Your Politics Or Your Job

So here’s something that caught my eye.

Dan Cooper makes beautiful hunting rifles in Montana. Like most gun people, he’s been a Republican most of his life, but in 2004 he became enamored with Barack Obama, after his Democratic Convention speech, and donated to his Senatorial campaign. He maxed out donating to Obama’s presidential campaign.

When a story about this appeared in USA Today, the gun folks were – unhappy.

In response, he appears to have been fired from his own company.

When I heard about it, I shared this thought with some shooting friends:

I’m gonna stick my unarmored rear out on this a bit and say that the reaction I’m seeing here kinda creeps me out. Agree or disagree with the man’s politics, choose to buy his goods or not – but there’s something about the idea of someone being fired for taking a political stand that doesn’t involve liquidating kulaks or Jews which doesn’t fit with my notion of American freedom.

Maybe I’m sensitive to it, given the fact that as liberal as I am, I’m massively conservative by the standards of many of the people I do business with. I’ve actually lost business because of my blog and politics – which is “good riddance” to me. But the idea that my boss or my Board might get to vet my political views isn’t something that I’ll cheer, and I hope that on a moment’s more thoughtful reflection many of you will reconsider.

Their reaction has been pretty stiff – they (not unreasonably) think that Obama will be horrible on gun policy. from my point of view, it will be an interesting – and probably first – test of how Obama will govern domestically. Will he push for aggressive gun restriction, or accept that the recent court decisions and the run of American politics are such that the issue isn’t a winning one?

From my point of view, I’ll be becoming a Life Member (or EPL Life Member – $25 at a time) of the NRA this month.

But it still creeps me out that – no matter how strong the reaction – someone would lose their job for their political beliefs. It’s the kind of think I bust Hollywood and the media for, and it seems like a basic American value that we all ought to be able to agree on.

42 thoughts on “Your Politics Or Your Job”

  1. Although we all believe everyone has a right to vote and donate as they see fit, it has become apparent that the fallout may affect more than just Mr. Cooper we’ve got mostly nutters for customers. It may also affect the employees and the shareholders of Cooper Firearms.

    A shame too because they do make some of the finest rifles on the planet.

  2. Their reaction has been pretty stiff – they (not unreasonably) think that Obama will be horrible on gun policy. from my point of view, it will be an interesting – and probably first – test of how Obama will govern domestically. Will he push for aggressive gun restriction, or accept that the recent court decisions and the run of American politics are such that the issue isn’t a winning one?

    I think the answer is (c). Since he is an unabashedly anti-gun candidate who will likely have large majorities of his party in control of both Houses of Congress he will appoint an Attorney General and US Attorneys who will push for “creative” enforcement of the myriad gun laws in order to find as many companies as possible in violation of some statute, thereby depriving them of the limited protection they received under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and opening the door back up to regulation by litigation like we saw in the 1990’s. Also since he would be able to pretty much appoint any judges he wants and Heller was silent on the most important issue of all – what level of scrutiny to apply to the protection of the individual RTKBA under the Second Amendment – he can appoint judges who give lip serve to the Heller decision while applying the lowest level of scrutiny possible just like they have for property protection and the protection of commercial speech.

  3. Wouldn’t you think it’s all about rights? Dan Cooper has the right to donate his money to anybody it’s legal to donate to. I have the right to not buy anything from this establishment and notify the management of this fact. The management of Cooper has the right to terminate employment that has become a business liability. If I’ve missed something, somebody please chime in.

    If Dan wanted to donate to Sen Obama and not start this truly understandable (and inevitable) chain of events there are many ways he could have done so (just ask Adolph Hitler)/snark. As it was, he (Dan) made a point by putting his name on the donation. Customers have evidently made their point in their communications with management and management took the only viable option they had.

    Are you lamenting that there isn’t some omnipotent “Fairness God” that with a bolt of lightning should magically change everybody’s mind that has been outraged by Dan Cooper’s donation? Are you lamenting the fact that Cooper Firearms will probably go under as a result of this idiotic move on his part?

    I personally think it is exceedingly fair that I can communicate my outrage with this….. “person” in a peaceful manner. I believe that we have a free country. I also believe that taking responsibility for our actions is one of the things that makes us free. Old adage, “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it”. Too bad about Cooper Firearms.

