Under attack for her new book, “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech,” Kirsten Powers, the USA Today columnist and Fox News contributor, may be the most recent canary in the coal mine warning America of a toxic influence on civility.
Powers’s book highlights her research on the increasing number of incidents of intimidation of political opponents who challenge the liberal orthodoxy in America. As a liberal herself, she condemns “the illiberal left.”
As someone who leans towards the Elizabeth Warren political worldview, Powers says, “it’s hard to go against your tribe,” as hostile, vicious reactions have now started surfacing against her and this book. She finds solace in her faith and her conviction that this tactic is beyond the pale for a healthy civil society. She firmly believes “persuasion, not coercion” is how you win arguments.
In this exclusive video interview with The Daily Caller, she says she has been accused of “betrayal” by fellow Democrats when she has criticized President Obama or condemned personal attacks on conservative figures like Sarah Palin.
Powers started noticing more people getting silenced by a maddening mob of sorts. Whether the topic was abortion, same sex marriage or climate change, for example, she noticed the Saul Alinsky tactics in vogue are spreading beyond attacks on just conservatives and Christians. Her new book highlights Democrats, feminists and liberals who are now being targeted for having “stepped out of line and offended the wrong people.”
Although she supports same sex marriage, Powers says one is not automatically a bigot or homophobe for opposing the unions. She knows too may sincere, orthodox Christians who have opened her mind. She asks, “Do we really think Pope Francis is a homophobe?”
She cites the Indiana pizza shop that was embroiled in the state’s religious freedom fight last month as an example. “These people just answered a hypothetical. And next thing you know they are under assault. They actually didn’t even deny service.” This pizza business was “getting death threats and people were “trying to drive [them] out of business.” (RELATED: The Real Story Behind The ‘Hateful’ Indiana Pizzeria)
To Powers, Media Matters, funded by Democratic donors, is one of the most damaging forces to free speech. They run hostile campaigns to “try to delegitimize reporters who report on things they don’t like.” Powers cites the award-winning investigative reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, formerly with CBS, who experienced such a campaign against her.
As for attacks on Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, Powers says the goal is to “scare other reporters off” from sounding conservative in their coverage.
There is “zero tolerance for ideological diversity” for those on the illiberal left, she says.
She encourages alumni to scrutinize and withhold donations from colleges where chilling trends to free speech are surfacing. Powers describes the emerging terms of “triggering, micro-aggressions and safe spaces” trending across American campuses. See this and a spoof reaction here.
Will she call on Democrats to denounce these illiberal tactics? No, because they “see electoral gain in using it.”
Beyond her book, she discusses the ethics challenge for ABC’s George Stephanopoulos donating to the Clinton Foundation before interviewing Peter Schweizer, author of “Clinton Cash.” Powers says the media involvement with the Clintons is so omnipresent that she claimed, “the fish doesn’t recognize the water.”
On the risks to Hillary Clinton allowing her husband to collect funds from foreign governments and high donors while she was secretary of state, Powers demurs to politics and says, “it’s not what they [the Clintons] would have wanted to happen. People have already made up their mind about Hillary Clinton.”
Besides, she says, many are “predisposed to believe Peter Schweizer has been delegitimized” as a conservative critic. ontinuing, she quotes a Democrat who doesn’t like Hillary Clinton but will vote for her because, if not, “all hell will break loose in the Democrat party with this Elizabeth Warren stuff.”
For more on Powers, see here.
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