…I came across this picture today.

I can’t do a better job than Charles Cook and David Frenchalready have in explaining why this comparison is fatally flawed (ludicrous is probably a better characterization).
But what fascinates me is that otherwise rational, intelligent people can look at these two pictures and see very little space between them. Here is a sample.
If you get a chance read through the comments section of the last link. Trigger warning* – this is a very extreme, highly partisan leftist website that actively silences dissent. Just as I can’t fathom how they fail to appreciate the distinction between these two pictures, they can’t fathom how anyone could fail to see them as one in the same.
Because I don’t believe in lost causes, I immediately ask myself "How on earth can I convince these people that I’m right and they’re wrong, especially when we don’t appear to be speaking the same language in some instances?"
Over two years ago, for his EconTalk podcast (which I can’t recommend highly enough) Russ Roberts interviewed David Weinberger, During their talk, Weinberger spoke about "the extent to which knowledge is based out of conversations with people with whom we fundamentally agree." You can read the relevant portion on the transcript beginning at 30:24.
What made me think about this specific exchange from a two year old podcast was Weinberger’s analogy of a Jew and a Nazi trying to sit down and hammer our their differences. The analogy is farcical in that one of them wants to live together in peace and one wants to kill the other. They can’t have any sort of a discussion on those terms.
Neither can the two women in the picture above, because that same dynamic exists. The woman on the left cares about religious freedom. The woman on the right demands religious totalitarianism and is willing to murder innocent civilians in pursuance of that goal. If they sat down for a debate, one of them would be too busy searching for the trigger on her suicide vest.
And I don’t want to overstate the case but the juxtaposition of these pictures, and the accompanying social media responses, are also illustrative of the differences between the right and the far left in this country. Where one side welcomes debate the other closes it down. It may be hard to find areas of agreement between political opposites, but it’s impossible when they refuse to engage in the debate.
*In keeping with the latest trends in higher education, in the future I’ll attempt to warn the reader before directing you to content that may be hateful or cause trauma of any kind. The website I link to is, coincidentally, run by a college professor so I’m sure he will appreciate my use of the trigger warning here.
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