In a book on Voltaire, author Evelyn Hall wrote the famous phrase “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it”.
Freedom of thought and expression is a basic tenet of our democracy. There have been times in our history when we fell badly short of our ideals. The years following World War 2 was one such time. People could lose their jobs or even go to jail if they were accused of being a communist or communist sympathizer. These practices became known as McCarthyism, named after a crackpot senator from Wisconsin.
We are entering a similar time. This time it is a grassroots effort aimed at conservatives. First Amendment protections are rapidly disappearing from college campuses. People that speak up may be shouted down or even physically attacked. In some places, efforts are under way to shut down businesses where the owner expresses conservative beliefs or donate to the Trump campaign.
There have been a couple of examples in the news recently. A pair of sitcom actors seemed to be proposing a blacklist for anyone attending a Trump fundraiser. They have since backed off that position. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a non-binding resolution declaring the NRA to be terrorist organization. Apparently, they think having the wrong political views should be grounds for incarceration.
People of all political beliefs should denounce these tactics. Very few offer criticism, even when groups like Antifa commit violence. One member of Congress called them peaceful demonstrators.
Our democracy is weakened whenever people lose their rights. Preserving it is far more important than who is president or which side of an issue becomes law.