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The Intimidation Game: How the Left Is Silencing Free Speech Hardcover – June 21, 2016
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"Progressives' objective is to extend government's regulatory reach ever-deeper into society's dynamics. Strassel reveals how fast and how far this project has been expanded to include an especially sinister objective: Empowering government to control political campaign speech-speech about the government's composition and behavior. Her frightening reports come from many fronts in this war on America's open society. This book is a fire bell in a darkening night."―George F. Will
"There have been a lot of good books of late decrying the increasingly repressive climate towards free speech. But none have connected the dots between the Obama White House, Congressional Democrats, and the spider web of 'grassroots' organizations the way Kim Strassel does in THE INTIMIDATION GAME. It is required reading for those who want to know what's behind the supposedly spontaneous daily outrages we see every day."―Jonah Goldberg
"Public shaming encouraged by leading political figures. Pre-dawn police raids. Federal agencies targeting groups and individuals because of their political views. It's hard to believe these things are happening-and taking place with increasing frequency-in the United States. But they are. And in this searing indictment of the systematic attempt of the political left to shut down political debates they cannot win-Kimberly Strassel provides the often-horrifying details. THE INTIMIDATION GAME is a shocking and assiduously well-reported chronicle of the illiberal tactics of the new progressives-and a must-read for anyone who wants to understand American politics today."―Stephen Hayes
"Strassel draws a timely, convincing, and alarming picture of liberal governance and a
Democratic machine that's eager to bully resistant citizens."―Publishers Weekly
"An eye-opening lesson in the law of unintended consequences: where "a vast new disclosure regime" intended to curb corruption has spawned a corruption all its own."―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Kimberley Strassel is a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, based in Washington. Since 2007 she has written the "Potomac Watch" column and has worked for the Wall Street Journal in Brussels, London, and New York. An Oregon native, Ms. Strassel is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Virginia with her three children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kimberley is warning us all, will we hear and take action or will we fall prey to the intimidation game?
Kimberley Strassel interviewed American citizens who were actually harmed by the overreach of government agencies and an Administration that has been calling the shots for almost 8 years. The thread of how conservative Americans were singled out for IRS audits and raids on their homes and police action is stunning. The fact that few other media outlets covered these stories is even more stunning. Thank goodness this travesty bothered Ms. Strassel enough for her to undertake this very unpopular stand by investigating this criminal behavior by government employees and their political Svengalis.
People need to understand what happened, who is involved and how the progressives continue to harass innocent Americans for no other reason but that they have a differing set of values and principles. Such an excellent book! Thank you Kimberley Strassel for writing it!
If you are a die-hard Sanders or Clinton loving liberal, or devout socialist, you won’t read this book, and this book probably isn’t for you anyway, because it’s about you.
On the other hand, if you are an open-minded Democrat (is that a conundrum, dichotomy or an oxymoron?) a Regan Democrat, a constitution supporting, gun toting, right-wing, tea party conservative nut (as the bulk of patriotic Americans would likely be called by the left) or anything in between, this book will send chills down your spine, scare the he*l out of you at best, terrify you at worst, and give you nightmares. But it should also wake up a lot of reasonable rank and file Americans as to what’s going on in our country and how we have already lost a lot of our First Amendment rights, not to mention the current move by liberals, including Hillary Clinton, to amend the First Amendment to put the federal government in charge of speech, and to determine what’s free and what isn’t.
I’ll bet you didn’t know that, regardless if you are a Republican or a Democrat, if you contribute to or are a part of an organization who supports an idea contrary to the establishment’s position on a subject, and don’t walk and talk the party line, you are risking your job, business, savings, marriage, family and/or reputation; virtually everything you have, and may even be prosecuted. Did you know that the federal government strives to acquire the names and addresses of members of, and donors to, of these opposition organizations, and keeps data bases of these people with the intent of harassing and intimidating them, and silencing them in retaliation for their political beliefs, via federal agency’s like the IRS, FBI, DOJ, FEC, and in some cases even the FDA, or by making the data public, so you will be harassed by citizens with opposing views? I sure didn’t, at least until I read this book. Can you make a significant or even nominal contribution to your favorite conservative group or local conservative politician without fear of a visit from the IRS or your local sheriff? After reading this book, I fear not.
Similar to Kirsten Powers’ book, “The Silencing: How the left is Killing Free Speech”, this book is about the First Amendment, but Ms. Powers talks about losing; Ms. Strassel talks about lost. It’s over, gone kaput. There are enough left wing zealots already in place in the judiciary, federal, state and local governments; elected, appointed, or employed, that all of the subversives can never be routed out. All of them have nefarious intentions, and have been and will continue to be subversive with regard to constitutional rights, particularly free speech, with little or no respect for the rule of law.
Ms. Strassel talks about how in today’s world you can’t have free political speech without spending money. While free speech is protected by the First Amendment, spending money in support of free speech is not. So, liberals used to attack the sources of the money through campaign finance laws. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s January, 2010 “Citizens United” ruling, a lot of those campaign finance laws were swept away, so liberals had to come up with something else, and along comes President Obama, and the left’s move to harass, scare and shame its opponents out of speaking.
They have used the IRS to target and freeze out conservative groups. They made targets out of donors to conservative groups by publicizing their names and addresses. They filed complaints with the Justice Department and federal regulators against any and all rivals. They issued new IRS, SEC, FCC rules and regulations and executive orders to either order or scare their opponents into silence. And even more ominous, they went after companies, think tanks, conservative non-profits, etc., demanding to know the names of those who funded them so that they could retaliate against those donors. They leaked information to the press, flooded opponents with document requests, and made it clear that donating to the wrong groups would subject you to protests, boycotts, blacklists, and possibly prosecution.
They had liberal groups purchase stocks in corporations to get a proxy voice in order to pressure shareholders to demand that companies get out of the political process. They retaliated against CEO’s, vandalizing and urinating on their homes, and demonstrated in front of corporation headquarters. They threatened conservative organizations with litigation if they didn’t hand over donor lists, even though in most cases donor lists are protected as confidential under the law. All of this with the consent and in many cases at the direction of the Obama administration.
I could go on and on, but you need to read the book, and I mean it. You’ll learn about our liberal State Department’s refusal to prosecute liberal criminal activity, liberal courts that either misinterpret or fail to uphold the law, Tea Party groups that were required to wait five (5) years for permission to speak, everyday Americans that had their careers or businesses destroyed and their lives ruined because they dared to speak out against the establishment or support a conservative organization or political candidate. The reprehensible behavior on the part of own government is shocking, frightening and appalling. And now it’s quite likely too late to do anything about it. Donald Trump’s victory may slow it down, but the left isn’t going away, and like a metastasized cancer, liberalism has embedded itself into every organ of our government. It will resurge in four years, eight years at best, with a new vengeance, and our very Constitution is at stake.
All of the time I was reading this book I kept being reminded of an incident that happened to me in the late 1970’s. I was working as a technical consultant to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea. Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the time, and I was at dinner with several of my South Korean associates. I was railing at what a poor president I thought Carter was, and how bad our economy, inflation, and interest rates were, when a young South Korean engineer looked at me with a tear in his eye and said, “I envy your freedom to disagree”. Well he needn’t be envious anymore, because like the South Koreans, I fear we don’t have the “freedom to disagree”.
Read “The Intimidation Game”, and then do something about it. We are witnessing the death throes of free speech in the United States and the United States Constitution itself.