It all comes down to what “Fringe” means and who gets to decide what “Fringe” is. Using things like the earth is flat or violent responses to homosexuality are really not great examples as if you polled American’s on if those are ‘fringe’, I think you’d get a pretty lopsided response from all ideologies on questions like that. But using the author you are calling “discredited”…. I ask… how was that person “discredited” in the first place? Was he dismissed immediately, or did someone or a group of people take the time to consider the argument, and then go about systematically refuting it? THIS is what I’d like to see more of on college campuses and around the country. I see less and less of this every year.
I think there is value is discussing an idea/idealology, and if it’s so ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ then you should be able to refute it quite easily. If you can’t, then perhaps more dicussion is warranted. Who knows… maybe you might learn something. I can’t tell you how many times I would have a discussion with someone who I thought was so wrong, or ‘full of it’, and many times they would offer up a tidbit (or more) of information that I found educational and even inspiring. Which is why I think going through a process of discussion with people you think are promoting something wrong has value, especially for young people.
So when I think of “Ideological diversity”, I would only draw the line (call it “Fringe”) at people who are supporting or inciting direct violence or hatred in the they think. This does not mean people who have beliefs that others find hateful, as that list seems to be growing every year and blocking out too many points of view in my opinion.
I think the more points of view the better for young people… it will give them a thicker skin to go forth in the world and learn to respectfully have conversations with almost anyone with any point of view.