Today, a majority of Americans feel unable to share their deepest political convictions openly.
A huge number of decent people keep their beliefs to themselves out of fear of being “otherized” by those who disagree with them.
“Otherization” is what happens when we slip from having a negative view of an opinion to a negative view of the people who hold it. Too often, a person on the “wrong” side of an issue is assumed to be morally or intellectually inferior – without any other knowledge of her life experiences that led her to the belief she holds.
As this “otherization” has become common, entire groups of people are dismissed with such derogatory labels as “snowflakes” or “deplorables”, “domestic terrorists” or “racists”.
This condescension shuts down honest self-expression and productive political dialogue, leaving resentful people reduced to zero-sum politics in which the goal is to impose one’s own worldview on those who don’t share it.
Martin Luther King told us that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
A century earlier, John Stuart Mill proffered, “there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them… All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility.”
It is the belief of Silenced Majority that the pendulum has thankfully begun to swing back from self-righteousness and ideological shaming to a desire among Americans for a return to mutual understanding and civility.
And we’d like to give it an extra push.
We are inviting you – whoever you are and whatever you believe – to upload any opinion that you hold but are wary of sharing. You can do so anonymously.
Your opinion will be presented among others to show the true richness and diversity of perspectives in our communities. That means that it will be presented among other opinions with which you profoundly disagree.
First, because it’s fun. Second and more importantly, because by doing so, you will be declaring that you, too, are one of the silenced majority; that living with each other requires us to hear each other; and that offense is never given – only taken (and you choose not to take it). Third, and most importantly of all, because if enough people do so, the silenced majority will see that it has nothing to fear from telling its truth – and that will transform American politics in a way that upholds the values of human dignity and freedom that we should all strive for.
Silenced Majority wants everyone to share his or her truth about what matters – without fear, favor or censorship. No topic is off-limits, and “unpopular” opinions are welcome. All we ask is that what you share here is something you feel stifled in expressing elsewhere, and is not a slur against any individual or group.