Give Me a Like or Give Me Death
Updated: Nov 6
Sometimes, the lack of courage displayed in this country is disheartening. The Girl Scouts of America posted a tweet congratulating Amy Coney-Barrett for being the 5th woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Their tweet showed pictures of Justices Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, as well as Justice O’Connor and Barrett; three liberal justices and two conservative justices. It was not a political post favoring one side or the other. They were acknowledging an accomplishment of a highly talented and successful woman.
This is a tremendous win for women and girls in this country, considering that she is only the 5th woman out of the 120 justices who have served on the court in our nation’s history. This is an event that organizations like the Girl Scouts who promote empowerment and advancement for girls and women should celebrate.
But some people, hiding behind their computer screens lashed out at the Girl Scouts for their tweet because they disagree with Amy Coney-Barrett’s positions on certain political issues. They believe that all women are supposed to think alike. Amy Coney-Barrett can only be celebrated for her accomplishments as a woman if she thinks a certain way. Is that empowerment? Is that courage? Women must forfeit their membership to womanhood if they don’t think the way liberal women do?
The Girl Scouts quickly took down their tweet. So, a woman who graduated Summa Cum Laude from college and Magna Cum Laude from law school, a mother of 7, adopted 2 minority children, raising one special needs child, all while rising to the pinnacle of her chosen profession is not someone for young girls to look up to? There would have been no backlash if the Girl Scouts praised Cardi B or Kim Kardashian.
A woman like Amy Coney-Barrett should be celebrated for her beliefs because she is independent- thinking, strong woman, courageous enough to stand up against the intellectual mobs. She doesn’t hide in the crowd, compromising herself and her beliefs to be well-liked. She is someone to be honored, someone for all to emulate, not just girls.
The Girl Scouts either believe that Amy Coney-Barrett is a role model, or they don’t. If they do, then they should have left their tweet up. There was nothing substantive in the criticism that proved Amy Coney-Barrett wasn’t someone to be honored. It was purely political vitriol. The fact that other people politicized their tweet does not mean that the Girls Scouts’ tweet was political.
What were the Girl Scouts so afraid of? Were they that scared of not selling as many thin mints this year? I probably won’t buy thin mints not because of the politics of the organization but because of what they are teaching these kids; to be sell-outs, cave to pressure. Succumbing to the social media mob does not inspire girls, does not empower women. They should stand up for what they believe and accept the consequences.
Likewise, under the pressure from the media mob, Kappa Delta Sorority deleted their tweet congratulating their fellow sister Amy Coney-Barrett. When they deleted their tweet, they wrote, “we always need to have a more diverse group at all tables to make decisions in a more holistic, inclusive manner going forward.” So, in the name of inclusion and diversity, they excluded a woman, and will only support women justices who think a certain way.
We as a country need to stop this. How have we gone from “give me liberty or give me death” and “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country” to don’t de-friend me on Facebook and please, like me on Twitter? Do we even deserve the very rights that hundreds of thousands of soldiers laid down their lives winning and defending for us?
Are we that worried that we will be unfriended on Facebook? Life is not a popularity contest. It’s better to have 3 or 4 true friends than a million twitter followers. Does everything we post have to be pre-approved, guaranteed to be universally liked before we post it? There’s no courage in that. There’s no strength in that. How does that make us any better?
We no longer have real political dialogue in our country anymore. Our political discourse consists of either shouting into our echo chambers, or viciously and unfairly shutting down opinions we do not agree with. That does not make us better or more unified. It makes our country worse and divided, and our political beliefs more polarized. It’s intellectually incestuous which only serves to create intellectual mutations and deformity. This is how we get Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality into our nation’s philosophical DNA, aberrant, dangerous, and destructive theories that go unchecked.
Are we so worried about protecting our marketability or our ability to monetize our name? In the old days, when someone compromised or changed their beliefs and principles for monetary gain, we labeled them sell-outs. Have we become a bunch of sell-outs? Today, social media is bullying people into selling out by forcing them to compromise who they are and what they believe or get canceled and lose your economic viability. At some point, we must stand up to these cowards who hide behind computers, fake usernames or within a social media mob. We must have the courage to stand up not only for what we are saying, but stand up for our right to say it, or else Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg will be dictating our political discourse, and those people are no Thomas Jefferson or Alexander Hamilton. They lack the depth of intellect and breadth of human understanding.
In 1835 Alexis de Tocqueville foresaw this problem when he wrote, “Tyranny in democratic republics does not proceed in the same way, however. It ignores the body and goes straight for the soul. The master no longer says: You will think as I do or die. He says: You are free not to think as I do. You may keep your life, your property, and everything else. But from this day forth you shall be as a stranger among us. You will retain your civic privileges, but they will be of no use to you. For if you seek the votes of your fellow citizens, they will withhold them, and if you seek only their esteem, they will feign to refuse even that. You will remain among men, but you will forfeit your rights to humanity. When you approach your fellow creatures, they will shun you as one who is impure. And even those who believe in your innocence will abandon you, lest they, too, be shunned in turn. Go in peace, I will not take your life, but the life I leave you with is worse than death.”
It's impossible to suggest that Tocqueville was writing about the internet and social media back then. He was writing about human nature. And what the internet and social media have done, is to take human nature, and magnify and proliferate its worst characteristics to the detriment of what is real and true about humanity. And all we are left with is a warped and distorted sense of self and society. And it will only get worse until we find the courage to unabashedly profess our beliefs from the mountaintops fully willing to endure the slings and arrows of the social media mob, and when we do, we will realize that those horrid arrows are mere mosquitos that we can squash between our fingers.
Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He is a frequent contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.