I am from a conservative area of the U.S., and then came to SLC to find that they both serve as breeding ground for self righteous pseudo intellectuals who feed off the community’s defensive paranoia in order to further isolate and stagnate it. This makes the community more hostile and reclusive to opposing view points, which leads to further radicalization ending in total political irrelevance. Having spent time with Tea Party Creationists and SLC Far Left Revisionists, I’ve noticed that both are intolerant of others’ view points, both see their own parties as far too moderate/weak, and both exclusively read their own material. If people are afraid of discussion and opposing views, stagnation creeps in and suddenly you’re Dick Morris who cannot understand why Romney is now a forgotten entity.
Face it: no matter how clever you think you are, you aren’t perfect. No matter how good your ideas sound in your own head, you do not have all the answers. Some of your ideas suck, some are good but unpolished, and some could be improved by other people’s input. If the only people who talk to you are those who already agree with you, then your ideas are never being challenged and thus never improve. And if you never listen to the opposition, then your ideas never have any chance to improve, because you can’t prepare yourself to fight against their arguments. More importantly, you can’t convince people to accept your position, because you’ve isolated yourself from opposition for so long you no longer understand it. Unless, of course, you don’t actually want to change anybody’s mind, and you’re instead so drunk on self-righteousness that to you leftist politics are less about results and more about ethical circle jerking.
Quite frankly, it’s gotten out of hand. I have spoken to 28 people in the span of two days (before I stopped caring) who said they are afraid to speak their minds about politics because they are afraid of being verbally beaten down. A personal disclaimer: I am myself a leftist—Green Party, specifically—and coming from a conservative area, I am used to arguing strongly for what I believe in. I also watch Fox News every day for three reasons. 1) I like to know what the enemy is thinking 2) I delight in seeing them squirm when things don’t go their way, such as when Obama was re-elected 3) I like to use it as a way to reflect upon my own party.
Understand this: I am a leftist, and I in fact agree with most of what the SLC campus is saying. I disagree with the way they say it, and the bullying attitude many students take towards alternative viewpoints. There is a fundamental problem when the only difference between SLC and Brigham Young University is which specific buzzwords people are indignantly spouting. While the administration doesn’t do enough to discourage this attitude of political groupthink, the real blame here is the student body, a supposedly creatively/intellectually free community who all coincidently agree on the same thing (or choose to stay silent). I’ve always believed that diversity and adversity are good for any community, as they prevent stagnation and isolation, and SLC really could benefit from being a liberal arts college with actual diverse opinions. I mean, we are actually a stereotype online as being rich, self-absorbed fanatics who refuse to talk to anybody with an alternative opinion. I expect this stuff from Fox News, but not from a community founded upon intellectualism and discourse rather than the reincarnation of Goebbels.
We need to make a community more accepting of questions, and the possibility of alternative world views. Personally, I am confident enough in my beliefs that I think anybody can feel free to come up and question me. And it would just be nice, if the community that likes to stand up for the everyday people and fight against the corrupt bigoted oligarchs that run this country, the people whose political beliefs were based upon tolerance and acceptance, would stop driving all of their potential supporters away through this ever-present groupspeak. Yes, I am aware that all of the logical fallacies I am attacking are also used by “the right”, but I’d rather you didn’t tell them, because I personally enjoy them constantly losing elections.