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The Intolerant Left

I used to think the left wing was the home of tolerance, open-mindedness, respect for all viewpoints, but now, I learned the truth the hard way.

– Juan Williams

It’s a common mistake for people to make. They assume that the Left is the tolerant side. After all, the Left keeps preaching about tolerance and inclusion. Yet, there is that immutable fact that the Left, while preaching tolerance, is very much intolerant of anyone that harbors a different opinion.

Anecdotal evidence is everywhere. You have the recent Williams-NPR flop, where the “tolerant” liberals at NPR decided to fire Williams for admitting that he gets “nervous” to get on an airplane with people dressed in Muslim garb, all the while trying to drive the point home that there is a difference between extremist Muslims and the non-violent ones.

You have the political activist/director Rob Reiner compare Tea Party people to Nazis on Real Time with Bill Maher. Of course there is George Clooney reminding Maher that he needs to be a little bit more tolerant and open minded about the Right.

MAHER: I think this is a big difference between liberals and conservatives. You know, I don’t think conservatives are bad people. I think they have a hard time being empathetic to people who are not like them at all.

CLOONEY: Okay, now wait. I’ll tell you why, hang on a minute though. I’ll tell you why that’s not necessarily true. Because this movement, the Sudanese movement, Darfur, the north-south agreement were really truly embraced by the Right even more so than the Left.

Of course these recent (all within the last week) examples don’t really amount too much. What really proves it are the personal experiences that former Democrats and liberals have faced when dealing with issues that they have differing opinions from the mainstream Liberal group-thought. My example is one of being called racist for not supporting Obama during the 2008 primary. It didn’t matter that, at the time due to my economic ignorance, that we agreed on a lot of issues. The sheer fact that I didn’ t want Obama meant that I must be racist. During that Primary season, Hillary and her supporters were subject to all kinds of vicious attacks from other Democrats. Mind you, McCain had a very hands off attitude in his campaign after he locked the nomination for GOP. There were months, where the news cycle was dominated by Dem on Dem in fighting, racial and gender attacks. All from Democrats to other Democrats, Liberal vs Liberal.

Now, of course, you have a combined selective amnesia of the whole affair from Liberals. They try to whitewash history to suit their own purposes but it isn’t working like it used to. Thank you You Tube. In the age of Interwebs, the usual Liberal play of selective amnesia doesn’t work. All it takes is three seconds of searching on You Tube to bring up a clip of Barney Frank proclaiming that there isn’t a bubble in housing.

So let’s just take a quick look at what it means to be “tolerant” for the Left:

Gender: Woman have to be pro-choice and pro-“Feminist” (There is distinction between classical feminism and what’s coming out of the Womens Studies Dept at most Universities).Example: Sarah Palin. She is a woman who embodies everything from the classical feminist movement, a woman who has both career and family. A woman who is successful and has shattered some glass ceilings in her day. Yet the left utterly hate her. Hate is probably too weak of a word for how Liberals think of Palin. Why? Because she is Conservative and Pro-Life. Thus she must be hated.

Race: There is no way around it, for a black man or woman to have any standing in Liberal circles they have to be liberal as well. To be a conservative black person is to be an Uncle Tom. Go read some “tolerant” Liberal reviews of books by some of the smartest men on the planet, who happen to be black, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Clarence Thomas. You can always tell the “tolerant” liberal by their constant demeaning and name calling of the authors in question. Go ahead try it!

We all have some stories of liberal intolerance. What are yours?

  1. innocentsmithjournal
    October 24, 2010 at 13:01

    Liberalism characteristically imagines itself — wrongly — to be free of bias and partiality. That is why a few months back you had Jonathan Chait, Paul Krugman, and others smugly criticizing conservatives for “epistemic closure” — as though getting your news from the New York Times as opposed to Fox is somehow a sign of openmindedness. Even some conservatives — David Frum comes to mind — seemed to buy into this.

    I guess I differ from many of my fellow liberals in that I do not consider intolerance to be necessarily a bad thing. I don’t think we as a society should tolerate high levels of economic inequality, environmental degradation, or a health care system in which 30 million Americans go uninsured. Nor do I think NPR was out of line for not tolerating Juan Williams’ remarks. Any definite set of ideals necessarily involves exclusions, and liberalism is no exception.

