In the past week, I have had two conversations with millennials who said they have been unfriended by many “friends” on Facebook and avoid speaking openly about being pro-Trump because of the fear of being attacked physically.
It seems unbelievable to think of such a state in America, the land of freedom of speech and religion. A place that’s very historic core is based on peaceful transitions of power and civil discourse and law in government. But on the web and now in the streets it’s becoming a MMA ring. You can be pepper sprayed or punched in the face while giving interviews. Protest now involves not just vandalism but violence against people. The #Antifa is portraying itself as an anti-fascist reaction to supposed political or public fascism. Burning flags, trashing Starbucks, printing magazine covers with rifle sights on President’s heads and invoking Hitler like a frantic parrot is the norm now.
The internet generation has unleashed a pugilist public that thrives on confrontation, consternation and chaos. It’s a ‘hit first – talk later’ posture that is creating a paranoia that is crippling relationships. We demonize people instead of debate ideas and policies and it’s growing more and more toxic.
C.S. Lewis nailed it when he wrote: “There is always the danger that those who think alike should gravitate together into ‘coteries’ where they will henceforth encounter opposition only in the emasculated form of rumor that the outsiders say thus and thus. The absent are easily refuted, complacent dogmatism thrives, and differences of opinion are embittered by group hostility. Each group hears not the best, but the worst, that the other groups can say.” ― God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics