KOKOMO – One of the history classes required when I pursued my history minor at Ball State University was “The History of the United States from 1950 to Present.” My left-leaning professor (redundant, I know) spent a seemingly interminable amount of time discussing the Red Scare of the Fifties and the Hollywood blacklisting of Communist sympathizers.
    
We were told how horrible it was to deny someone the ability to make a living on the basis of their political beliefs. We were told that Sen. Joe McCarthy was evil and that all of the card-carrying Hollywood Communists were victims of a budding right-wing conspiracy.  
    
In fact, not only was I subjected to this message for two long weeks during my senior year in college, when I had far more important things to do, but for all of my adult life I have seen little snippets of this message worked into movies, books and television programs. You would think that more than 60 years after the Red Scare and the resultant decades-long drumbeat regarding the evils of the blacklist that the message would have been universally received.
    
Sad to say, there is still a group devoted to blacklisting of people for their political beliefs or business relationships. That group is the Hollywood elitists and their friends sprinkled across America from sea to shining sea.
    
From the time that Donald Trump’s presidential nomination became inevitable to his election and to this very day, many pious liberal whack jobs, A-listers, social activists of the disturbed kind and sour-faced whiney pants have launched determined efforts to punish anything and anyone related to Donald Trump. That effort has extended from the immediate Trump family to common, garden-variety Trump supporters. It has gotten ugly and you can bet your “I’m With Her” bumper sticker that it will get uglier as Donald Trump moves from president-elect to Mr. President.
    
Some of the economic boycott blacklisting has been predictable. A group called Grab Your Wallet Boycott Trump launched a campaign to deny affluent women of the world the delight of carrying an expensive purse bearing the Ivanka Trump label.  More than 50 big-box and online retailers were boycotted or threatened with boycott if they did not purge themselves of the Ivanka curse. Their message was simple:  We must save the whales, baby polar bears and sand hill squiggits by refusing to be caught toting Ivanka’s purses, wearing her oh-so-fashionable clothing or prancing about in those dazzling dainty pumps. She is the spawn of Satan and she must be made to pay.
    
Let’s forget all of that malarkey about breaking glass ceilings, empowering women and supporting working mothers. Let’s punish Ivanka for being born to the wrong parent.
    
Of course, Mark Cuban led the move of NBA teams to avoid staying in any Donald Trump-owned hotel. Those soft terrycloth robes and over-priced cans of mixed nuts could lead to the further oppression of the masses. It is heartwarming that the billionaire Cuban has the interests of those oppressed season ticket holders whom he willingly forces to consume eight-dollar boxes of popcorn at Dallas Mavericks games.
    
One of the most troubling boycotts led by the looney left has been an effort to punish Trump supporters in Pittsburgh for a litany of perceived offenses. We’re not talking about lefties going after fat cat millionaires and billionaires. The crazies in Pittsburgh are striking at the economic lifeblood of ordinary business people.
    
Bill Hoy of William Hoy Concrete and Karen Auffenberg of Northwood Realty have been boycotted because they donated to Trump’s presidential campaign. Howard’s Towing has been put on the banned list because he had Trump signs all over his property.  Salvatore Puccini’s Hair Salon made the boycott list because he spoke favorably of the Trumpster. Why even the Peace, Love and Little Donuts shop was boycotted for being anti-gay Trump supporters. Gooski’s Bar in Polish Hill is firmly on the list because its owner, Marcus, is “proud and loud” about his Trump support.
    
It has never dawned on me in my adult life to boycott anyone nor any business because of their political beliefs. If you think I’m going to let politics come between me and a scrumptious donut at Dan’s Donuts, in Kokomo, just because its owner is a Democratic city councilman, you’ve got a big surprise coming. I base my purchases of products and services on quality and price, not viewpoints and politics.
    
Take Will Ferrell for example. There could not be a better tormenter of Republican politicians. He has skewered the best that the Republican Party has to offer. That being said, I wouldn’t avoid his movies. He’s just too darned funny.
    
The same could be said for Hoosier John Mellencamp. He’s very liberal and very outspoken, but the guy writes great rock songs. I don’t care if Jack and Diane are Republicans or Democrats. It has a good beat, you can dance to it and I’d give it a 93 Dick!
    
The most disturbing element of the Soros-promoted Trump-banning boycotters is the Hollywood elite. The writers, producers, directors and stars of stage and screen should be the folks most concerned about protecting the 1st Amendment rights of everyone.  Yet, one of the biggest and ugliest trends in La La Land is the systematic boycotting and blacklisting of those who have bravely spoken their political minds. In Hollywood it has become the trend to not only produce a steady stream of message-driven movies, but to also squash like toxic bugs those who diverge in any way from the accepted political or social line. It’s sad when supposed liberal minds are the most closed.  
    
Back in 2008, I was pretty sure that Barack Obama was going to be a disaster as president. His sole resume item of political organizer gave me little hope. Let’s face it, being a product of the Chicago political machine just doesn’t stir the cockles in the average Republican’s heart. I fervently worked against him, I wrote op/ed pieces against him and I organized get-out-the-vote efforts to try and beat him. In the end, as well as in 2012, he defeated our Republican candidate and became our president. I still watched the inauguration with pride.
    
I won’t ask those devastated Hillary Clinton supporters to be happy. I don’t want them to smile when they want to cry. I want them to continue to speak out, write editorials and craft comedy sketches. That’s what Americans do. I just ask those Clinton supporters to extend the same courtesy and rights to those who differ with them.  That’s also what Americans do.
    
So this message goes out to Lena Dunham, Amy Shumer and Rosie O’Donnell: When I don’t watch your television shows, movies or stage acts, please know that I am not boycotting you because of your political views.  I just think you lack talent!

Dunn is chairman of the Howard County Republican Party.