The divide between PC and the truth: our leftist friends are leaving us, by Zapollo at Rod Dreher’s site. An interesting anecdote that rings true in my personal experience.
This Google memo thing. I was trying to have a reasonable discussion with some lefty friends on Facebook about this, and it was impossible. They just kept turning it into a burn-the-witches shout-fest. Every time I tried to steer the conversation back towards calm discussion, they doubled down on their ritual list of condemnations: Racist, sexist, homophobic, blah blah blah.
They strongly implied that I should not have the right to talk about any of this stuff. I got the distinct impression that if they had the power at that moment to throw me in prison for crimethink, they wouldn’t have hesitated to do so. One of them dropped what seemed to me a very subtle hint — I could be reading this wrong, but this was how it came across — that maybe, just maybe, a Khmer Rouge-style cleansing of society was necessary.
That was scary, and that was what prompted my moment of clarity.
Thing is, I know these folks. I know them in other contexts to be good, smart, fairly normal people. They’re not just random internet weirdos. They’re not black-clad antifa bully boys out there smashing windows and slashing tires. But it became clear to me today that they inhabit a completely different moral universe from the one I occupy. I’ve read Jonathan Haidt’s book and I’ve read Alisdair MacIntyre, so this not a new concept to me. I understood it in theory. But I don’t think I really grasped it on a gut level until today.
I suddenly realized that, from my friends’ perspective (assuming they still consider me a friend), I wasn’t simply making a questionable, controversial argument. From their perspective, I was affirmatively stumping on behalf of the blackest evil. They were responding to me the way I would respond to someone trying to have a “reasonable discussion” about molesting and murdering children to please Lord Satan. …
If you think the state must burn the witches and I am strongly anti-witch-burning, where’s the sensible middle ground? Torture the witches? Burn half the witches?
That’s where we’re at. We have two very large groups of voters in this country whose understandings of morality — and consequently their ideas about national purpose and legitimacy — cannot be reconciled, even by the most adroit and gifted politician. Each has a vision for an ideal society that, if implemented, the other side would not consider simply misguided or short-sighted — they’d view it as intrinsically, unalterably wicked.
I am unable to see any peaceful solution at this point that does not involve some form of separation.
hat-tip Stephen Neil