  4. For the nth time: The First Amendment is about *government* action. A private, commercial entity deciding to take action based on the speech of an employee may be stupid and reprehensible, but it’s not a violation of the First Amendment.

  5. Forgive me, Tim, but nobody except you has mentioned the First Amendment.

    I take Armed Liberal’s point to be: in a pluralistic society, we have to accept that people have differing political views; and that it is morally wrong for an employer to fire an employee simply because he disagrees with that employee’s politics.

    If I have accurately characterized his point, I agree with him.

    But I would go even further: as a structural matter, if employers can fire people for their politics, then the system is undermined: it grants greater power over the political outcome to employers than to employees. That seems undemocratic to me.

  6. Dan Cooper surely should have known that his public endorsement of Obama could have a very negative effect on Cooper Firearms. And by “could”, I mean 100% certain. You can bet your last .45 cartridge that some of their current and potential customers are now life-long, die-in-the-last-cold-ditch boycotters.

    You can call that over-reaction all you want. The fact is that the shareholders and employees of Cooper Firearms are in business to make money, not elect Obama. They were entitled to consideration from Dan Cooper, and they didn’t get it. If you’re the Chairman of Coca-Cola and you feel like making a Pepsi commercial, you have the decency to resign first. Your right to drink Pepsi instead of Coke is not the goddamn issue. The issue is the people whose livelihood is negatively impacted by your actions.

    Dan Cooper has a right to endorse Obama. Cooper Firearms has every right to be mad as hell about it, and ask for his resignation. These rights coexist in normal human societies, and we’d better write that down while we still live in one.

  7. Glen, I’ve excoriated Hollywood in the past for it’s crazy partisanship, and supported people like Andy Breitbart and Michael Medved when they talk about how people’s careers are damaged there if they are known to be less than authentically leftist. I think that’s wrong, and don’t like it. And I can’t get my head around how it’s wrong for Hollywood and right for Cooper Arms.

    A.L.

  8. The real problem is that there’s a very thin line between “we looked in the donation records and saw your name, you no longer have a job here” and “we looked in the donation records and didn’t see your name, you no longer have a job here”. The first is not good, but the second is utterly reprehensible.

    On the other hand, when you’re the CEO, you’re playing by different rules than a line worker would, right? Your public pronouncements are a lot more important to the company. At that level, you’re expected to pay attention to the public image of the company, and maintaining it is one of your work responsibilities. Hell, if the guy’s taken with Obama, that’s okay; if he wants to donate to Obama, that’s okay too. But talking about it with the press? Neither smart nor wise on Mr. Cooper’s part.

  9. I find it humorous that you are hoping that Obama doesn’t act the way that he has his entire career. He has been against gun rights since his days in the Ill Senate. But you are going to vote for him and hope that he goes against form?? Good luck on that. ;-)

  10. AL:

    And I can’t get my head around how it’s wrong for Hollywood and right for Cooper Arms.

    Because “Hollywood” and Cooper Arms are two different types of things: Cooper Arms is a small corporation made up of people who suffer directly, in bread and butter terms, when their customer base is offended.

    Hollywood simply has a culture that’s prejudicial to conservatives; conservatives never did them any harm. They made rivers of money off Charleton Heston and John Wayne. More than off Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. Their political prejudices notoriously militate against their business interests. That’s their problem.

    My point is, Dan Cooper should have known that his actions could harm the real human beings in his company. His personal indulgence costs them money. He failed in his responsibility to them.

    There is no right to be immune to consequences.

  11. Quoth Aphrael (#8):

    bq. Forgive me, Tim, but nobody except you has mentioned the First Amendment.

    False in fact. Jeff Medcalf did: #5, supra.

  12. “Glen, I’ve excoriated Hollywood in the past for it’s crazy partisanship, and supported people like Andy Breitbart and Michael Medved when they talk about how people’s careers are damaged there if they are known to be less than authentically leftist. I think that’s wrong, and don’t like it. And I can’t get my head around how it’s wrong for Hollywood and right for Cooper Arms.”

    Well, the obvious way that it’s wrong for Hollywood is that its out-of-phase-with-mainstream-American-politics and its militant enforcement of same within the industry costs Hollywood truckloads of money every year. (Quick, what was the last blockbuster a Kossite could really love?) Hollywood has churned out more left-running dogs than a greyhound kennel.

    Cooper wasn’t just some guy machining rifle barrels, he was The Man. And if a company’s CEO is causing the company to lose business, well, he should be fired. Sucks for Dan Cooper, but hey.

