The one thing you can say to people, whether they agree with you or not, is to speak up. Without debate there is no intellectual life, and intellectual life is one of the five most powerful forces in the universe. From Thomas Harrington at brownstone.org:
This past week the Tampa Bay Rays staged a Pride Night designed, as the club’s president Matt Silverman said, to show that at “our games that the LGBTQ+ community is invited, welcomed and celebrated.” And as part of the event, they asked the team’s players to wear specially designed LGBTQ+ rainbow hats during the game.
Nice touch. Right? After all, who could be against the idea of affirming people’s right to do whatever they want with their bodies and to develop a lifestyle in consonance with those urges? Certainly not me.
But what if it’s not that simple? What if the standard reasoning for staging such events—to promote tolerance and a respect for difference—has a darker side that no one really wants to talk about, and that very much feeds into encouraging the enormous breaches of civility that we have witnessed in our culture over the past two plus years?
When it comes to judging electoral systems, one of the key indicators of their health is the degree to which citizens are guaranteed privacy when casting their votes. The reason is clear. Privacy and anonymity in voting insure that individual citizens can’t be singled out and punished by those in presently in power who just might not like the political program they have chosen to endorse with their votes.
The guarantee of a secret ballot also speaks to a broader if at times less explicitly articulated democratic principle, one emphasized again and again in the work of Hannah Arendt: that there is, and should always be a clear barrier between the private and public spheres of our lives.