I have called contemporary conservatives in America Marranos, the name given during the 15th-century Spanish Inquisition to Jews who hid their Judaism while appearing to be Catholics, lest they be persecuted. I do not compare the consequences: Losing one’s friends or employment is not the same as losing one’s home or one’s life. But otherwise, the label is apt.
Because of my widely covered conducting of the Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall last summer, members of some of the most prestigious orchestras in America have opened up to me, telling me they are conservative but would never reveal this fact to their fellow musicians. They fear either losing their position or, more likely, being socially ostracized.
Why are so many Democrats shocked when a Republican is elected president? Because, as they themselves say, they “don’t know anyone” who voted for the Republican. The primary reason for this is the people in their life who voted for Donald Trump—professional colleagues, and even friends and relatives—are afraid to tell them.