“Wall- talking” isn’t a new American phenomenon. Maybe it’s as old as our founding when The Fathers couldn’t agree on much of anything and then they did. Then in 1861, opinions over slavery and states’ rights became so cemented we went to war with one another. Powerful opinions, unalterably stated, are now the norm. And challenging disagreement isn’t sought but shunned, even verbally assaulted as racists or a Trump-lover or a socialist. Take your invective pick.
Arguing, debating, and the freedom to opinionate is one of the foundations, one of the purposes, of a democracy. But you might ask, what’s so great about this diversity of ideas if it creates a Tower of Babel? A society based on freedoms grows with the infusion of new ideas, but our challenge today is that we don’t know the art of debating this plethora of ideas in the common square. Today the platform for talk is often the internet where we can anonymously sing our beliefs.
How do we remove the walls and see value in hearing what the other side says?
That answer is waiting today to be found in the cacophony of zealously guarded opinions.