You cannot have a conversation with someone who has already made up his mind about what’s true.
Imagine someone saying to you, “I know you believe one plus one equals two. But one plus one actually equals three. I will tell you why.”
You’re not going to be convinced. Your mind will shut down. That’s how leftists feel if you try to sell them on Trump, capitalism, limited government, objective truth, the fact of two genders, or anything else not leftist.
It’s the same thing if the topic is more complicated, and less obvious. If someone believes Allah is the one true God, and you believe that Jesus is the one true God, in earthly form, then you’ll never reach agreement. This point is non-negotiable, to both of you. If you’re in love with Mary and someone tells you that it’s wrong to be in love with Mary, and you should be in love with Joannie instead, you’re not going to change your mind. The person who tells you to be in love with Joannie (not Mary) is wasting his breath.
Imagine how much WORSE the situation gets if someone says to you, “You’re an idiot. Only a deranged, immoral fool would be in love with Mary.” You’re even LESS likely to be open to persuasion than you would be if someone politely told you to make a change.
That’s why America is in so much trouble. Leftists not only tell nonleftists, “You’re wrong. I’m right. That’s that.” They were saying that 10 and 20 years ago. Now they say, “You’re a deranged idiot if you hold the views I don’t hold. I shouldn’t even have to be talking to you.” Actually, it’s even worse in some cases. It has reached the point — at least according to polls — that half of these leftists actually think you should be locked up for disagreeing with them, about masks, vaccines or a whole lot of other things.
It’s one thing to say, “Let’s agree to disagree.” People can do that about Allah versus Jesus. That’s what separation of church and state is all about. People can agree to disagree about marrying Joannie versus marrying Mary. But it’s a lot harder to do this with government. Because government refers to FORCE. The leftists are saying, “I am right, and that’s that. Either you do as I say, or the police will be called.” You cannot reconcile such an attack with reasoning. Reason has long since broken down. We are far past the point of reason, the minute someone is prepared to have you silenced, unemployed or even jailed for failing to agree with them.
Some will reply, “That’s too pessimistic. We can still work it out; America will be great again.” How, exactly? The same people who call this pessimistic will admit, “Yes, that is how leftists are.” And probably some of the less strident leftists (there are a few remaining) feel the same way about people on the other side, too.
Whenever somebody holds a view that includes legitimizing the use of force in advancing that view, you’ve got civil war. If a family member tried to use physical force to make sure you marry Joannie instead of Mary, there will be trouble. If a Muslim decides to use physical force to coerce a Christian into practicing his beliefs (or vice-versa), you will have big trouble. Centuries of human history prove my point.
Today, we have a situation where most of the leftists don’t merely say, “This is my point of view, and I’d like to see it enacted; but if you don’t want it, I’ll accept that. I’ll keep trying to persuade you that government ownership of the means of production is the best, that fossil fuels must be outlawed within 8 years, and that there are multiple genders, etc.” Instead they say, without apology, “This is my point of view and you WILL accept it. Or you will pay serious consequences.” January 6! January 6! They’ll shriek incantations like this, almost like cult followers do.
Right now, those consequences for failing to conform consist of “Facebook jailing”, Twitter shadow-banning, widespread shaming, losing your job and possibly paying fines. On the same premise, we can expect a lot worse to come. Why not? Once you open the door to this kind of coercion, the rest — prisons, gulags, reeducation camps, even murder — is only a matter of time.
Because that’s how coercion works. Coercion is not reason. America is not immune to the consequences of abandoning reason.
Can’t we all get along? No, we can’t. Not when one or both parties accept coercion as the solution. The minute even one side starts using coercion, you’ve got the beginning of civil war.
Observe the results in real time.
Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason