By Jan Teague, President/CEO
“We need to call out intimidation in any form and manner when we see it – and do it instantly. Bullies don’t like being exposed.”
That’s the advice of Kimberly Strassel who wrote a recent story in the Hillsdale College publication, Imprints. Strassel writes the weekly “Potomac Watch” for the Wall Street Journal.
Her story held my attention as she chronicled the history since 2010 of a series of strategic efforts to harass and intimidate groups and individuals so they wouldn’t speak up. Most of these activities she highlighted targeted conservatives.
“They are sending the message that if you dare to speak, we will turn your lives into a living hell,” Strassel writes. She believes that these efforts are not random and are very coordinated and well-honed.
This story reminded me of a recent example here in Washington State with the Freedom Foundation. It is battling with the unions in court now in a number of lawsuits filed by the unions trying to prevent the Foundation from talking to home care workers who have the right to refuse to join the union. The battle has strategically taken many forms including an initiative, a bill in the legislature, as well as the lawsuits against the Foundation.
Free speech is something we all talk about. But when I see it eroding as Strassel wrote in great detail and when I see the unions trying to get rid of the Freedom Foundation, it bothers me. You can read more about the Freedom Foundation on its website. It is a true foundation, so any contributions you might want to make to support its work are both tax deductible and protected from political disclosure. I am concerned that the Freedom Foundation’s free speech rights are under attack.