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Friday, Oct 31, 2014
Douglas MacKinnon Columns

Bookstore owner learns it’s ugly when liberals attack

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Recently, I read a chilling article in the New York Times detailing what happens when liberals attack liberals for not strictly adhering to a “populist” ideology that they themselves only follow if it suits them.

The target this time of the self-appointed enforcers of far-left doctrine being an independent bookstore owner operating near Columbia University in New York City. The bookstore owner proudly said of himself: “I’m an extremely progressive liberal and the best kind.”

Apparently, being an “extremely progressive liberal” was not good enough for the liberal mob that showed up at his front door looking for a pound of flesh. How could this bookstore owner pledge his allegiance to their cause any stronger than he had? What’s the next approved level above “extremely progressive liberal?” Sean Penn?

And exactly what “crime” did he commit? As a small businessman working on tight financial margins, he made the painful decision to let go employees who undermined his business by voting to unionize.

The bookstore owner said in disbelief, “My ideology is to make payroll, to make the rent, to make another mortgage payment.”

Clearly, he had to be punished for uttering such blasphemy. The “progressives” in this ultra-liberal area became unhinged that this “extremely progressive liberal” would dare to question the need for a union. Who was he to do basic bookkeeping and come to the realization that he simply could not afford the added expense unionized employees would bring?

“I was, frankly, appalled,” said an anthropology professor from Columbia when he learned this small-business owner did not want his employees to unionize. Of course, it’s easy to be “appalled” when you have tenure, a nice pension and don’t have to worry about paying those pesky bills like the majority of Americans.

In addition to the anthropology professor, many liberals in the area eagerly joined the movement to boycott the store with the intention of either bringing the owner to his knees or putting him out of business. When not marching in front of this store with giant inflatable rats — you read that correctly — they took to Twitter and email to drive away business from a man who, as was reported, had served the liberal community in the area for almost 20 years. So much for “tolerance” and “enlightenment.”

Sadly, this scorched-earth policy worked. Customers stayed away and sales plummeted. Staring bankruptcy or going out of business square in the face, the owner caved in, rehired the employees and agreed to recognize the union.

As this bullying and extortion of a liberal bookstore owner was taking place, where were the liberal authors, editors and publishers of New York City? Where was the literary intelligentsia? Why didn’t they come to the defense of a man who helped make their professions possible?

I guess the only good news in this unionization-by-intimidation story by these far-left knee-cappers is that the now properly cowered and indoctrinated bookstore owner will have plenty of union help to assist him in re-boxing the unsold copies of Hillary Clinton’s book, “Hard Choices,” and shipping them back to the publisher for a refund.

Well, at least he has that going for him — unless the union tells him that money is part of his “dues.”

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