Firestorm erupts when Scott Baio decides to have a little pro-Trump fun at Michaels craft store

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Outspoken conservative Hollywood actor Scott Baio is in trouble.

While hanging out at Michaels arts and crafts store this week, he rearranged a shelf of candles to spell out a factual message to the American people.

“TRUMP IS STILL YOUR PRESIDENT,” the message read.

Look:

Fact-check: TRUE.

When President Donald Trump learned of Baio’s message, he was pleased.

Look:

Leftists, on the other hand, weren’t pleased. They began crying to Michaels on Twitter and accusing it of committing the crime of hiring a Trump supporter.

Look:

Baio doesn’t work for Michaels, not that it ought to matter either way. Nor has he ever once worked for President Donald Trump in any official capacity.

Nevertheless, just like every other “woke” corporation in America that’s taken a knee to the left-wing mob, Michaels rushed to distance itself from Baio’s stunt.

In a tweet that was reposted countless times to bellyachers, a spokesperson for the 47-year-old retailer said the candle setup “was not created by Michaels and has been dismantled.”

The spokesperson then added, “At Michaels we strive to maintain an inclusive environment for all our team members and customers.

Look:

Wait, what?

The underlying suggestion was that there’s something un-inclusive about reminding all Americans that Trump is still the president of the United States.

The corporation’s unsurprising attitude fits with an emerging pattern of dissident voices being unfairly maligned as “hateful” and un-inclusive.

And yes, in the current climate in the United States, supporting the duly elected president seemingly makes you a dissident — one apt to be targeted with harassment, ostracization, vandalism and worse.

The problem with this attitude — besides the fact that it’s unfair — is that it could lead to dissent becoming criminalized. That, in fact, is already happening in the European country of Norway.

“Norway’s parliament outlawed hate speech against transgender and bisexual people on Tuesday, expanding its penal code which has protected gay and lesbian people since 1981,” Reuters reported Tuesday.

“People found guilty of hate speech face a fine or up to a year in jail for private remarks, and a maximum of three years in jail for public comments, according to the penal code.”

While this may sound fine, the problem is that so-called “hate speech” effectively refers to any speech that offends the gay/trans community, even if that speech is rooted in scientific facts and reason.

Take for instance the facts unearthed by Abigail Shrier, an American journalist who wrote a book containing legitimate concerns about “the sudden, severe spike in transgender identification among adolescent girls.”

This book is now being targeted for censorship.

“The efforts to block my reporting have been legion, starting with staff threats at a publishing house, which quickly reversed its original intention to publish my book,” she revealed in a column published this week for Quillette magazine.

“Once I obtained a stalwart publisher, Regnery, Amazon refused to allow that company’s sales team to sponsor ads on its site. (Amazon allows sponsored ads for books that uncritically celebrate medical transition for teenagers).”

The good news is that Shrier lives in the United States, so the most she can face for her apparent transgression is censorship … for now.

As for Michaels, while the Baio fiasco is clearly no big deal, the company’s response is indicative of a disturbing wider trend that could one day morph into something far more sinister if the United States ever chooses to follow the path of Norway.

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Vivek Saxena

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