What if you believed that the planet might not have warmed up the last two decades, even though carbon emissions reached all-time highs?
Or, if the earth did heat up, you thought that it was not caused by human activity?
Or, if global warming were the fault of mankind, you trusted that the slight increases would not make all that much difference?
The Los Angeles Times would not print your letter to the editor to that effect.
The CEO of Apple Inc. might advise that you should "get out of this stock."
Or maybe if you were a skeptical climatologist, you would cease all research and concede that man-caused global warming needed no further scientific cross-examination -- as columnist Bill McKibben recently advocated.
If you were a drought-stricken California farmer and worried about diversions of irrigation water to support fish populations, you would be told by the president of the United States that the real problem is not a failure to build reservoirs and canals, but is due entirely to global warming, which is a "fact" and "settled science."
What if you supported equality for all Americans regardless of their sexual preference, but -- like presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and about half the country today -- opposed making gay marriage legal?
If you were the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, you would be forced to resign your position.
If you owned a fast-food franchise like Chick-fil-A, boycotts of your business would ensue.
If you were a star of "Duck Dynasty," your show would be threatened with suspension or cancellation.
What if you thought that foreign nationals who broke the law to enter and reside in the U.S. were aliens residing here illegally?
Three or four years ago, you would have been advised to use only the politically correct term "illegal immigrant" -- even though not all arrivals crossed the border to live permanently in the U.S. The more legally precise noun "alien" was no longer allowable.
Then, about a year ago, you would have been further advised that the adjective "illegal" was suddenly also no longer acceptable.
Yet all the while, entering and residing inside the U.S. without legal permission stayed a federal crime -- just as it is in every other nation in the world.
What if you thought that supporters of both the Israelis and Palestinians would wish to air their positions on college campuses?
If you were the Israeli ambassador, you would be shouted down at University of California, Irvine.