Even if you don’t want to admit it, we all wish magical spells would make the ugly disappear – a sort of thaumaturgy for complaints. Paul offends me, make him go poof, and cease to bother me. It’s not that what Paul does injures me. His lifestyle, political beliefs, religion, gender identity, and rabid enthusiasm for Star Trek offend my sense of correctness in the universe. Therefore, he must be controlled, eradicated, or neutralized.
So we all want to live in our personal “Pleasantville” where nothing offends. OK, you say, that may be true for those awful right-wingers, Hmmmphhh. But wishing the unpleasant would disappear is not exclusive to one group, class, or persuasion. Living with actual diversity is hard.
In the sixties, Folkies, and hippies wished ” straights” ( meaning non-hip people) would go away; they were so square. Notice that I capitalized Folkie but left hippie lowercase? Yup, lots of us Folkies thought hippies were not hip. We thought they were middle-class suburban wannabes with no credibility. But, of course, many Folkies had the same roots; the hippies just came along a few years after us.
Actual diversity means living with people who you may not see eye to eye with, may not wish to interact with, and may not expect your child to have sex with. But, regardless, you can’t edit them out of the community. But we try. We’d love to put them in a ghetto, box them up, and send them “back to where you came from.” But, in the long run, no good comes from events like that. Unfortunately, recent, medieval, and ancient history is full of the cost paid for this vanity.
It’s a sort of skewed Libertarianism. We reserve the right to worship, love, consume, and live unimpeded by rules. But, of course, this does not apply to you because we find you morally objectionable.
So for you, special regulation is needed because we can’t stomach the perversion we see in your continued existence. This sort of thought process makes me most anxious. Intact human societies have room for diversity. Fragmenting cultures demonize differences. This can become a snowballing process that isn’t easily stopped. What will you demonize next?
As cartoonist Don Marquis put it: “The chief obstacle to the progress of the human race is the human race.”
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