An important note: there is a fundamental asymmetry here between the right and the left. The right is more likely to claim only one possible permissible way; the left by definition admits multiple perspectives and views. Thus, even when subjected to delegitimating attacks from the right, the left is only true to its own stated principles if it does not allow itself to respond in kind. The left needs to acknowledge the values embedded in the right’s position, even as the right does not reciprocate–not because the right demands it, but because the left does. (This may feel like a unilateral disarmament, but if it is any comfort, the Talmud is fulsome in its praise for those who are “insulted but do not insult.” [Social media has given all of us ample opportunity to garner those blessings.])
None of this stops all of us from disagreeing, profoundly. None of this stops us from decrying, strongly, actions that we see as wrongheaded, non-halakhic, harmful to Orthodoxy’s future or heedless of its past. But there is a vast difference between saying “what you are doing is non-halakhic, wrongheaded, bad for the Jews–and I nevertheless recognize that your actions stem from your understanding of our shared Jewish values and commitments” and saying “you are clearly doing these wrong things because you are stupid, evil, or in it for power.” (If you think “with all due respect” sounds perfunctory or insincere in a debate, you have never heard a debate carried out without even paying lip service to granting the other side all due respect.)
By denying the possibility of goodwill or good intentions, in a manner impossible to falsify, imputation of motives offends, obstructs, and obscures. Stop doing it.
Rivka Press Schwartz, “Climbing Out of Our Trenches: Towards a Different Conversation”, Tacit Knowledge (21 December 2016) [https://rpschwartz.com/2016/12/21/climbing-out-of-our-trenches-towards-a-different-conversation-about-women-and-orthodoxy/]