Several months ago I ventured to enter a post on a political opinion site. The board had been set up by academics (primarily college undergraduates), and most of the contributors were of a decidedly liberal bent; but I assumed the site was open for the honest exchange of ideas. I soon discovered otherwise.
My first submission was an attempt to explain why many evangelical Christians, though aware of President Trump’s obvious faults, had voted for him in 2016 and why they favored Trump’s reelection in 2020 over his Democratic opponents, all of whom appear to have adopted an anti-traditional, anti-capitalist agenda.
My entry was akin to my striking a hornets’ nest. The attacks came from every direction, and the responses tended to be rude and crude. I was consigned to hell and accused of being a hypocrite or false Christian. I was also called an idiot or cretin. I cannot remember even one rational response or attempt to dialog. After several attempts to answer my critics, trying to use calm and non-abusive language, I gave up. It was obvious that I was not wanted on the site. These people were only interested in their own, narrow point-of-view.
I was a victim of groupthink, a phenomenon that occurs when a group of supposedly well-intentioned people make sometimes irrational or non-optimal decisions spurred by the urge to conform and their belief that honest dissent is impossible.
An extreme form of political correctness was also at play. Political correctness dictates the avoidance of words or actions that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. In the eyes of contributors to this political opinion site, Trump is a racist. Since I had written a few good words about Trump, that made me a racist as well.
So much for any chance of dialog.