Agree With Us, or Else: Soviet-Style Totalitarian Spirit Afoot in America

Written by Robert Knight

The first thing the communists did after the 1917 Russian Revolution was round up anyone who disagreed with them.

They shut down newspapers and denied all public forums to dissenters. This included their “useful idiot” socialist allies.

We think it can’t happen here, but some recent moves to stifle free speech and enforce official viewpoints should give us pause.

Last Tuesday, the satellite TV provider DirecTV kicked the fast-growing conservative cable news network Newsmax off its network. In April, it removed One America News (OAN), another pro-Trump, conservative outlet.

Partly owned by the progressively inclined AT&T, DirecTV says dropping the networks’ access to millions of potential viewers is about money, not ideology.

Sure it is.

“This is a blatant act of political discrimination and censorship against Newsmax,” said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax. “The most extreme liberal channels, even [those] with tiny ratings, get fees from AT&T‘s DirecTV, but Newsmax and OAN need to be de-platformed.”

Google, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo and Facebook routinely deplatform, demonetize and “shadow ban” conservative content. At the same time, they peddle leftist narratives such as the Democrat/FBI/media Russian collusion hoax and the Biden administration’s “zero COVID” strategy to get everyone vaccinated.

Speaking of COVID-19, the state of California passed a law criminalizing medical dissent by doctors who depart from the government’s narrative. Thankfully, a federal judge struck it down on Thursday.

On the flip side, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued an onerous ruling that would force Christian cake shop owner Jack Phillips to bake a cake to celebrate a man’s gender “transition” to female. Mr. Phillips had won a similar case in the U.S. Supreme Court, but they won’t leave him alone.

Last Tuesday, Washington Post columnist Kevin B. Blackistone let broadcaster and Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy have it with both barrels. The outspokenly Christian Mr. Dungy had spoken at the annual March for Life, which Mr. Blackistone characterized as “extremist” with a “podium frequented by white supremacists and zealots.”

Mr. Dungy also incurred the wrath of transgender activists by sharing an urban legend. In response to a state bill that would require menstrual products in boys’ restrooms, he tweeted: “That’s nothing. Some school districts are putting litter boxes in the school bathrooms for students who identify as cats.”

Given that schools are denying biological reality, it’s not hard to believe they might accommodate “furries” who identify as animals. But no evidence has surfaced that schools are actually placing litter boxes.

After getting slammed, Mr. Dungy deleted the tweet and apologized.

“I saw a tweet, and I responded to it in the wrong way,” said the Hall of Fame coach, who is now an NBC Sports analyst. “As a Christian, I should speak in love and in ways that are caring and helpful. I failed to do that, and I am deeply sorry.”

Nope. An apology won’t appease this crowd. They are scouring Mr. Dungy’s tweets for more evidence of “hate.” Here’s a recent NBC News article: “Tony Dungy’s anti-LGBTQ history gets renewed attention after controversial tweet.” Yes, he issued tweets in support of natural marriage in between all his charity work. What a monster.

Noting that Mr. Dungy is slated to speak in March at a conservative Christian men’s conference, Mr. Blackistone issued this warning: “Dungy should know going through with that appearance could be hazardous to his career.” Too bad that open threats like this are not hazardous to the careers of liberal sports writers.

No one is allowed to dissent from LGBTQ dogma — not even a professional hockey player. Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov decided to skip pregame warmups when the team wore LGBTQ-themed jerseys and had rainbow-wrapped hockey sticks as part of “pride night.” Some pundits called for him to be fined or suspended.

“I respect everyone. I respect everybody’s choices. My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion,” Mr. Provorov, a Russian Orthodox Christian, told reporters when they asked.

Sorry, Ivan. That does not satisfy the Soviet-style, totalitarian spirit afoot in the land.

How did America, “land of the free,” “home of the brave,” become a place where you can be punished for refusing to celebrate something you believe is wrong? Not every fan is woke, however. Mr. Provorov’s jersey instantly sold out.

When asked about the growing intolerance of conservative dissent, liberals say it’s no different from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick being criticized for taking a knee during the national anthem.

Except that it is. All viewpoints are not equal. Truth matters. Mr. Kaepernick dissed the American flag, under which thousands have fought and died and which is revered by millions of Americans, especially football fans. The flag stands for freedom, not moral relativism.

By contrast, Mr. Provorov quietly declined to celebrate a militant, behaviorally defined segment of society that rejects 3,500 years of moral teaching and is now targeting children.

These are no more comparable than insisting that a drag queen is just as good a role model for boys as Tony Dungy.

Robert Knight is a former Los Angeles Times news editor and writer and was a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This column was originally published by The Washington Times.

He has been published by the Wall Street Journal, National Review, the Christian Post,,,, and many others.  He has co-authored three books and written 10, including “Liberty on the Brink: How the Left Plans to Steal Your Vote” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2020) and “The Coming Communist Wave: What Happens If the Left Captures All Three Branches of Government” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2020) . 

You can follow him on Twitter at @RobertKnight17, and his website is