When I first saw the title of your article I thought it was another liberal hit piece against conservative thought, either that or the opposite, a conservative hit piece against the liberal mindset. My original thought was based on so many articles that I have read on medium, which has lately turned into a massive attack blog. But as I started reading the article, I was pleasantly surprised, no attack piece, or rant, but a clearly thought out summation of the state that we have reached as a society with tolerance and accommodation are the mantra. Well written sir. Unfortunately I think you have hit on the two main components of why civil discourse has slowly eroded from our society.
Tolerance — and an intolerance of intolerance — is learned in English class
This is the one that I have seen the most of lately and I find it ironic that we preach tolerance while at the same time being completely intolerant. In truth this one actually scares me more than a little as this is how many fascist regimes have actually begun. We see this a lot lately just read any blog on the last election, or religion; the minute an opinion that disagrees with the status qua is stated, labels like racist, bigot, communist, fascist, etc. are used.
It’s not simply that opinions don’t require evidence, it’s that asking for evidence is itself a kind of intolerance.
How can we have actual civil discourse, if in fact my questioning of your belief or opinion is in fact viewed as intolerance?
The problem with this is not only is the ability for civil discourse eroding to the point that we can only talk civilly to those who think exactly as we do, we are actually losing the ability to reach compromise and can only deal in absolutes. When we reach the point that we cannot compromise, then what will be the outcome?