I personally believe this is more dangerous for democracy over the long term than almost any speech. Democracy depends on the idea that we hold each others’ right to express ourselves and be heard above our own desire to always get the outcomes we want. Baby Yoda Toyota 3d hoodie. You can’t impose tolerance top-down. It has to come from people opening up, sharing experiences, and developing a shared story for society that we all feel we’re a part of. That’s how we make progress together. So how do we turn the tide? Someone once told me our founding fathers thought free expression was like air. You don’t miss it until it’s gone. When people don’t feel they can express themselves, they lose faith in democracy and they’re more likely to support populist parties that prioritize specific policy goals over the health of our democratic norms. I’m a little more optimistic. I don’t think we need to lose our freedom of expression to realize how important it is.
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I think people understand and appreciate the voice they have now. At some fundamental level, I think most people believe in their fellow people too. As long as our governments respect people’s right to express themselves, as long as our platforms live up to their responsibilities to support expression and prevent harm, and as long as we all commit to being open and making space for more perspectives, I think we’ll make progress. Baby Yoda Toyota 3d hoodie. It’ll take time, but we’ll work through this moment. We overcame deep polarization after World War I, and intense political violence in the 1960s. Progress isn’t linear. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. But if we can’t agree to let each other talk about the issues, we can’t take the first step. Even when it’s hard, this is how we build a shared understanding.