The Coalition of the Absurd

Over the last week, public officials in Boston and Chicago have declared their intention to block, by any means necessary, Chick-fil-A restaurants from opening in their cities. Now, Chick-fil-A does not discriminate in hiring, nor in service. However, the owner of the company, an outspoken Christian who closes his branches on Sunday so employees can attend church if they wish, recently outed himself as a supporter of traditional marriage. This is a bridge too far for Mayors Menino and Emmanuel. The way they see it, free speech may be a civil right, but certain speech is just too extreme for their diverse cities. Here is the punchline: They are doing this in the name of tolerance.

You see, the left claims the mantle of tolerance. Tolerance and diversity are their most sacred truths. It is with these claims that various left-wing groups join together against the forces of what they call intolerance, or sometimes even hate. This left-wing coalition is vast and broad, and includes such diverse groups as feminists, black activists, progressives, homosexual activists, Muslims, environmentalists, Communists, socialists, and even anarchists. Straight, white, conservative, Christian males need not apply, of course.

The funny thing about this leftist coalition is how many of these groups are united only by their desire to dismantle traditional American culture. When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke before Columbia University, students laughed nervously at his assertion that there were no gays in Iran. Yet these two groups – leftist graduate students and radical Muslims – remain allies in the American culture war. To this coalition, a Christian who disapproves of gay marriage is more of a threat than a Muslim who has gay people beheaded. Mayors Emmanuel and Menino did not call to task any Muslim-run restaurants in their cities, demanding to know their position on gay marriage like they have done to Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy. As the brilliant Iowahawk pointed out on Twitter, “In Chicago, you must be pro-gay marriage to sell fried chicken, but not Chicken Shawarma. #knowyourChicagocitycodes”

It is not just in matters of religion or sexual orientation that makes this left-wing coalition so absurd. Remember the Tea Party rallies? Nearly every news story took pains to point out how the crowds were “mostly white”. MSNBC took it a step further during the healthcare town hall meetings when they photographed an armed man from the neck down, lest they reveal that this “dangerous white man” was actually a black man. Yet when Occupy Wall Street took to the streets, how many articles pointed out the racial makeup of those crowds? Occupy was almost entirely a white enterprise, but it was never viewed through the racial lens that the Tea Party (arguably more diverse) was in every news story. Apparently racial makeup only matters if the subjects are conservative. Members of the Coalition of the Absurd get a pass.

Remember Trent Lott? The former Senate majority leader was forced to resign after he made a nice comment about Senator Strom Thurmond, who was once a segregationist. On the other hand, then-Senator Joe Biden called then-Senator Barack Obama the first “clean” black man who was running for president. Biden’s punishment? The vice-presidency. African-American activists play a huge role in the Democratic Party today. They support people of color in every walk of life… unless that black person is Clarence Thomas or Condoleeza Rice, for whom they save their most vile epithets.

Feminists make up a large contingent of the Coalition of the Absurd. Like black activists, they claim support the rise of women everywhere… unless that woman is Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann, of course. And when men mistreat women, the Coalition is right there to speak truth to power… unless that power is Bill Clinton, who was defended by feminists even as he was being accused of sexual harassment and even rape.

The Coalition of the Absurd goes through twists and turns that would break the most limber acrobat in order to maintain their frame. Guns are bad, unless they are carried by your own bodyguards. Private jets are bad, unless they are used by congresspeople. Free speech is always good, unless it is conservatives doing the speaking. Tax breaks for big business are bad, unless that business is Hollywood. Sending American troops to fight foreign wars is bad, unless a Democrat is in office. Opposing gay marriage is unforgivable, unless you are Barack Obama running for president in 2008. Supporting gay marriage covers all wrongs, unless you are Dick Cheney.

I think the singular truth to be drawn from observing the Coalition of the Absurd is this: Leftism is their primary allegiance. Feminists are leftists first, women second. Progressives are leftists first, reformers second. The same goes for radical Islamists, gay activists, left-wing African Americans, and more. Left-wing ideology will tolerate no other master. All that matters is the intensity with which each group despises traditional conservative culture. How is that for tolerance?

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