    Cooper’s company acted rationally. Hollywood as a whole does not.

  13. What cause the problem is not the donation, but the speaking out about it. Dan has every right to give money to whom ever he wants to. But when he spoke to reporters, as CEO of a firearms company. He was using that position to engage in political advertising that his customers didn’t agree with. And thus the board decide they didn’t agree with.

    He didn’t lose his job because of his political beliefs, he lost his job, because he used his job for his political beliefs.

  14. I’m gonna stick my unarmored rear out on this a bit and say that the reaction I’m seeing here kinda creeps me out. Agree or disagree with the man’s politics, choose to buy his goods or not – but there’s something about the idea of someone being fired for taking a political stand that doesn’t involve liquidating kulaks or Jews which doesn’t fit with my notion of American freedom.

    It’s one thing if you’re a lower level employee but as other have pointed out, the guy was the CEO of the company and his public actions were hurting the company he was leading. If you agree that it was okay for Cooper’s customers to boycott the company, at what point is it okay for the company he was costing money to make the business decision to let him go? Do they have to wait until they have to start laying off employees or are they required to go bankrupt?

  15. I agreed with A.L. until I read that Cooper was the CEO. I think different standards apply between mere employees and corporate spokespersons.

  16. Obama is a hard Left Marxist of the first order, it’s who all his pals are. Of course he will do everything in his power to ban guns.

    He’s hiding his real opinions, and banking on those who think he’s some sort of “White Lighter” or something to get him over, so he can institute his “Dear Leader” policies. His true opinions about gun bans were revealed in the response to the questionnaire as an Illinois State Senator.

    A Dem Senate, House, and President WILL ban guns and start confiscating them. Of course they will — that’s who they are.

    AL will soon be just the “L” — Obama will take your guns away from you. But hey that magic unicorn looks spiffy does it not?

  17. Follow up — Obama voted against a law that would allow self-defense in the home against intruders with a firearm. He viewed, along with Ayers, that people have no inherent right to self-defense, and certainly not with a firearm. He’s lectured at length on this subject, and spoken about it along with Ayers who is his closest White associate.

    Obviously, if you need a hip and Cool imaginary Black friend, then Obama’s your man. If Gun Rights are important to you, it’s McCain.

    But make no mistake. The cost of the hip and cool imaginary Black friend to make you higher status ala Christian Lander’s “Stuff White People Like” is the loss of firearms ownership.

    It WILL happen. Because that’s who Obama (and Dems) are.

  18. There is a big difference between between a company tossing an employee because of their political/religious/ (insert belief here) and tossing an employee because of outraged customers. You have to know your customer base. You have to know what they are ok with and what they will boycott over. That is their right as your customers. As a buisness, especially a head of a buisness, doing something that royally pisses off your customers is a mortal sin. He pissed off his customers by attacking something they hold dear by his support for obama and is being fired for that.

    What we say and do in public has consequences, even when it is constitutionally protected.

    He was perfectly within his rights to support any political candidate he wants to.

    I am perfectly within my rights, as a customer, to disagree with his choice and let his employer know that I refuse to spend my hard earned money on anything that pays his salary.

  19. Let me add that as amply documented in his first autobiography (everyone should read it) Obama is obsessed with race and proving he is “Black Enough.”

    For Obama, Black=Liberalism/Leftism, and Liberalism/Leftism=Black. Simple as that. It is in his book. Gun ownership (viewed as evil) is Black and Liberal Orthodoxy that Obama holds dear.

    Look at how gun ownership is viewed in the Black Community. First, gun owners are blamed as scapegoats for the appalling death toll that gang violence takes in the Black Community (instead of blaming the perpetrators, young Black Men raised by single mothers in places where there are no fathers at all). Second, gun ownership allows the elderly, and White elderly, to defend themselves against young Black men who tend to prey upon them — Mike Tyson at 17 was beating old women in their 80’s to steal their Social Security checks, and that was a common occurrence among his contemporaries, who were all from single mothers in neighborhoods where there were no fathers at all.

    Now look at how the Black Community has expressed itself politically on gun ownership, with Obama’s support. Father Pfleger and Jeremiah Wright had rallies where they promised to “kill” Gun dealers and “snuff them out like rats” along with banning the manufacture of firearms, let alone their sale or possession. This is a matter of public record.

