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They’re coming for you next: A Republican Illinois lawyer being considered for a judgeship was rejected for that position and then fired from his job, merely because in the past he had expressed somewhat reasonable conservative views on social media.
As a Republican precinct committeeman with a Republican governor, my chances were good. Or so I thought. You see, I had a deep, dark secret: I was open about my conservative views. In college fifteen years ago I expressed them in a column for the campus newspaper. And until my son was born three years ago I expressed them on social media. I toned things down as I settled down, but my views became more conservative the more I experienced.
Then it happened. Someone had printed and saved my social media posts from three years ago and more. There were nine of them, most of them links to publications like the National Review, Breitbart, and the Blaze: two were pro-life, one criticized illegal immigration, others made fun of radical feminism and warned about radical Islam, and several were critical of overreach by federal judges. They were strident, but fairly innocuous for social media. By no stretch of the imagination were they racist, sexist, or bigoted.
The result? That Republican governor, now out of office, choice a Democrat instead, and the law firm this man worked for fired him.
The worse aspect of this?
I also learned that to the Left, its enemies are not human. The anonymity and persistence of the mailings put myself and my family in grave fear for our safety. I cannot describe the sleepless nights, the caution exercised every time we stepped out of the house. I made police reports, but without an actual threat, all they could do was document the mailings. None of that mattered. All that mattered was power politics and stopping me at all costs — simply for my personal views.
If this anonymous mailer wanted to assert that I wrote what was in those mailings and that they should disqualify me from office, what shame was there in doing so openly and publicly? They certainly had nothing to fear from me, my family, or my friends. Keeping the process secret stifled open, civil discourse and left the process beholden to rumor and innuendo.
But what is even sadder is that this tactic worked. It set a dangerous precedent for future nominees to the bench. This has shaken my faith in the judicial nomination process, the legal profession itself, and humanity in general.
I repeat: They’re coming for you next.