It is easy to dismiss ideas that we don’t agree with, that we find to be repulsive, or that downright offend us.
It is easy to dismiss ideas that we believe are damaging, could lead to cycles of violence, or that we believe are fearful.
It is easy to dismiss ideas that we think are regressive, oppressive, or not progressive enough for us to engage with based on our worldview.
And increasingly, and even more disturbingly, it is easier for us to dismiss the existence of people in the culture who hold these ideas.
But, as it turns out, the people holding ideas that make us afraid and angry, or that we think are stupid or retrograde, are the ones that work next to us sweeping floors, washing dishes, taking out the trash, and sometimes even counting our change back to us at the grocery store.
This is a real problem, because there’s no way to eliminate all the people who think differently than we do. There’s no real way to completely and categorically scrub every idea that we find offensive from the public square. The only option really, is to socially sanction the people with the ideas enough so that they shut up…and go away.
Those people are still going to have children.
Those people are still going to have houses.
Those people are still going to have to pay the bills.
Those people are still going to want to contribute to society and culture.
Those people are still going to work.
And when a culture links holding a preferred set of ideas to advancing economically, socially, and culturally in that culture; and, when there are some people who just think differently, that culture is not long for freedom, and is approaching a soft form of tyranny.
Which has always hardened in the not-so-distant historical past.