“Cancel Culture” has been in the news lately. Conservatives complain that Liberals want to censor them, to silence speech they find offensive. There is some truth to their complaints, though it is also a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Many conservatives are all too eager to cancel speech they don’t like. When Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem, that was a form of speech, a form of protest. Trump and his followers demand that he be censored, cancelled: “Get that son of a bitch off the field.“
My approach is different. Rather than try to shut up people who disagree with me, I prefer to encourage them to speak, to share their views. Conceivably if enough moderates adopted my approach, it might at least somewhat tend to help heal our national divides.
As a Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis observed, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” When extremists, whether Conservative or Liberal become too nutty or too nasty, I believe the best way to respond is to let them have their say. Moderates–still the most influential political bloc in this country–will recognize the nuts and the nasties. Over time, moderate views will tend to drive them out.
A key part of this process is identifying what triggers Liberals and Conservatives and giving them a chance to talk about their views. Some people like to claim only liberals can be triggered. In my experience, conservatives are at least as easily triggered–and once triggered, may even sound nuttier and nastier than most liberals. A related post develops some related ideas.
I’ll be expanding on these ideas as I have time. In the meantime feel free to share your views in the comments section.
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash.