On my brother's FB page (which I never visit anymore, so it may be long gone) it says "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like oppression." Which is entirely true, and more deeply true of liberals than of anyone else, not just conservatives. No one cancels them. The first time I saw the comment I thought "That's what I have been saying to you about media for decades. You have said it's not true, and your evidence always boils down to social rather than logical claims - that all the other media, and all your friends, and all the liberal fact-checkers all say it's not true. So it just can't be." I still think that every time I remember the quote. Bullies, remember, are not people who have low self-esteem who are overcompensating, but people with artificially high self-esteem that reality can never validate, so they strike out at others.
JMSmith's comment about faction versus party was valuable, as it clarifies what type of discussion is taking place. A party wants to be heard and to negotiate a solution, as in a party to an agreement. But a faction seeks only victory, to assert that its opinion is really a fact that is immovable. I had said there was a loss of rationality in our current discussions, now including conservative factions as well, but he is correct that it is not rationality that is lost, but charity. It reminded me immediately of the GK Chesterton quote from Orthodoxy (I think also in Everlasting Man) “If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get
the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not
being delayed by things that go with good judgment. He is not hampered
by a sense of humour or by clarity, or by the dumb certainties of
experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections.
Indeed, the common phrase for insanity is in this respect a misleading
one. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is
the man who has lost everything except his reason.” Yes, there is no proportion, no charity. The reason still functions, but in an odd, unrecognisable way.
So also, David Foster's link to Paul Graham's essay on Orthodox Privilege. (Orthodox in the sense of being non-heretical according to whatever power holds sway in your environment, not Greek or Jewish Orthodoxy.) They do not know what they don't know. They believe all opinions can be expressed, because they hold no opinion outside the orthodoxy. Insisting that you say only what is allowed just seems polite to them. To insult who they will but endure no criticism is considered only holding you to a standard of politeness, nothing more. To them the correct ideas are simply obvious because everyone they hang with holds them. Not all of them are sneering or mean. And none of them think they are. they are sure it's all those others. Some are quite earnest in wanting to explain to you where you have gone wrong, because look at all the people who believe x. They think if you will just let them explain it will be as obvious to you as to them. There is no way into the circle. A new fact has no place to be stored, no cuphook it can be hung from. It just drops away.
To give up a single point is to risk all. At some level there is an understanding that there will be no friends anymore - because they know too well the sneers and condescension they share about all outsiders. The entire intellectual edifice might fall, slowly, slowly at first and then suddenly. So there can never be an interaction, anything to give the other fellow his say. There is usually nothing but contradiction. The most polite of them might hear you out uncomfortably, thinking they are being patient.