    Obama has funneled around $2 million in aggregate to Father Pfleger’s organization, as an Illinois State Legislator and as a US Senator. So it is quite clear that Obama shares his goals in eradicating gun ownership.

    This is not surprising — his mentors Wright and Ayers also share this goal, and it is Orthodoxy among the Black community, which detests gun ownership and particularly, White gun ownership, which is blamed as above for the violence infesting the Black community.

  20. Gunowners and shooters are a notoriously paranoid bunch. And for damn good reason. I have been a shooter for thirty five years and seen a constant, unwavering attack on the second amendment, with 95% of it coming from the left. They never let up, because they realize an armed populace is ,indeed, dangerous to authority , EXACTLY THE WAY IT WAS DESIGNED TO BE. The “crime reduction ” angle is just spin. No gun law was ever shown to decrease crime, in many cases the opposite. Sure, dis-arm the lawful- now THAT makes sense.

    Dan Cooper must be oblivious to the world to not know his comments would severely damage his customer base. The Board must have scrambled to save the company- what other choice did they have? Sit and watch Cooper Arms fade away?

    If Obama is elected, gun owners know full well the most draconian firearms laws imaginable are coming down the pike-so Coopers endorsement is viewed as traitorous. He must have hoped his high end bolt guns are going to be exempt- sort of a mechanical “First they came for…..”

  21. Dan Cooper screwed up when he took HIS company public. Once he sold shares to stockholders and got himself of board of directors, it was no longer HIS COMPANY. Now the board thinks he’s embarassing the company, and he’s out. Time and the market will tell; maybe Dan should start another company that’s HIS.

  22. Tim (#7), assuming you were referring to my post, I am well aware of that. It is not that I am demanding that the company act as the government is required to do; rather, I find their juxtaposition in the termination notice rather ironic. And I think that it’s unfortunate that any company would let go a person because of their political stance, and potentially damaging to civic participation. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have the right to do it; it just means that it’s unfortunate.

  23. If Obama gets elected, and a slew of anti-gun ownership laws get passed, does the board of Cooper Firearms get brownie points for removing a CEO who publicly demonstrated a lack of foresight and/or judgement?

  24. Actually someone just pointed something out to me that may change my mind on this…Cooper was interviewed by USA today. That didn’t register on me until it was pointed out that he could have simply said “No comment.” and left it at that.

    While – as above – I think that his political views and donations are his own business, thoughtless public statements aren’t. Let me chew on this and I’ll do an update.

    A.L.

  25. re Hollywood:

    I think the movie companies have a legitimate interest in the expressed political views of its big stars that they market their movies around like Tom Cruise. Discriminating against anyone below that level is just illiberal and hypocritical given the ritual penance of the Hollywood blacklist and sermons of diversity.

  26. Imagine its 2000, and you have some high muckity-muck working for one of the teacher unions lobbying arms in Washington. Let’s say the muckity-muck became enamored of George Bush and maxes out their campaign contribution and allows themselves to be used for a puff piece extolling Bush’s virtues.

    Now, the teachers union is horrified, largely because defeating “No Child Left Behind” is really their reason for being at the time. Local union chapters and individual members begin calling the organization panicked that this signals a capitulation on the unions part. There begins to be some talk about withholding dues, or maybe even aligning with a different teachers union altogether which seems more committed and less “suspect.”

    Now, in this scenario, the muckity-muck has made no endorsement of “No Child Left Behind” (they liked Bush for everything BUT that) but it doesn’t matter. As in many such matters, perception is what is valued. The muckity-muck is asked to step down for the good of the organization.

    Now, in such a situation we would have heard not one word about how “chilling” it was. Most people would look at it and go “D’uh You cant do that. Not with something so politically sensitive.”

    Now, is there another industry which is as sensitive to the politics involved as the firearms industry? Probably not. Does that make it a little different than a company selling widgets? Yeah, probably. For starters, gun owners (and Cooper’s customer base) are acutley aware of the goings on in Washington concerning their interests, in a way that is different from any other service/industry. And they are more sensitive. (You dont develop an advocacy arm as effective as the NRA by sitting on your hands.)

    And you know what, the people actually running Cooper Firearms are not in business to protect Dan Cooper. They owe to their owners/shareholder and their employees to run as profitable a company as possible. They obviously deemed Dan Cooper’s high profile advocacy for Obama as something that would seriously harm their bottom line. (Show me that they DIDN’T view it that way, and they did this merely outta spite, and you’ll convince me. I’ve not heard word one proving that.)

