflakes, freaking out because Kaplan took a personal day to go be present when one of his closest friends, Kavanaugh, was facing one of the most difficult days of his life. And for that, he’s pilloried within the company.

Once upon a time, you left your politics out of the workplace. Now they infest the workplace — from the Left. Can anybody think of companies where conservatives demand a space safe from an opposing opinion expressed in private life? I can’t.

More left-wing fanaticism ruining everyday life: a DC woman, Jessica Raven, was so upset that a woman running for PTA president at her kid’s school tweeted out support for Kavanaugh that she (Raven) decided to run against her. Now Social Justice Warriors from all over are backing her candidacy. From the WaPo:

Jessica Raven is the executive director of Collective Action for Safe Spaces, a grass-roots organization that describes its role in one sentence on its website: “We’re working to make DC safer for everyone.” She had recently cut back her hours so she could become more involved in the life of her 4-year-old transgender daughter, Max, but she said that before the hearing, she hadn’t decided how she was going to spend that time. When she saw the other woman’s tweets, she said, they struck her because they “seemed defensive of Brett Kavanaugh.”

Knowing the other mother was running unopposed, Raven submitted her bio that night to the parents’ association and, with that, secured her place on the ballot.

“I thought no one is running, and I’m someone,” she said. “My child needs a safe community at school, and I want to be a part of creating that.”

Because having a PTA president who expressed sympathy for Brett Kavanaugh on social media makes a school unsafe.

These people. They have to be stopped. They’re ruining life. Who wants to work for a company where you can become an internal pariah for standing by your old friend? Who wants to work in a neurosis-ridden hamster cage where you have to be afraid that the internal mob will turn on you for having the “wrong” opinion? Who wants to get involved in helping out at your local school when ideologically-charged activists rush in to politicize everything?

A Missouri reader writes, asking me to leave his name out of it:

I just wanted to drop a note regarding your recent piece on polls. I was a life-long Democrat who felt like the party abandoned me after Ferguson. I felt it was unjust that a cop couldn’t be considered innocent until proven guilty, and I was deeply uncomfortable with the way my party was heading. However, even though I detested Hillary Clinton because of her riding her husband’s coattails, I preferred her to Trump’s boorish lack of values, and his nationalist rhetoric. Politically, I couldn’t even join a new party, because it had been co-opted by this lout. This was difficult, because the Democratic Party’s near obsession with abortion was especially disconcerting to me. For me over the years, it became an environmental issue, because you’d be ending an utterly unique life. It seemed hypocritical that we’d rightly bend over backwards to save an endangered species, yet dispose of a baby in the womb.

Clinton’s loss gave the Democrats time to reflect, but they seem to have doubled down on everything. I’ve had friendships altered. Co-workers who used to go to lunch with me have ostracized me, simply for not being fully on board with the various causes that pass for the Left, today. There can be no engagement and no persuasion. In the Kavanaugh matter, I would say that regardless of how I feel he may rule, I’m concerned about going after anyone no evidence. The political timing makes Dr. Ford at best a pawn, or worse; a co-conspirator bringing down an innocent man.

So…what do I do for the Senate race in Missouri? Option A would be to follow my history and vote Democratic. McCaskill has been one of the more moderate voices in the party. She opposes Kavanaugh, but seems to have removed the dubious allegations against him from the equation. I applaud her for at least that. She didn’t show that restraint towards Darren Wilson. Option B would be to vote for the Independent. Or Option C would be give it to the Republican who doesn’t seem particularly interested in the job, and who decried those who uses offices for stepping stones. The correct answer now is C. Democrats can’t be trusted to handle an investigation properly, and they will play this game for any subsequent nominees. If it won’t be some neo-Puritanical test, it will be a religious test disguised as making sure someone isn’t prejudiced. I can’t share my thoughts with many, but I’m reminded of Claudius’ line from Hamlet.

“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below.
Words without thoughts never to heaven go.”

My only haven will be the ballot box. Anything else would be a tip-off risking more alienation from many peers. The party needs to suffer more, before they can grow. Tactics like this are shameful. The question is…will they do it by 2020? Will we even last that long? I suspect there are thousands of people like me who are disgusted with the way they are heading. I loathe Trump, and would never vote for him; but the Democrats had one job…and they can’t manage even a partial turn to the center. That’s why I’m calling it now: Democrats won’t claim the Senate. If the Democrats can return to valuing the blue collar workers, and not just the minimum wage crowd, find room in their tent for those who find abortion wrong, and reclaim themselves as defenders of free speech; they might have a future. However, identity politics and all the myriad other ills seem too entrenched. So do the politics of destroying people, rather than honestly and ardently debating the flaws of their ideas.

UPDATE: A reader who grew up in communist Czechoslovakia writes:

It may look like Communism but it isn’t.  It’s worse. Nobody, and I mean nobody (perhaps with one notable exception of a very decent guy, actually), believed the communist propaganda drivel. I don’t recall anybody fainting at the thought of imperialist ‘diversants’ sneaking across the border, revanchists hiding in their closets. It was a mechanism to control, brutalize and destroy and both the brutes and the brutalized understood it as such. Our current situation is somewhat unique. We actually have a large class of people who take this garbage at face value. That’s scary.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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