Stephen Lemons Column

In Attempting to Keep Donald Trump Off SNL, the Left Displays an Orwellian Bent

Imagine the liberal hell to pay if the musical The Book of Mormon had been canceled from its run at Arizona State University's Gammage Auditorium because it offended members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lefties would roar their disapproval, and rightly so.

Sure, the Tony Award-winning musical from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone is irreverent, sacrilegious, and hilarious.

Mormons have not condemned the musical en masse, though many know they are getting mocked, while others see it as a sign that their faith has gone as mainstream as a Pixar flick.

LDS members are more live and let live than folks give them credit. If Parker and Stone want to make something really edgy, they should do to Muslims what they've done to Mormons, plus get to work on the lyrics for their new Broadway smash, The Qu'ran, with a theme song titled "Don't Cry for Me Islamic State."

Ironically, a musical about Islam would draw ire from progressives as hurtful to a vulnerable minority in the United States, though LDS members are a minority in this country, one that has endured violent repression from non-Mormons in its past.

The difference is, liberals in Arizona and elsewhere largely have no problem mocking the LDS church, Catholics, evangelicals, and so on. But mocking Islam would offend their supposed bent toward tolerance and inclusiveness.

Hypocrisy? Well, of course. In reality, liberals are no different than right-wingers in wanting ideas they disagree with suppressed. Sometimes they are far worse.

Take, for example, the left's anti-intellectual stance toward wiping out the Confederate battle flag from the public sphere.

The outcry, driven online by the mob rule of Twitter, has died down now. But for a while, it was not unusual to go on Facebook and see posted a photo of a vandalized Civil War memorial or a video of someone illegally ripping a Confederate flag image off a truck as lefties cheered on the activity.

How quickly we've moved on from outrage over the Charleston church shooting in June.

Nine lost their lives to racist Dylann Storm Roof's rage against blacks. The killings and photos of Roof with the Confederate battle flag motivated South Carolina to remove that symbol of the segregated South from its capitol grounds, a move long overdue.

Liberals are no different than right-wingers in wanting ideas they disagree with suppressed.

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At the same time, everything from statues of Confederate generals to belt buckles bearing the dreaded emblem to reruns of The Dukes of Hazzard were imperiled by the left's insatiable desire for censorship.

Thankfully, if this desire is insatiable, it is also fickle — and affected with an unusually short attention span.

After all, there's so much to be incensed over, like the slowness of some politicians to kowtow to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders learned the hard way about this one. Until he said the magic words "black lives matter" and hired the right people to his staff, his lifelong commitment to civil rights meant nothing to some.

As in Maoist "struggle sessions" from Communist China, where the ideologically incorrect were berated by crowds until they admitted their errors or crimes and did penance (or were executed), Sanders was dogged by BLM protesters until he had, in the BLM's view, expiated his sin of being out of touch with their cause.

Sanders' supporters are just as bad. The moment anyone points out the obvious — that a socialist from Vermont who resembles Christopher Lloyd's nutty professor Doc Brown in Back to the Future is not going to be president — Sandercrats flip out.

To be fair, followers of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are equally delusional on the other end of the political spectrum.

They argue that Trump is the embodiment of the American Dream, which is fine if the American Dream is getting a million-dollar loan from your rich pappy and exploiting the bankruptcy system till you end up a billionaire.

Granted, I probably would have stopped with the million bucks. So Trump gets points, I guess, for wanting and getting a gold-plated existence, though by no means do I want the foul-mouthed reality show goof to have his finger on the nuclear button.

No to mention, Trump's über-nativist immigration agenda is draconian, noxious, and not representative of the majority of Republicans, much less Americans. He is worthy of disgust, from that and many other perspectives.

And yet, admittedly, the guy is entertaining. I secretly dread wonkish Democratic presidential debates. They're like the morning bowl of oatmeal. Watching Trump insult his fellow GOPers during the Republican debates is like downing a whole box of Fruity Pebbles.

This is why — horror of horrors — I will watch on November 7 when, to the dismay of many progressives and Latinos, Trump hosts Saturday Night Live.

The drive to block Trump from hosting the venerable comedy show is all over the Web, with online petitions and the declarations of many progressive Facebook users that they will never again watch SNL. Harumph!

In fact, the "dump Trump" movement has even reached the floor of Congress, with Illinois Congressman and pro-immigrant firebrand Luis Gutierrez putting up a big photo of SNL producer Lorne Michaels on the House floor as he inveighed against The Donald and Michaels' willingness to have Trump on again, as Trump has hosted the show before.

"When public figures cross certain lines," Gutierrez said, "they should lose their privileges to host TV shows. At least until they have apologized for their unacceptable behavior."

Um, like, who made this asinine rule? And since when is SNL, or any comedy show, supposed to be politically correct?

To be fair, Gutierrez didn't call for a boycott, though he did admit he no longer watches the show. So why should anyone listen to his call for censorship?

Because that is exactly what Gutierrez is asking for. Gutierrez's objection to Trump is what Trump has claimed heretofore about Mexican immigrants being criminals, drug runners, and rapists.

Agreed, these are bigoted statements for which Trump has taken a hit with NBC, which runs SNL. The network cut its ties to the real estate mogul earlier this year as did businesses such as Macy's refusing to partner with him.

But if we're going to start censoring comedy shows because someone says something impolitic, there will be a long list of verboten candidates and subjects.

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher would have to call it quits right now.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who also has hosted SNL, should never appear on TV again, for his insensitive comments about Jews.

Sarah Palin appeared in an SNL sketch that lampooned her. Should she have been barred because of her outrageous Teabagger statements?

Remember when SNL made fun of blind then-New York Governor David Patterson, and then Patterson went on the show to mock SNL?

None of this would be allowed by the Stalinist mindset of some libs.

This lemming-like instinct among many lefties to erase certain words and images knows no bounds, save for the words and images lefties like.

Recently, Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego co-sponsored a bill to strike the word "illegal alien" from federal code, as if that will somehow ease the plight of the millions of undocumented individuals who live in the shadows.

How Orwellian can you get? That is, it would be Orwellian if it had a chance of passing, which it does not.

I don't like people telling me what I can watch or wear or wave or say in the land of the brave and the home of the free.

For those liberals who want it otherwise, stop being dicks. Or may I suggest a one-way ticket to North Korea, where maybe you'll feel more at home?