One side of politics maintains its support through fear, but it’s an invisible wall until you touch it. Most people within the bubble think they got there through persuasion and reason. They think they are free to leave, they “just don’t want to”. But once an errant thought occurs, or they ask an unpermitted question, the wall of fear appears — it’s the unexpected poison barb, the mockery a reasonable question provokes. It quickly escalates to full blown “primal rejection”.
Leil Leibovitz lived within the bubble, and writes about The Turn — the moments he realized that he was afraid to ask, to speak his mind.
I sense a phase change coming as more and more people reach The Turn.
By Leil Leibovitz
You might be living through The Turn if you ever found yourself feeling like free speech should stay free even if it offended some group or individual but now can’t admit it at dinner with friends because you are afraid of being thought a bigot. You are living through The Turn if you have questions about public health policies—including the effects of lockdowns and school closures on the poor and most vulnerable in our society—but can’t ask them out loud because you know you’ll be labeled an anti-vaxxer. You are living through The Turn if you think that burning down towns and looting stores isn’t the best way to promote social justice, but feel you can’t say so because you know you’ll be called a white supremacist.
If you’ve felt yourself unable to speak your mind, if you have a queasy feeling that your friends might disown you if you shared your most intimately held concerns..
The Turn brings with it the sort of pain most of us don’t feel as adults; you’d have to go all the way back to junior high, maybe, to recall a stabbing sensation quite as deep and confounding as watching your friends all turn on you and decide that you’re not worthy of their affection any more. It’s the kind of primal rejection …
But, having been there before, I have one important thing to tell you: If the left is going to make it “right wing” to simply be decent, then it’s OK to be right.
Why? Because, after 225 long and fruitful years of this terminology, “right” and “left” are now empty categories, meaning little more than “the blue team” and “the green team” in your summer camp’s color war. You don’t get to be “against the rich” if the richest people in the country fund your party in order to preserve their government-sponsored monopolies. You are not “a supporter of free speech” if you oppose free speech for people who disagree with you. You are not “for the people” if you pit most of them against each other based on the color of their skin, or force them out of their jobs because of personal choices related to their bodies. You are not “serious about economic inequality” when you happily order from Amazon without caring much for the devastating impact your purchases have on the small businesses that increasingly are either subjugated by Jeff Bezos’ behemoth or crushed by it altogether. You are not “for science” if you refuse to consider hypotheses that don’t conform to your political convictions and then try to ban critical thought and inquiry from the internet. You are not an “anti-racist” if you label—and sort!—people by race. You are not “against conformism” when you scare people out of voicing dissenting opinions.
If you glimpse someone close to that point, welcome them. We’ve been watching it slowly for years in the climate debate. Someone asked a reasonable question and was shouted down. Bitten, they come to us seeking answers, or just a friendly ear. They want the Red Pill then..
Read it all at The Tablet, there’s a lot more.