(Kansas City, Missouri) - Jack Cashill has had it with what he sees as the harrumphing - and worse - from America's political left.
From the demonization of Donald Trump for lashing out, if perhaps a bit indelicately, against illegal immigration to a refusal to view the Confederate flag as anything but a symbol of racism, the Kansas City-based writer and documentary producer maintains that we're living in a time of troubling neo-puritanism.
"Although the norm in seventeenth-century New England, the punitive use of civil law to impose morality represents a new and nasty turn for the American left," Cashill says. He addresses the premise in a discussion of his new book Scarlet Letters: The Ever Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism on Thursday, July 30, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.
If the adultery allegation against Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne's classic novel The Scarlet Letter was valid, the conservative Cashill maintains that today's charges against perceived political offenders rarely are. Neo-puritans exaggerate the sins of the targeted or concoct them out of whole cloth. Like Hawthorne's Puritans, they publicly brand the offender to render him or her, in Hawthorne's words, "the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point."
Take Trump, one of many pursuing the Republican presidential nomination. "To be sure, Trump might have phrased his observation more elegantly," Cashill writes. "That said, there is an element of truth to it that the media and the political class refuse to acknowledge. That refusal has turned America's southern border into an open wound, one that is slowly infecting the nation writ large.
"If a presidential candidate cannot point this out, who can?"
He argues that progressive neo-puritans show less interest in celebrating the many colors of the multicultural rainbow than they do in condemning those who resist the celebration. The accusers insist, he says, that resistance is born of hatred - of blacks, gays, immigrants, Muslims, women, the poor, and even mother earth. "Hate" stands as the umbrella sin for all who dare to dissent.
Cashill—senior editor of Kansas City-based Ingram's magazine—is a regular contributor to the conservative website WorldNetDaily and also has written for Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Weekly Standard. He has produced documentaries for regional PBS and national cable channels, including the Emmy Award-winning he Royal Years on baseball in KC.
Among his other books are Deconstructing Obama: The Life, Loves, and Letters of America's First Postmodern President and If I had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman.
Admission to the event is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.