    So my example of liberal intolerance is myself.

    • October 24, 2010 at 15:26

      Frum is a special type of stooge. No party or ideology is without their Krugmans, Chaits, Kleins or Frums.

      Intolerance isn’t a bad thing. I for one am intolerant of Statism in any form, which I think is a good thing. You probably don’t. =)
      I don’t think we should tolerate any of those either, unfortunate I think Liberal have the wrong idea as to the cause and therefore the solution. Of course the problem is the metric…when you use percentages and quintiles to measure…you will never be free from the bottom 20%. Anyone who’s taken a statistics course should be able to tell you that…which I don’t think many people have, even in college. What we should be looking at is standard of living….do you really think the bottom 20% of earners are worst off than people in Africa, China or India?
      Env Degradation…you know history isn’t on the Statists side on this one either…the worst polluting regimes were State authoritarian regimes…so why do the democrats want another state controlled regime?…oh and Health Care….won’t get into that one…

      NPR can do what it wants…but it’s my job and everyone else’s job to expose the double standard.

      As for liberal tolerance…I wouldn’t have any problem with them being intolerant…if they’d just shut up about saying they are the tolerant side. If a private company did that, they’d be rightfully sued for improper advertisement.

  2. yttik
    October 25, 2010 at 07:25

    I used to be a liberal but I just couldn’t take all the intolerance. They don’t allow for any independent thought, they don’t tolerate dissent, and if you’re female or black, you better be obedient at all times or they’ll crush you. Thinking on the left is very black and white, you’re with us or you’re against us. You are one of the knights in shining armor out to save the world or you’re evil and sub-human and pretty much don’t have a right to exist.

    Liberals can also be very misogynistic which took me a while to figure out. Back in the 60’s there was a lot of new thought, equality, freedom, utopias, but women discovered they were still all about just making the coffee. The sexual revolution was all wrapped in misogyny and things got so bad, a whole second wave of feminism was born and women’s rights became a movement. Over time feminism has lost it’s priority of putting women first and went right back to making coffee for the liberal boyz. The idea being if we just put enough liberal men into office, they’ll look out for women. And of course, the only right a woman ever really needs is access to abortion. Even that is toyed with and forgotten in the midst of the Stupak amendment, NOW endorsing Jerry Brown over the strongly pro-choice Meg Whitman, the pro-life Tim Kaine being put in charge of the DNC. Dems aren’t really interested in choice, they’re interested in holding women hostage and keeping them dependent on the party so they don’t lose their “right.” The only “right” you’ll ever need.

    I no longer view abortion as a “woman’s issue.” Today I think a woman’s issue is the House, the Senate, and the presidency.

    • October 25, 2010 at 10:53

      I tried to make the point that not all woman are pro-choice over on JSOMs blog. I think the point went completely over the head of the person I was talking to. Abortion, just like feminism and racial equality have long since been stripped of their original meaning. I now refer to new and classical feminism as well as new and classical racial equality. I think you can figure out what I mean by distinguishing the terms.

      What about NOW endorsing Brown after he called Whitman a whore? The double standard is astounding. It’s all about the politics now. NOW and Democrats are forever linked, so you can rest assured that the original mission of NOW is long since dead.

      • October 25, 2010 at 15:56

        LOL! No, it didn’t go over my head. The point is too obvious to even mention, actually.

        What I object to is not a woman’s desire to decide whether or not to have a baby. That is actually the definition of being pro-choice.

        What I object to is when people like Sarah Palin (and Barack Obama) want to decide FOR ME whether or not I should have a baby, and make their judgement official United States policy. That is not a pro-life stance, that is an anti-choice stance. And I will fight that to my very last breath.

        What is also too obvious to mention but never seems to penetrate “new” feminists’ heads, is that of course if a woman does not have control over her body then she can never, ever be an equal member of society. That we are still debating this point in America in 2010, truly beggars belief. Control over one’s life is the baseline of equality. It is the beginning, not the end. And we still don’t have it. And electing a bunch of rabid anti-choicers won’t get it for us, either.

