It is common knowledge that Charlottesville, Virginia is a Democrat “machine” town. If you—as anything but a Democrat—want to “do business” in or transact with the city of Charlottesville, you had better hold your political views close to the vest.
On Monday, September 6, Labor Day, a group of concerned conservative-leaning businessmen placed the following paid advertisement, under their personal and business names, in the Daily Progress:
A Labor Day Message
As business owners and managers, we believe that the economic uncertainty created by the policies of Obama, Pelosi and Perriello are discouraging businesses like ours from hiring or expanding. The billions of dollars funneled into the Stimulus Package served only to remove precious resources from the private sector. The proposed Obamacare will increase the cost of health care paid for by small businesses and add burdensome administrative costs. Proposed tax increases for programs like Cap and Trade, supported by Perriello, would further weaken the ability of small businesses like ours to take on new employees.
Multiple signatories of this letter received threats against their businesses and livelihoods upon its publication. The most egregious of these reads:
Now that you have foolishly politicized your business you are going to see the consequences. Yes, we are all entitled to free speech but our actions have consequences. It was nothing short of stupid to have run such an ad bashing the President and universal health care in town [sic] as liberal as Charlottesville.
We are a group of individuals, most of whom have been your customers for many years, who will now boycott your business. And, we are starting a campaign to encourage others to do the same. We will do so through local blogs, Facebook and other media. We hope to hurt you in the pocket book for your ill-advised decision to go public, through your business, with your rightwing [sic], small-minded ideas.
You are entitled to your personal views but when you inject your business into the mix you have to pay the piper.
We look forward to patronizing your competition and encouraging others to do the same. Hopefully, your business will suffer and you will realize how foolhardy you are.
A group of concerned citizens
The letter’s cowardly ghosts clearly assert their conditional recognition of the right to “free speech,” but they continue by restating what they believe to be obvious: Publicly articulated conservative viewpoints are not permitted in a “liberal” town, and conservatives should know better than to express themselves politically.
In America, any individual has the right to transact (or not transact) with businesses of his or her own choosing (except when it comes to health care). Everyone understands that. The writers are free to “boycott” the business.
But in Charlottesville, “open-minded” progressives (as opposed to “small-minded” conservatives) once again have proven (albeit inadvertently) that liberal claims on tolerance are sheer hypocrisy.
Unfortunately, it appears that political terror and intimidation have been re-born in Charlottesville—birthed by the same political party that menaced black Americans while hiding under pointy white hoods. Metaphorical “cross-burnings” in modern-day form: The execrable Democrat legacy of clandestine terror continues into the 21st century—only now, with revised methods and new targets.
See the ad and the threatening letter: