Civility in Politics, and Opinions

Ever since grade school, we are taught to respect other peoples’ opinions, and to, in disagreements, simply let it be. I challenge this in certain cases. Consider this little metaphor:

Bob, a robber, comes up to John (some random guy on the street) and says: “Give me your money”. John: “No”. Bob: “I think that you should give me your money“. John: “I don’t care, I don’t have to respect your demand for robbery. It’s my money. I have the right to keep it.” Bob: “It’s my opinion that you should give me your money. You need to respect my opinion and just deal with it.” Bob finds Joe, another robber, to make it a majority rule decision, 2 against 1. Bob and Joe proceed to take John’s wallet (after threatening with a gun), thanking John for respecting their opinion.

In real life, when I was talking with a big government advocate about taxes the other day, I said that I don’t like other people stealing my property. He disagreed, saying “Well, that’s your opinion. It’s my opinion that taxes should remain high to fund [etc.]….” He said we live in a democracy and I simply have to put up with the fact that his opinion is different from mine on taxes. But, maybe your opinion is violating me, whereas my opinion is not violating you.

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