My friend Bob Knight, a Cape Elizabeth native who writes a column for The Washington Times, coined a new word this week.

It’s “totalitolerance” – and I wanted to share it because its progressive practitioners are doing their absolute best to make you shut up and obey them under the false flag of “toleration.”

On issues ranging from climate change to gun control, from abortion to wedding-cake bakers to access to addictive drugs, the secular faith of the progressive reformer is a jealous one.

And like any faith, progressivism has unquestioned assumptions and strict rules, and its own Inquisition to enforce them (using insults, threats, exclusion and, where possible, legal action).

A few examples:

North Carolina was recently threatened with the withdrawal of federal funding for the offense of not wanting fully equipped male persons to use the same public restrooms as women and little girls.

And the Obama administration wants to force the same practice on every public school bathroom and shower in the nation – although no federal law requires it.

Were we really supposed to “get the government out of our bedrooms” so it could push its way into our bathrooms instead?

“Transgender people have rights,” we are told. But do not women and little girls have rights, too – to privacy in a bathroom, for example?

Apparently not, according to The Charlotte Observer, which stated in a recent editorial: “Yes, the thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms – and vice versa – might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort … .”

If you define “some” as “nearly everyone,” then that first sentence might make sense. But the idea is still insane.

And might not a man who is not part of the estimated 0.3 percent of the population that considers itself “transgender” (an entirely subjective self-identification, remember) use this rule for some quality Peeping Tom time – or worse?

Providing single-occupancy bathrooms would solve this problem, but that’s too easy. Instead, we are told, “You will be made to care.”

Fortunately, resistance is rising. On Wednesday, 11 states, including Maine (at Gov. LePage’s behest), filed suit against the administration on this issue.

The lawsuit says: “Defendants have conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights.”

Indeed they have – with malice aforethought.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Human Rights Commission has decreed that covered businesses and individuals must use whatever personal pronouns employees and customers desire – or face fines of $125,000, rising to $250,000 for “willful, wanton or malicious” violations. Some examples that “gender-nonconforming people” may desire include “ze,” “hir” or “xem.”

Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor, says that means “People can basically force us – on pain of massive legal liability – to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it’s a lie.”

I guess the new policy would mean that Nancy Kwan’s famous ditty in “Flower Drum Song” would have to be revised substantially if the musical were to appear on Broadway today:

“I’m strictly a zemale zemale,

And my future I hope will be,

In the home of a brave and hirmale

Who’ll enjoy being a zuy having a xirl like zeeeeee!”

As I said, insanity.

Our military, which has been reduced to pre-World-War-II levels in the face of ever-growing threats from powers such as Russia, China, North Korea and Iran, not to mention numerous international terror networks, has not escaped the totalitolerance movement.

We are actually putting women into infantry units, when we wouldn’t dare put them on the same pro football field, rugby pitch or hockey rink with men (and no, heavily protected kickers and goalies don’t count).

This has nothing to do with equality. It springs instead from the progressive assumption that sexuality is a “social construct,” not a matter of innate biological reality.

While that weakens us from the inside, former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said in July 2015 that force cutbacks left us even then without “the ability to deter (hostile nations). The reason we have a military is to deter conflict and prevent wars. And if people believe we are not big enough to respond, they miscalculate.”

But if an enemy attacks because it considers us weak, it’s only a “miscalculation” if the onslaught fails. Instead, if we lose that battle (or that war), the enemy will have made an “accurate judgment” about us – unless things turn around soon.

It’s time to pay attention, folks. The frog is boiling.

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a freelance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:

[email protected]