So, let me get this straight: Hounding people from their jobs for political beliefs is a bad thing, if the belief in question has led to some of the greatest mass deaths of the 20th century. Suppressing the voices of such people is a shame and a caution and an offense to decency itself. Indeed, if someone dares even to identify such people, thus exposing them to possible professional repercussions, they should be shunned and held in contempt. After all, opinions can differ, and dissent is the highest form of patriotism, right? Indeed, anyone who faces consequences for such views must be awarded a martyr’s white robes. How dare we judge such people (who merely wanted to raze the American system) unAmerican?
But if someone expresses opinions that match those the President held in 2008, or makes a joke in the persona of an idiot, he must be driven from his job (although we may allow him to resign as a face-saving gesture — if we’re gracious) and consigned to the outer darkness. Really, perhaps people with the wrong opinions should be imprisoned. Let us proceed with charity towards none, with malice for all. They are enemies — indeed, unAmerican!
In short, what we see here is not merely a double set of standards, but human nature at its most spiteful, in a lust for payback. I’ve made no secret of my support for marriage equality (insofar as the government must be involved at all.) I find it tragic that so many people have had to live in the shadow of the closet. However, liberation should not entail driving one’s opponents into a closet of their own — “You may believe a certain thing, but you cannot express it” is hardly the voice of tolerance.
In this regard, perhaps people should consider the example of Nelson Mandela. When the loathsomeness of apartheid withered away, Mandela (whose past, and whose associates, had more than their share of bloodstains) had what I believe to be his greatest moment. He didn’t call for revenge, but for reconciliation. Alas, Mandelas are few — Harry Reids are many.
Punishing the holders of bad ideas is about as illiberal as one can get. Unfortunately, it seems to be quite Progressive.