        Imagine if people were debating men’s equality for a second. Imagine if a whole group of men stood up and said that they favored regulated ejaculation and masturbation because “every sperm is sacred” and could lead to a fertilized egg. They also, of course, favored “education” that misinformed young men and women about sex and didn’t want birth control used because it was against “God’s will.”

        Imagine that those men gained traction and began to implement those regulations throughout the 50 states. Would a man who constantly had to fight against that viewpoint and those restrictions feel like an equal member of society?

        Now imagine that men were telling you it was “masculinist” to promote these same men who were restricting your reproductive freedom. Would you do it? Would you raise money for these men, vote for them and support them?

        Somehow I doubt it.

        • October 26, 2010 at 19:34

          Then it seems you should support libertarians over democrats, since there are a lot of Democrats that are pro-life, Kaine being one of them.

          Real libertarians, might have a personal opinion on abortion, but won’t make it a matter for the state to decide either way. Libertarians leave that up to the individual.

          That’s why I asked who you think libertarians are? They aren’t the Mahers, who claims to be one but isn’t.

          What I object to is the black vs white attitude that the abortion debate brings. It’s a wedge issue, meaning neither side wants to see a resolution.

          If the Dems got their “way” then they’d lose the women vote, since women are actually more fiscally conservative than men. So what do they do, same as gay rights…they string you along. How can you not see it?

          GOP is just as bad. They are both playing you…so if you base your vote on abortion, then your just a sucker…sorry but that’s how I feel.

        • yttik
          October 27, 2010 at 08:00

          LOL, I’m actually an “old” feminist not a “new” one.

          The thing about abortion is that it does not grant women control over their own bodies. The fact that an abortion is even needed is evidence of a woman having been deprived of having control over her own body. The act of creating an unwanted pregnancy in somebody’s body is already a violation. If a consequence of sex for men required them to have a root canal, you better believe that failing to protect them from this experience would be a criminal act.

          It is actually incredibly disrespectful to simply tell women, oh well, you can just have an abortion. How about instead we create a world where women’s bodies are respected enough by both men and women, that they are not subjected to unwanted pregnancies?

      • October 27, 2010 at 10:33

        It wasn’t Brown who called Whitman a whore, it was one of his staffers. It’s a minor point, but worth clarifying.

        • November 1, 2010 at 19:11

          Yeah your right…so what about Beher calling Angle a bitch twice? Minor point right?

        • November 1, 2010 at 21:35

          I wasn’t aware of that; I’ll have to go look into it before I form an opinion one way or the other.

  3. October 25, 2010 at 10:08

    Nice post. You brought to mind something I noticed long before I understood the ideological differences between liberals and conservatives. When Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court, I was baffled at the treatment he received. By all my previous liberal brainwashing, this seemed like it should have been touted as a huge success story from views of racial and class equality. It wasn’t. That knocked me out of the box early that some tags like “open-mindedness” are merely an means to the end.

    • October 25, 2010 at 10:55

      I love Justice Thomas. I see the attacks on Thomas as one of the few instances where they treat blacks exactly the same as whites, with no kid gloves like they do with Obama. They hate all conservatives equally.

  4. October 27, 2010 at 11:57

    I take issue with your summary of the supposed gender-based intolerace form the left:

    Gender: Woman have to be pro-choice and pro-”Feminist” (There is distinction between classical feminism and what’s coming out of the Womens Studies Dept at most Universities).Example: Sarah Palin. She is a woman who embodies everything from the classical feminist movement, a woman who has both career and family. A woman who is successful and has shattered some glass ceilings in her day. Yet the left utterly hate her. Hate is probably too weak of a word for how Liberals think of Palin. Why? Because she is Conservative and Pro-Life. Thus she must be hated.

    The reason most self-described feminists don’t believe that a person can be both a feminist and opposed to abortion rights is because most feminists, whether they believe that life begins at conception or not, hold the belief that the woman’s bodily autonomy trumps the right of the fetus to use the woman’s body to support its life. Often cited is the question: what other “living being” is allowed to use a person’s body without their consent for 9 months?

