Amid political and racial storms, civility is an important value, too

Fri, 2018-03-30

During email exchanges with readers, I was asked to apply my quill to how “cause tribes” attack the American value of individualism and ultimately “eviscerate, reduce and eventually eliminate inalienable constitutional rights.” It was suggested I read “Be Wary of Cause Junkies” by Alexandra York on the website Newsmax.com.

York argues that a collective mindset compels individuals to behave in ways they ordinarily wouldn’t, such as being violent and demanding undeserved special treatment for imagined victimhood. I get the behavior part. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union are horrific examples. The special treatment/false victimhood part is not absolute.

Collective effort is often necessary to generate solutions to legitimate, serious problems that damage many lives. Full constitutional rights would not have been granted to African-Americans, women would not have been permitted to vote, and pollution would remain unchecked without group movements. The harm in what any group does depends on its tactics and what it achieves.