The right. The republican. The conservative is the one unwilling to listen to opposing ideas, to embrace an open mind, to allow differences of thought.
That’s the narrative. The left, the liberal left, is open to thoughts and ideas that are different.
It’s not true. It’s the liberal that’s intolerant.
Since I’ve become politically “aware” I’ve noticed that it’s the liberal commentators that have been the most adamant in their views. It’s the liberal that is more willing to shout down an opponent. If someone is going to “block” someone from a website it’s the liberal. If someone is going to “block” someone on twitter, it’s the liberal.
Now there is data:
Liberals are the most likely to have taken each of these steps to block, unfriend, or hide. In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates.
28% of liberals will block, unfriend or hide someone due to political content. Conservatives? Almost half that total; 16%. And moderates come in at 14%, exactly half.
I’ve had a long history with what I consider “liberals.” I attended MIT, [for those that know me the “M” stands for Minnesota, the IT is as you would expect] and I openly mocked and derided the “CLA” kids. CLA standing for College of Liberal Arts. Even as I held what I now consider to be liberal ideas in college, my encounters with those to the left of me left me scratching my head.
For a group of people who claim to be open minded, I have never encountered a population of people with such insistence that they’re right. The very idea that they might be wrong is as foreign to them as the idea that mid-evil romantic German folks music isn’t going to result in a well paying career.
You can take the big issues of the day and list them laundry style. All you get from the left is derision that you aren’t part of the enlightened:
- Minimum wage laws lead to less employment.
- Balancing the budget doesn’t require higher taxes.
- Drilling for oil leads to lower oil prices.
- Free rubbers is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution.
- Nominal warming does not justify draconian economic actions.
- Validating one’s legal status is not discrimination.
The list goes on and on.
The point is, the left is far more intolerant than the right. And for as long as I’ve been aware, it’s always been the case. And I suspect it always will.