In 2015, at a Harvard University luncheon held in her honor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked what advice she would give young women today. “Fight for things you care about,” Ginsburg replied, “but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
The quote appeared in full over the weekend on the display board of the Barclays Center, in the heart of Ginsburg’s native Brooklyn, New York, following her death on Friday. But if you go onto the internet to explore the endless array of RBG-themed tchotchkes — mugs, T-shirts and even face masks — you’ll find that many of them omit the second part of her comment. All we need to do, apparently, is fight for what we believe in. Getting others aboard isn’t as important.
And that speaks volumes about American politics, where persuasion has gone out of style. The key is to speak your truth, as loudly as possible. Some people won’t agree, because — it often goes now — they are evil or stupid (or both). You can’t change their minds; all you can do is bring them to heel.
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