WILLIAMS: Liberal intolerance chills health care speech

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Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

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Even though Mr. Mackey agrees that health care reform is desirable, he is a bad buy because he disagrees with Mr. Obama’s version of single-payer health care reform. This is a scary political trend when people are considered “bad” merely because they disagree with their opponents’ political solution to health care reform. This is not a way to promote discourse on health care reform.

Liberalism has a long and admirable history of being open-minded and tolerant. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union pride themselves on defending free speech from all sides of the political spectrum. Liberal academics in America’s universities defend the tenure system because it enables professors to express unpopular views. The liberal media jealously defend their special role in the Fourth Estate to expose and criticize government policy because it is essential to freedom in a democracy.

Therefore, it is disappointing, but perhaps not unexpected, that some closed-minded liberals are boycotting Whole Foods because the CEO proposed constructive discourse that was not part of the liberal Democratic Party line. Mr. Mackey’s real offense is that he cannot find a right to health care in the Constitution and proposes that individuals take some responsibility for their lifestyle choices. His solution to health care reform does not conform to Obama Care.

The liberal establishment has made it clear. If you do not follow the party line in a liberal institution or one serving liberals, you will be penalized for free speech that contradicts liberal orthodoxy. The case of Mr. Mackey is the most recent evidence that American liberalism has morphed into intolerance toward competing ideas. America will lose great ideas in the long run if the presenter of unorthodox ideas is penalized.

“The Armstrong Williams Show” is broadcast weeknights on XM Satellite’s Power 169 channel from 9 to 10 p.m.

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