John DePetro has continued his attention to the most critical story of the day: letters to the editor and yoga pants in Barrington. Saturday, he spoke with the letter writer, Alan Sorrentino, who said that he’d received death threats and was reminded of intimidation he felt in the past as a homosexual man. This morning, DePetro tweeted Sorrentino’s claim that the Barrington police wanted him to pay for the detail they dispatched to his house the day of the parade.
As I suggested when I wrote about this story on Friday, the whole thing has the feeling of a TV comedy show (see, e.g.), but that doesn’t mean the lessons aren’t real and important. As much as the people involved may be comedic — Sorrentino now insists he wrote his letter in the persona of somebody who would actually disgust him and the yoga fascists, well, they’re comedic outright — death threats are simply not acceptable.
If Sorrentino correctly understood the Barrington police, that request is unacceptable, too. Grievance mobs simply cannot be permitted to impose government costs on their victims.
Whether people laugh at this turn of events or not, the effect on public dialogue cannot be doubted. Anybody thinking of expressing opinions that aren’t perfectly in line with the politically correct, self righteous mobs will think again, and we’ll all be poorer for it.