Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Outrage Circus is ever on alert to name and shame violators of their approved order

"A growing number of Americans are beginning to sense an insidious strain of self-censorship in themselves, either explicitly or subconsciously. You find yourself keeping your mouth shut about controversial issues like gay marriage or so-called women’s issues because you’d rather not suffer the social costs of being cast as the enemy by the increasingly aggressive thought police. They have enforcers everywhere—at the office, at dinner parties, and all over the media. This silencing impulse isn’t born out of normal or healthy self-reflection and restraint; it arises out of fear. Nor is it part of a free society’s natural process of discarding truly pernicious ideas after open discussion, making marginalization the rightful cost of losing to better arguments. Instead, outrage mongers turn this process on its head, disqualifying ideas without debate instead of after debate.

The fear to speak is cultivated by people who actively work to raise the social cost of engaging publicly on any number of issues. We call them the Outrage Circus. They are highly ideological, often deeply partisan, and relentless in their vigilance, ever on alert to name and shame violators of their approved order. Once you’ve violated one of their capricious and fluid “rules”—even unwittingly—malice is attributed, and restitution is demanded. Nothing short of full, professed repentance shall suffice."

Reprinted from End of Discussion: How the Left’s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free 9and Fun) by Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson. Copyright © 2015 by Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson. Published by Crown Publishers, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.