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Should a Conservative Consulting Firm Be Forced to Promote Socialism?

Sarah Kramer
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Published on
Should a Conservative Consulting Firm Be Forced to Promote Socialism?

Grant Strobl learned the importance of freedom at a young age.

He never imagined then that, over a decade later, he would need to stand up for that principle in court. But that’s where Grant finds himself after he and business partner Jacob Chludzinski filed a lawsuit against Ann Arbor, Michigan. There, a local law forces them to express political messages that contradict their own views.

Grant’s first run-in with government overreach happened when he was around 12 years old. He was suffering with scoliosis, and his doctor insisted that he needed to see a surgeon. But his mother wasn’t so sure. She wanted to try physical therapy first.

There was just one problem.

The state of Michigan required a doctor’s referral for physical therapy – and his doctor was unwilling to provide that referral. So, Grant and his mother had to travel to Wisconsin for physical therapy. And lo and behold, Grant was able to manage his condition without surgery by escaping Michigan’s restrictive regime.

Ultimately, that experience shaped Grant’s political views. He saw firsthand the suffering that can result when the government restricts people’s freedom.

Since then, Grant has been active in political advocacy to promote his conservative beliefs. One way he’s promoted his views is through involvement with Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). In fact, Grant started and ran YAF chapters at both his high school and the University of Michigan.

That’s where Grant met Jacob.

The two young men got to know each other through YAF and struck up a friendship over their shared ideals.

After Grant graduated college, he and Jacob decided to launch a business together. And ThinkRight Strategies was born.

ThinkRight Strategies is a political consulting and marketing firm. It exists to partner with political candidates and organizations to promote messages, views, policies, platforms, and causes that advance their conservative principles. These principles include free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values, and a strong national defense.

But the government is threatening their work.

Ann Arbor passed an ordinance that makes it illegal for businesses to “discriminate” based on “political beliefs.” That means if ThinkRight creates advocacy material for Republican candidates to promote limited government, lower taxes, and the sanctity of life, it must also create advocacy material for Socialist candidates to promote government control, higher taxes, and abortion on demand.

In today’s political environment, how is this even possible?!? But there’s more…

The law even keeps Grant and Jacob from explaining on their website that they cannot advance certain political beliefs.

If Grant and Jacob violate this ordinance, they face fines of up to $500 per day. Ann Arbor could also require them to pay the city’s enforcement costs and force them comply via court orders.

The government should exist to protect freedom, not take it away. That’s why Grant and Jacob decided to file a lawsuit against Ann Arbor.

This law should concern us all – no matter what political beliefs you hold.

If the government can force conservative political consultants to promote a Democrat’s progressive platform, it could compel a Democratic speech writer to write campaign speeches for Donald Trump. It could punish a pacifist painter for declining to paint banners for a pro-war rally. It could punish a pro-abortion photographer for declining to capture promotional photos for a pro-life march. The possibilities are endless.

Maybe the government should focus on what it’s supposed to do – protect freedom – and stop trying to force people to express messages that violate their own convictions.

Sarah Kramer
Sarah Kramer
Digital Content Specialist
Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.