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I have been wondering why more people on the left are not speaking up against violence, in favor of free exchange of ideas and dialogue, in favor of compassion. But I know why. I was in the cult. Part of it is that you are a true believer, and part of it is that you are fearful of being called an apostate — in being trashed as a sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, fascist, white supremacist nazi. A friend recently wrote to me privately to say they find my latest posts “refreshing,” and that they believe in free speech, but as someone who works in entertainment, they can’t say anything that might cause them to lose their job. As someone who has gone through and is still going through a change in my underlying systems of belief, I can say this: when you finally get past fear, it is so liberating. After a lot of self-reflection, I eventually came to the opinion that if I lose friends or jobs over trying to speak and find the truth in situations, and to do so in a way that reflects my belief in compassion, then perhaps those were not friends or jobs that were healthy for my growth.
There is a lot more. Read it all. The key is that the violence, thuggery, and outright viciousness of the modern left is actually doing nothing to persuade anyone. If anything, it is offending people, turning them off, and making people like the writer above rethink their assumptions. Suddenly, she finds herself listening to conservatives, and discovering that they are actually not fascists, but believe in freedom, tolerance, justice, and treating people with respect, ideas that have increasingly disappeared from the leftist community.