Over the last 15 years at the Idaho Freedom Foundation, I’ve made it a point to surround myself with people from all walks of life, all backgrounds, and indeed, religious beliefs. From our board of directors to our donors and moral supporters, we have Mormons, Baptists, Catholics, Muslims, and even atheists and agnostics. What unites us is our love of liberty and our belief that contained in our founding principles is the formula to save Idaho from socialism and Marxism and, by extension, provide the blueprint to save America.
At the same time, I recognize that I’m one of the more prominent Jews is in the state. This is generally an inconsequential fact for me. But today, I share because I have been accused by the leftist “media” of retaining the services of an anti-semite to help out with our communications outreach. As my mentor, Ralph Smeed, would say: “Interesting, if true.” But, of course, it’s not.
IFF signed a contract with Dave Reilly, of Post Falls, because Reilly is an excellent writer and videographer. For years, Reilly has been vilified by leftists for his social media posts, some of which are critical of Jewish theology and politics. For that, Reilly is accused of being anti-semitic. What’s really happening here is what happens a lot in the media: If you’re the least bit critical of Jewish anything, you’re an anti-semite. This is wrong.
Reilly is entitled to his opinion. I don’t share them, but opinions are just that. And they are harmless. If we can’t work with a person because of differences of opinion concerning sincerely held beliefs, there’d be no one left with whom to work.
By some estimates, there are more than 4,000 religions on earth. And all told, there are likely thousands or even millions of different views and variations on how faith is to be exercised. Tied to religion is history, with its own interpretations and perspectives. The leftist media would like me to cancel Dave because he holds historical and religious views that they don’t like because they’re different. They want to cancel him.
I could have done that, too. That would have been the easy decision. But I met Dave. I spent time at his house with his wife and family. He’s a good person, plain and simple. And he’s dedicated to the same cause we are — to free people from the ravages of socialism and Marxism. So, I made the harder decision — to embrace this young man, warts and all, and give him a chance to apply his creativity at IFF.
My decision doesn’t fit the media’s narrative. I’m supposed to condemn him. I’m supposed to throw outrage his way. And because I didn’t do that, the leftists, in their role as thought police, are coming after me and the Idaho Freedom Foundation. It’s funny: If I had contracted with someone who pontificated on social media about how trans people were “stunning and brave,” you know the press would celebrate my choices.
As a friend pointed out to me this morning, if one writes peer-reviewed articles about racial differences in academic performance (ala Charles Murray), you might get fired or banned from speaking on college campuses. If you promote racism against whites while blathering on about “systemic oppression,” you might become president of an elite university.
We need to stop letting the media tell us what kind of thinking and what kind of writing is acceptable and what isn’t. We need to stop letting the media perpetuate “cancel culture.”
It ought to say something — to the press and the public — that this Jew believes in Dave and is willing to give him a chance. He’s said nothing that hurts me or anyone else. In life, we all have a choice in how we interact with our fellow humans. We can search for reasons to hate, and we will find them. Or we can do the harder thing and project love and kindness to the misunderstood and misrepresented, even (or perhaps especially) at the risk of criticism.
I had more to say on this topic during my early morning livestream, which you can watch here.
No doubt, the leftists think this phony controversy will cost us support. But I’m confident our loyal followers will continue to have our backs. We do and say the hard things because America needs strength and courage from the people working the public policy space. We won’t be bullied by the leftist media.
Please take a moment, if you haven’t already, and consider defying the fearmongers by donating to our work today. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to email [email protected] or reach out to me via cell at 208-921-6749.
Yours for Freedom,
Wayne Hoffman, president
Idaho Freedom Foundation