When Brendan Eich, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, was named CEO of Mozilla in March 2014, he pledged to ensure that the Internet company “will remain a place that includes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, ethnicity, economic status, or religion.” There was one problem: Eich had in 2008 donated $1,000 to the “Yes on 8” campaign, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California. (It seems so long ago.) A week after his appointment, during which online voices decried Mozilla for letting someone with bigoted views helm its operations, Mozilla announced Eich would be stepping down.
Andrew Sullivan, a commentator who is gay and among the first to publicly defend same-sex marriage, summed up the decision poignantly: “When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance.” His quote appears among many that draw attention to an intolerant tolerance that Kirsten Powers believes is on the rise. The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech (Regnery) is the Fox News commentator’s new book, a journalistic polemic on the many Americans on the cultural and political Left who have forsaken some of their most cherished values, including free speech.