    I’ll put it another way: If Cooper Firearms stuck with Dan and they suffered real sales loss because of it, do you think it is Dan Cooper that would be laid off first?

    Since he caused it (in this scenario) shouldn’t he be the first to go?

  27. Why didn’t Dan Cooper save himself this trouble by buying a couple of cash cards, then making his donation via Obama’s website?

    /sarc

  28. AL:

    “…thoughtless public statements aren’t.”

    Ah, forget that concept. You were right the first time.

    As long as he doesn’t speak _on behalf of the company_, he’s a man speaking his mind. A man has that right. I wouldn’t fire someone for supporting Obama, or even for saying something thoughtless in support of Obama.

    That’s not to say that Obama won’t be absolutely terrible on gun rights if elected — he will. The evidence of his time at Joyce suggests he has contempt for the whole idea of gun rights, which ought to be of tremendous concern to anyone who favors them in even the most limited way. You’re still right — it’s a free country, and a man should be able to speak his mind without fearing he’ll be fired over it. We benefit as a nation from a political debate that is robust and engaged.

  29. #25 Jeff: Yes, I was responding to you, and should have been specific about that; I think you took my point.

    I wasn’t aware that Cooper was the CEO when I read the OP. I don’t believe per #24 that the company is actually public, at any rate I can’t find its stock quoted anywhere, and their website lacks the usual ‘investor affairs’ contacts. It’s likely a private company in which Cooper no longer owns controlling interest (or he’d be the one doing the firing, not being booted).

    Given that he was the CEO, he had a fiduciary duty to his investors not to harm the company. Since the outcome of his actions in the market in which company operates was easily foreseeable (do a search on ‘Zumbo’ if you want to see how obvious it was), he was likely in breach of that duty. That would obligate the BoD to remove him on behalf of the shareholders, if they decided that the company would be in better shape without him. (And if the company is actually public, failing to do so is likely actionable.)

    Too bad, but it’s probably a ‘righteous shoot’ from the POV of corporate governance.

  30. Nortius, at 14: fair enough. I had missed that comment entirely.

    My apologies for muddying the conversation with misinformation.

  31. There is a big difference between between a company tossing an employee because of their political/religious/ (insert belief here) and tossing an employee because of outraged customers.

    True, but the line between the true can be incredibly fine, and it would be very easy for a company to claim the latter when in fact doing the former. There’s a significant evidentiary problem if one of them is allowed and one isn’t.

  32. Armed Liberal, I don’t fully understand the rules, but in general, officers of the company are subject to a whole host of rules which normal employees are not, and the situation of a corporate officer fired for expressing his political views might be vastly different than the situation of a line employee so fired.

  33. Grim:

    Would you be less likely to buy a firearm from a company whose CEO supported a “gun-grabber” candidate both financially and in print? Do you think it would be reasonable for others?

  34. PD:

    Speaking as someone who’s bought quite a few firearms in my lifetime, I can’t recall having ever thought to check.

    I do remember Smith & Wesson getting into trouble over conceeding to the Clinton administration some issue or other, though I can’t quite recall which one it was; but that was the whole company, not just some guy who worked there. By the same token, I was disappointed when Colt became a government-only dealer for a while; although their designs are replicated (and sometimes improved) by a number of other manufacturers, it seemed unAmerican to stop selling to the public.

    Both of those cases are about holding the corporation responsible for the actual policy of the corporation. (In Colt’s case, any objection I might have wouldn’t have hurt their business anyway, since they had decided not to do business with me.) In terms of what an employee of the corporation did or said, so long as it was clear that he was acting for himself and not the company, I wouldn’t hold it against the company. I might hold it against him, perhaps.

    As for whether it’s reasonable for you to do otherwise, of course it is. You do what you think is best.

  35. Grim, I’m not too big on boycotts myself; I didn’t know where you stood.

    I think one of the problems with your distinction between company time and personal time is that the USA Today article was about CEOs. He wasn’t being interviewed as joe the hunter who traditionally voted Republican. He’s trading a bit on his job. And his job is to make money for the company, which this bit of publicity was bound to hurt.

    I disagree with A.L. for three things: (1) the guy was the CEO; (2) he volunteered the publicity; and (3) “his actions in the market in which company operates was easily foreseeable” (per Tim Oren) I’d feel differently if he was CEO of a toilet paper company.

