At Electric City Weblog, Dave Budge wonders why the left hasn’t been more outspoken about threats to block Chick-Fil-A stores in Boston and Chicago because its owners oppose gay marriage.I’m never quite sure what Budge means when he talks about “the left,” but I have read criticisms of the mayors’ statements from such conservative stalwarts as Mother Jones, Glenn Greenwald, Andrew Sullivan (a fiscal conservative who strongly supports gay marriage), Kevin Drum and Digby. And those are just places I usually look.
This isn’t just a Budge thing. Those on the right seem to perpetually refuse to believe that anyone to the left will take a stand for the First Amendment. Mike Huckabee was making the same case on the radio Thursday.
But why? If liberalism means anything, it means a belief that robust and uninhibited public participation leads to good government. I think the misconception arises from two things:
1. People on the right appear to have a harder time adjusting to evidence that doesn’t match their preconceived conclusions. You could write a book about it.
2. People on the left just don’t have the same media megaphone that the right has. When the right gets up in arms, the message rings loud and clear across the country from Fox to Limbaugh to Hannity to Huckabee to Beck. The left has no equivalent. MSNBC is trying, but its audiences remain tiny. Even if the mainstream media were as far left as many conservatives think, they still couldn’t just pound on the same points hour after hour, day after day, the way Limbaugh and Hannity do. The rules don’t allow it.
When you fail to hear outrage from the left on issues like this, it isn’t necessarily because the left isn’t trying. It’s because the left isn’t heard.