Offense, too, is a two way street.
Can I offend you, and then be offended by you? Yes, sure. That doesn’t excuse my offensive words. Maybe I’m not understanding your point.
What people in one bubble see as basic etiquette and politeness, can come across to people in the other bubble as nitpicking and elitist, similar to an obnoxious, condescending internet grammar nazi.
No, Jim, sorry, that’s a horrible analogy. The reason a grammar nazi is so annoying is that s/he picks on the writing technique and ignores the meaning. The person that is hurt by offensive speech isn’t ignoring the meaning. The meaning of the words is what causes the hurt. Again, what may seem like “nitpicking” to the person doing the writing is a person that is responding to the offensive words being used. The right response is, “Sorry, thanks for pointing that out to me, I’ll be more careful with my words in the future” not, “Stop nitpicking”.
There is a fine line between facilitating the flow of ideas by avoiding needlessly inflammatory speech and blocking the flow of ideas by censuring and censoring speech that might make you uncomfortable or that you don’t like.
I’m not sure about that. Can you give me an example of where someone could not make his/her opinion known without using speech that is offensive to people?
I see a troubling trend mostly on the left, but to a certain degree on the right, to make policy disagreements into character deficiencies.
I see that, too, but I see it far more on the right; it’s been a disturbing trend ever since Clinton was elected president. The discussion becomes about the person, not about the subject. That has nothing to do with the imagine “PC crowd” though; if anything, it’s the opposite. It’s people saying things about people and not caring if they are insulting.
The real danger, as we are seeing, is that the left has cried “wolf” so many times that they have no words left to use when someone does have serious character deficiencies.
I’m sorry, I simply don’t agree with this characterization. This isn’t about left or right. This is about people that choose to justify their offensive speech by blaming the people that are offended.
Additionally, if we’re talking about politics, there’s no need to point out character defects. Focus on the policy, not the person. There are many reasons not to like, for example, Mr. Trump, based on his policy statements without having to talk about him as a person.
For example, “Mr. Trump’s policy suggestions are xenophobic and verge on government sponsored discrimination” rather than “Mr. Trump is a bigot”.