A few years ago I might have entertained the notion. But not anymore. The National Organization for Marriage, which was founded to protect the pre-revisionist definition of marriage, is, in its various arms, both a 501(c)3 and a 501(c)4. As such, its tax returns are publicly available, but not its donor lists. Nevertheless, it is obliged to report its donors on Schedule B to the Internal Revenue Service. Someone at the IRS leaked the donor lists to a man called Matthew Meisel, a gay activist in Boston. Meisel in turn passed it on to the gay group Human Rights Campaign (whose president was a national co-chair of the Obama re-election campaign), and HRC in turn published the list of donors, which was subsequently re-published by The Huffington Post.
There’s no secret about why they’d do such a thing. As we know, if you disagree with progressive orthodoxy, you have no right to host a cable-TV home-decor show or give a commencement address at an American university or be a beauty-queen contestant. But that’s not enough for these groups. If you’re not a public figure, if you’re just a Californian who puts up a yard sign or a bumper sticker on Proposition Eight, your car will be keyed and your house defaced. And likewise, if you slip a check in the mail for a modest sum, it is necessary that you also be made an example of. Brandon Eich, Richard Raddon and Scott Eckern all lost prominent positions as chief executives because of their donations. But Marjorie Christoffersen, a 67-year-old Mormon who works in the El Coyote restaurant in Los Angeles, was forced to quit because she wrote a $100 check in support of Proposition Eight.
So, when it comes to the leaking of donor lists, we’re not dealing with anything “theoretically” or “potentially” “troubling”. These guys act on this information, and act hard, and they are willing to destroy your life for a hundred bucks.
Steyn’s fear is that his supporters will be targeted by the global warming mob, as he himself has been targeted and intimidated by Michael Mann.
More often than not, the state plays an intermediary role at best in cases of people being fired or forced to resign for politically incorrect views. It’s not government per se you should be afraid of, it’s people who see you as a threat. No matter how great the leviathan, it relies heavily on citizens being suspicious of each other.
My mom asked me if I felt trepidation when John Scalzi, a big-league sci-fi writer, called me a “bigoted piece of shit” when I wrote about the smugness and shallowness of being “on the right side of history.” She grew up in a time when people were rarely accused of bigotry and even more rarely falsely accused of bigotry. Now it’s commonplace.
Cribbing Samuel Johnson, Charles Krauthammer calls the bigotry charge “the last refuge of the liberal.” More accurately, it’s a declaration of war. It signals the end of diplomacy and the drawing of battle lines. If war is an extension of politics, then politics is a precursor to war. The argument doesn’t end with a fair judgment of who’s right, it ends with a knockout punch.
The fear is some true believer, justified by radical consciousness, through some amateur online sleuthing finds out where you work. The next step is to comb through your public statements to whittle them down to decontextualized, incriminating bytes. Finally, he emails your own words to your coworkers, jeopardizing your employment. That’s how it works.
It’s surprisingly easy, but not something a cohesive civil society with general agreement on fundamental truths has to deal with. Whether you’re a big fish like Eich or a little fish like Christoffersen, the powers have no compunction to excommunicate you for holding the same view of marriage as President Obama circa 2008, or the same view of global warming as NASA circa 1999.
“In the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country.” –James Hansen, NASA climatologist, 1999
In 1999, NASA showed a .11-degree-per-century warming trend over the contiguous United States during the 1900s.
Today, the rocket scientists at NASA show a .34-degree-per-century warming trend. They achieved this by cooling 53 of the 55 years between 1911 and 1965 by an average of .07 degrees, and warming 33 of the 34 years between 1966 and 1999 by an average of .14 degrees. Temperatures in the ’90s alone were warmed by an average of .26 degrees. 1998 was hysterically turned from the fourth-hottest year in the 1900s to the hottest.
If the exponential trend continued over the last 14 years, NASA inflated U.S. temperatures by half a degree in 2012 and 2013, or 84 percent of the reported per-century warming trend.