On Friday The Federalist reported the results of a recent Cato Institute survey of Americans asked whether or not it was okay to fire people who support President Trump.
The article notes:
The Cato Institute just released a new report showing that 62 percent of Americans are inclined to self-censor what they say politically “because others might find them offensive.” Even moderate leftists report they feel increased fear of offending the offendable, while only the most “staunch liberals,” as Cato described them, feel free to speak their minds. The “very conservative” have been pushed deepest in the closet: they are most likely to refrain from saying what they think politically, at nearly twice the rate of the “very liberal.”
Buried deeper in the report, however, is a stunning data point that might be one of the most troubling current cultural indicators. Forty-four percent of Americans younger than age 30 believe a company is correct in firing an executive because he or she personally donated to President Trump’s reelection campaign.
The companion finding was also disturbing. Twenty-seven percent of people under 30 said they were fine with an executive being fired because he or she donated to the Joe Biden campaign. The means that of Americans under 30 years old, 73 percent think it would be wrong to fire an executive from a company for donating to the Biden campaign, while only 56 percent believe it would be wrong to do so for a Trump donation.
The article concludes:
It was not all that long ago that the liberal clarion value was the misattributed Voltairean principle, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Today that seems to have been replaced with the brutally authoritarian, “I disagree with what you believe, and I will make sure you lose your livelihood because I went digging and found out you made a private campaign contribution to someone I think is evil.”
If, God forbid, the autopsy of the American experiment is ever written, this growing expectation that political submission be a condition of one’s employment will certainly be noted as a significant stage in its demise. It demonstrates that the world’s most hopeful self-government is moving in a very bad direction, and that should profoundly bother us all.
This is frightening. It is a further indication that many Americans do not understand the founding documents of America. Free speech was one of the foundations of those documents. Viewpoint discrimination is an intimidation tactic that should be totally unacceptable in a free country. Firing an executive because they donated to a political campaign should not even be a consideration. The fact that it is is one of many reasons that the names of people who make donations under $1000 to a political campaign should be kept private. The names of people who make large donations or the names of organizations that make large donations should be made public.