Liberals Who Have Forgotten How to be Liberal
By: Bernie GoldbergApril 6, 2014

Let’s get something straight:  Liberals are the smart ones.  The tolerant ones.  The open-minded ones.  I know this because liberals are constantly telling me (and everyone else) how smart and tolerant and open-minded they are.

Except when they’re not.

The other day Brendan Eich, the CEO of the tech company Mozilla, that created the web browser FIrefox, was forced out of his job and out of the whole company by an employee revolt.  His crime?  In 2008 he contributed $1,000 to a California ballot initiative, Proposition 8, which opposed same-sex marriage.

I have the feeling that if Mozilla had the power to send Eich to a re-education camp, the liberal ayatollahs at the company would have done just that.  Lacking that kind of power, forcing him to resign and give up the job he had held for just 11 days would have to suffice.

For the record, no one is suggesting that Brendan Eich treated gay employees differently than anyone else at Mozilla.  No one is suggesting he called them names or discriminated against them in any way at all.  In fact, in his 15 years at Mozilla there’s no evidence that he ever brought up his personal views about gay marriage.

None of that mattered.  Brendan Eich had offended sensibilities at Mozilla, a supposedly progressive company in Silicon Valley. He also offended management at the popular dating website OKCupid, which has both straight and gay clients.  OKCupid called on its customers to boycott Firefox — urging them to not use it when going online to OKCupid.

Being opposed to same-sex marriage in the liberal bubble apparently is proof enough of bigotry.  Simple as that.

Of course, that would make Barack Obama a homophobe, too, since in 2008 he also was against gay marriage.  Call me crazy but I’m betting that 99.9 percent of the lefties who work at Mozilla voted for Mr. Obama, despite his “hateful” views on gays.

After they forced Mr. Eich out of his job, Mozilla issued a statement:

“Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard,” it said, “and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves. We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”

So the employees of Mozilla are “hurt and angry” – and this is because they hold different views from their boss?  Does everyone in the company have to hold liberal views on gay marriage?  How about national defense?  Taxes?  Abortion?  I thought liberals were the ones who worship at the altar of diversity.  Apparently diversity of opinion doesn’t count.  “Unacceptable” views at Mozilla must be punished.  On the important issues, like gay marriage, employees must march in lock step.  This is what liberal intolerance looks like.

But it isn’t only those “hateful” right-wingers who find this whole episode so appalling.  Even an icon in gay America — the intellectual father of gay marriage –said the whole episode turns his stomach.

In 1989 Andrew Sullivan, the smart, well-respected, openly gay journalist, wrote the first story advocating gay marriage.  If he’s unhappy, the liberals at Mozilla should listen.  In a blog post entitled “The Hounding of a Heretic,” Sullivan wrote:

“The guy who had the gall to to express his First Amendment rights and favor Prop 8 in California by donating $1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists.

“Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me — as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.

“If this is the gay rights movement today — hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else — then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.”

And Tammy Bruce, a conservative radio talk show host who is also openly gay, blasted what she called the “gay gestapo” for transforming Mozilla into a “bastion of intolerance and punishment.”

Reasonable people may disagree on gay marriage.  I happen to be for it.  And no, I do not believe that anyone who opposes gay marriage automatically is a bigot.  I do think opponents are on the wrong side of history.  But let them make their case.  That’s how it’s supposed to work in a free country like ours.

Liberals, of all people, ought to know that, because liberalism supposedly is about keeping an open mind, being tolerant of views you don’t agree with, and letting the other guy have his say without making him fear some kind of punishment – simply for expressing an opinion.  But too many liberals today don’t know any of that.  Too many have sold out their liberal values.  They’ve opted instead  for rigid left wing ideology. They are the liberals who have forgotten how to be liberal.

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