I had a realization while going for a walk and talk with a friend why I’m fed up with the alt-left, the alt-right, and a whole host of other parties. And I’m fed up with them for the exact same reason.

In both cases, there is inflammatory rhetoric coupled to forced agreement. As an alternative to agreeing you have the choice of ostracization from the group. Toe the line, or get out of the echo chamber.

I’ll use an example that’s not from this decade to put some breathing space between the provocation of the present. When President George W. Bush declared to the United States Congress “You are either with us, or with the terrorists”  the demarcation was made clear. Toe the line, or you’re not welcome.

There is no room for a conversation when black-and-white declarations like that are made.

“You’re either with me, or you’re a racist.”

“You’re either with me, or you’re a communist.”

“You’re either with me, or you’re an asshole.”

All are equally good at shutting down a conversation. Shutting down the conversation that could lead to one or the other in changing their mind or refining their position.

All excellent ways of stating “shut the fuck up.”