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After posting a modest defense of Columbus on Facebook, I quickly learned that my friends on the left — my people — can be as rigid and close-minded as those on the right. In both cases, unless you strictly adhere to and champion all their values and beliefs, they will pounce on you like a hungry cat on a sick mouse. There is no room for discussion or debate, and certainly no tolerance for new ideas or perspectives. 

I call this group the “new reactionaries.” Personally, their close-mindedness and intolerance saddens and worries me. They remind me of the many far-right conservatives and Tea Party types who express a “my way or the highway” mentality. In that environment, political and social progress cannot be accomplished. Nothing good comes from it. We end up talking only to ourselves because no one is willing to listen.

How did we end up in such a dark place?