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Harold Hutchison / Oct. 26, 2018

New York Moves to Silence Dissent

The political battle has now become a fight for the very freedom of speech for conservatives.

Lost in the bustle of the midterm elections has been a very disturbing escalation of New York’s war against those who dissent from left-wing policies. We’ve covered Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his abuse of financial regulations to target the National Rifle Association in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Cuomo’s totalitarianism has drawn belated opposition from the long-silent ACLU, but Fox News reports that other states are starting to employ the Cuomo playbook.

Well, things in New York have gotten worse, not better. The state is suing ExxonMobil for “misleading investors” about the possible risks from climate change. At least that’s what New York’s attorney general is saying in legal documents. In reality, the suit was filed because ExxonMobil isn’t going along with the preferred environmental policies of the current powers-that-be in the Empire State.

This isn’t Cuomo’s first such rodeo involving the use of government to find a back-door restriction on our rights. The Patriot Post team has warned about the use of RICO as a political weapon in the debate over environmental policy in the past.

In the latter years of Bill Clinton’s administration, he supported using an avalanche of civil litigation to compel gun manufacturers to accept policies that had been rejected by lawmakers at the federal and state level — or face bankruptcy.

Back in 2016, we asked, “How do conservatives expect to mount a comeback when even making the argument becomes illegal?” Well, that question has changed — largely because candidate Donald Trump became President Donald Trump. But the fundamental question we posed back then not only remains, it has expanded into a host of such questions.

Can conservatism survive if even making the conservative argument is criminalized? For that matter, can conservative groups compete in the market in the face of Chokepoint 2.0, which could cut them off from financial services? What if conservatives are excluded from law school or medical school? Can conservatives hope to win elections if Silicon Valley muzzles their arguments?

As outlandish as they may seem, those questions are very real. And these actions by New York, which Andrew Cuomo has sought to export to other states, are an abuse of power on par with the Democrats’ “John Doe” investigations in Wisconsin and Barack Obama’s weaponization of the IRS and other federal agencies against the Tea Party.

In essence, the stakes have increased. This is not merely a fight about policy, such as an argument about marginal tax rates or health care. It is now nothing less than a fight for freedom of speech for conservatives.

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