By Ginni Thomas, DCNF
Imagine if conservatives were using government agencies to bully or silence their opponents in America’s public square in 2016.
Kimberley Strassel’s first book, “The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech,” exposes a dangerous trend of two different sets of rules corrupting our politics.
Strassel, a respected columnist for the Wall Street Journal editorial page, endeavored to find the equivalency of using bullying tactics with governmental power. With only one exception, her deep-dive reporting demonstrates a cascading set of examples of the left increasingly using governmental power to suppress dissent.
Her book chronicles the compelling story of many of those who have been targeted.
For years, Strassel has reported on the IRS targeting of President Barack Obama dissidents, the John Doe investigation of 30 groups who supported Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, the left’s war on the American Legislative Exchange Council, the “Prop. 8” fight for traditional marriage in California and many other examples of individual harassment by the government or activists.
“It all fit together,” she says in this exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Her jarring book documents a sweeping effort “to scare, threaten and harass the other side out of speaking.” The tactics include siccing government agencies on opponents, reputational warfare and sometimes walking neighborhoods of mere donors to scare, intimate, or destroy property of those who challenge the liberal orthodoxy.
She says government disclosure laws have been “turned on their head” and are now used as a weapon against participants in democracy, while protecting some select government elites.
Strassel decries the hypocrisy of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and elected Democrats who lament “dark money” in politics.
“They have no issue with big money in politics because they deal in big money in politics. They have no issue with dark money in politics because they use dark money in politics. …When you hear Hillary Clinton say ‘we need to get rid of dark money in politics and change the first amendment,’ they are positioning for an advantage, not fairness,” Strassel says.
“They love campaign finance laws and speech laws because it allows them to control who gets to speak” and it shuts down their opponents. She calls Clinton’s claims “a bunch of hooey.”
This reporter condemns her media colleagues for failing to expose the snowballing use of these egregious tactics. Poor media coverage allows the “people peddling false narratives to win,” such as what happened with the now-discredited blaming of the IRS scandal on a “few people in Cincinnati,” Strassel points out.
Fact-based journalists like Strassel are taking their own risk in exposing this growing corruption. You can find more of Strassel’s writing at the Wall Street Journal. Follow her on Twitter: @KimStrassel.
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