  36. Another factor that may have led to the board requesting Cooper’s resignation is that they published this initial message on their site’s front page in response to the outcry over the article:

    Regarding the USA Today Article. Cooper Firearms of Montana, Inc. did not contribute and does not support in any fashion the campaign of Senator Obama.

    Nine months ago Dan Cooper (personally) made an online donation to the campaign in an effort to help defeat Hillary Clinton and in protest of American plant closures and the shipping of jobs overseas. Three months ago he made yet another donation to the McCain campaign and the RNC totaling over twice that given to Obama campaign.

    There is no doubt that the article in USA Today has caused a considerable response. To this end we are encouraged and stand with our fellow NRA members and supporters of the Second Amendment and against those who oppose it.

    (emphasis mine)

    But it didn’t take very long for several bloggers and commenters to check the online FEC donor records to determine that Dan Cooper has made no documented donations whatsoever to the McCain campaign, and his donations to the Obama campaign were made in January 2007, February 2008, and April 2008.

    At some point yesterday the Cooper Firearms main page was changed from the initial explanation (quoted above) to the current statement from the board:

    In response to the recent article highlighting Dan Cooper’s personal political donations, the board of directors, shareholders and employees of Cooper Firearms of Montana, Inc would like to issue the following statement.

    The employees, shareholders and board of directors of Cooper Firearms of Montana do not share the personal political views of Dan Cooper.
    Although we all believe everyone has a right to vote and donate as they see fit, it has become apparent that the fallout may affect more than just Mr. Cooper. It may also affect the employees and the shareholders of Cooper Firearms.

    The board of directors has asked Mr. Cooper to resign as President of Cooper Firearms of Montana, Inc.
    Daily operations will continue with the competent staff currently in place in Stevensville, MT producing the finest, most accurate rifles money can buy.

    Dan Cooper has spent all of his working life producing the highest quality rifles built here in the USA. He started with nothing but the American Dream and built that into firearms company anyone would be proud of. We firmly believe Dan stands by the 2nd amendment.
    We wish him all of the best in his future pursuits.

    I agree with Tim Oren that the board had a fiduciary duty to try to limit financial damage to the company that the CEO was causing. Discovering Mr. Cooper’s chicanery in offering a bogus initial defense (which the board trustingly presented to the public under official auspice on the company website) probably made fulfilling that duty by asking for his resignation as CEO much easier.

  37. “But it still creeps me out that – no matter how strong the reaction – someone would lose their job for their political beliefs. It’s the kind of think I bust Hollywood and the media for, and it seems like a basic American value that we all ought to be able to agree on.”

    I think you fundamentally fail to understand how serious people are about this – especially as we look at how our cousins in the UK and Australia have fared. We value our right to keep and bear arms every bit as much as – and perhaps more than – our basic prinicple of freedom of expression because the former ultimately guarantees the latter.

    This is not about “political beliefs”, it is about fundemental human rights. It is not negotiable – because what we’re talking about here are the means to prevail when negotiation has failed or is not possible. Ultimately, I have the right to bear arms because I say so, and because I’m willing to back it with force. You cannot foist that responsibility off on a piece of paper (our Constitution) which merely recognizes those rights.

    There is a line – we’re not sure exactly where, but it is there – that simply cannot be crossed in terms of our right to arms. What lies beyond that makes getting someone fired pale in comparison.

    I have never championed the opinion that it is wrong for Hollywood to play politics with people’s careers, because I believe in another American value – freedom of association. If they’ll not have me, then one or both sides are probably better off without the other.

  38. Tim, I like to think that I’m as serious about defending my gun rights as anyone. Where I break with many of my peers on that issue – as with others – is that I refuse to demonize my opponents and I accept the idea that we all live in a country that we share.

    A.L.

  39. It’s not necessary to make public statements to endanger your job. It’s enough to give money to the cause you favor and be found out. (link)

    bq. “Gay and lesbian artists called Monday for an artistic and audience boycott of California Musical Theatre after learning that its artistic director donated $1,000 to a campaign that backed banning gay marriage in California.”

    I don’t think the principles involved are significantly different.

    The side that is more committed in the culture wars has an advantage. So both sides must and will enforce political conformity. Outing people for donations made in secret is one way to enforce commitment.

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