During the 2016 presidential campaign, it looked as if Hillary Clinton would become our Madam President. Election analysts prophesied her victory (she would go on to secure the popular vote). Her campaign staff bought confetti — translucent confetti to symbolize the glass ceiling that many predicted she would break.
Most conservatives silently watched Hillary’s victory preparations, but, as the sun began to set, conservatives dutifully headed to the polls after work. It didn’t take long for their voices to break that silence and usher in a new era of American politics.
President Trump’s unlikely win sent shockwaves through our political system, and now vitriolic rhetoric surges as we talk about our government, threatening to break it apart. The left would delight in its destruction. The outcries of the leftist media would lead you to believe that the majority of Americans are Democrats, that your conservative views are obsolete and vile and that the conservative population is ever-shrinking.
These outcries are lies.
As we witnessed four years ago this November, the silent majority — the one our president assured us was thriving — defied, defeated and deafened the media and leftists across the country.
Now that the left has heard the voice of the silent, they are scrambling to suppress it. They actively try to silence dissenters, and looking at the absurd treatment of Attorney General Barr in last Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing, it is clear that the left is bereft of all tact.
House Democrats asked leading questions and demanded impossible answers. They interrupted, accused and spoke over Mr. Barr. If this is how the left treats the chief law enforcement officer in the nation, a man of great responsibility and worthy of great respect, how can any average, conservative citizen have confidence to share their ideas?
Conservatives are silenced or ridiculed not only in person (like Mr. Barr), but online. Last week, Big Tech companies faced a grilling on Capitol Hill, with conservative lawmakers again pointing out blatant online censorship of conservatives. Also last week, Big Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter acted as sole arbiters of medical truth by deleting a video from newsfeeds trying to silence a message about a potentially life-saving COVID-19 treatment.
Never before has the political climate, media and work environments been so hostile to non-leftist opinions. Political correctness reigns. It is the left’s chief weapon in their mission to silence conservatives. In American society, it is too quickly becoming true that you are allowed an opinion only as long as it is the correct, left-approved opinion.
Hence the silenced majority.
But many seem to know it’s there.
In Pennsylvania, 57% of voters believe there are “secret voters” in their community, voters who claim to be uninterested in voting or to be voting for Mr. Biden, but will actually vote for Mr. Trump in November. Why the deception?
In a nutshell, it’s too time-consuming, frustrating or just plain dangerous to endure the public shaming — or excoriating in the case of Mr. Barr — to declare support for Mr. Trump or conservatism in general. Outside of prominent and famous conservative leaders and commentators, many grassroots conservatives are your average, salt-of-the-earth folks who avoid drawing attention or causing contention, especially over politics. These people are often reserved and polite in public and online — but passionately principled.
They get up every day, take care of their families, dutifully go to work, manage their responsibilities — and vote. Maybe the left misunderstands or underestimates the silenced majority because, to them, stalwart belief in the cause means congregating in violent mobs to cause chaos and demand their way. They can’t fathom diehards peaceably and quietly going about their lives and just showing up at the ballot box without causing a ruckus in the weeks beforehand.
But now more than ever, our country needs conservatives to speak up and resist the left’s silencing. Yes, people have gotten fired for expressing non-leftist views. Yes, public figures have been shamed and degraded like Attorney General Barr. Yes, weddings and Thanksgiving meals and family reunions have been ruined by leftist intolerance. But what happens if we don’t speak up? The next generation of conservatives needs role models. We must be them. The left’s tyranny on public opinion and media must be stopped, and conservatives are not alone in trying to stop it.
Elon Musk said it best with a recent tweet: “The left is losing the middle.” If he can see this from his liberal surroundings in California, then it must hold some element of truth. Who are the silent majority? Surely not the extreme right or left. If the left is losing the middle, and the middle is silent, then what does that do to poll numbers? This November, we will see.
• Tyler Beaver is creator of the Open Range mobile app, which brings agricultural producers together with global markets, and founded the Arkansas-based Beaf Cattle Company to facilitate global protein, grain and crop sourcing. Find him on Twitter @realtylerbeaver