    I sympathize with people who are pro-life (the non-assholes, anyway), but being in favor of denying the woman the right to bodily autonomy is, understandably, not popular with feminists.

    Another reason feminist liberals hate Palin? Any glass-ceiling-shattering she’s done, and the fact that she has both a career and a family, is attributed solely to those 1st- and 2nd-wave feminists who paved that road for her, whose apparently “radical” views she strongly disagrees with, and that she’s either fighting against, or ignoring entirely. I haven’t, for example, heard anything from Palin regarding the fact that women are still paid nearly 25% less than their male peers. This should be a bipartisan issue, but conservatives like Palin don’t touch it. Where is her concern for the equality of women to men? This is precisely what feminism is about.

    Palin’s conservative politics are supportive of only one set of choices– those that are aligned with her traditional Christian beliefs, which, as we all know quite well, do not represent all women (or men) in the US. Feminism is arguably about choice, at it’s core; not just the choice of whether or not to remain pregnant, but all of the other choices that men are allowed to make without criticism, like whether or not to have children, whether or not to be a stay-at-home parent, whether or not to pursue a career, whether or not to get married, whether or not to have sex (whether or not one is married). The problem with Palin’s conservatism is that she leaves women no choice other than the ones that she deems acceptable. While most feminists and others on the left would agree that every person, male or female, should be able to make the chocies I listed above, Palin spins the word “chocie” into something unrecognizable. It’s not a choice if it’s expected or forced upon you, or if making a different choice will result in unfair or inequitable treatment. Furthermore, Palin and much of the conservative camp continuously acts as though feminists and other typically liberal folks are stomping all over religion and traditional values by fighting for equal rights for everyone by claiming that opening up the allowable choices for everyone is somehow impeding their right to go to church, wait until they’re married to have sex, not marry a person of the same gender, or not have an abortion. It’s ludicrous, and frustratingly incorrect.

    I think the majority of individuals who identify as liberals wouldn’t say that they actually hate conservative or pro-life individuals; I know and love plenty of them, myself, despite aligning more closely with the left than the right side of the political spectrum. Anyway, I would wager that you would dislike strong liberal politicians just the same as many on the left dislike strong conservative politicians; there really isn’t anything exceptional about the left’s distaste for Palin that hasn’t been replicated time and again from the other side.

  5. November 1, 2010 at 19:15

    “what other “living being” is allowed to use a person’s body without their consent for 9 months?”

    Really? You act like a woman has no choice what so ever about getting pregnant at all.

    “regarding the fact that women are still paid nearly 25% less than their male peers. This should be a bipartisan issue, but conservatives like Palin don’t touch it. Where is her concern for the equality of women to men? ”

    Go look at the pay rates of women between McCain and Obama’s 2008 staffers…then we will talk bout “conservatives like Palin don’t touch it.”

    I admit I don’t like far left liberal politicians…but I’m not the one saying I’m part of the tolerant party am I? That’s the point, liberals say they are the tolerant ones, when anyone with a set of eyes and ears can see that they are far from it.

    • November 1, 2010 at 19:16

      One more point why is it that liberal blogs will regularly wash comments or “moderate” them out of existence…see DeLong, Krugman and TrueLiberalNexus blog for examples.

  6. Woodhull
    November 11, 2010 at 07:27

    ZH: Good post! You and I seem agree on much. I was an on-the-frontline feminist warrior back in the day, but it was about women and job opportunity, credit, etc.

    Some of the comments here seem to suggest that grown-up women should be treated like babies when it comes to pregnancy and abortion. In this modern world there are only about a gazillion ways to avoid pregnancy and if a woman wants to have sex, and she knows sex can lead to pregnancy, shouldn’t she take care enough to avoid something she doesn’t want? Good grief! There’s even a morning after pill that is currently being marketed on t.v. to very young women. That demographic is probably the target because the young tend to believe it will never happen to them.

    The left has braces on their brains and are extremely intolerant of free thought. They’re the first to get in your face about free speech, but it’s always about THEIR rights. I wouldn’t expect today’s liberal to lift a finger to defend anyone’s free speech if it disagrees with their’s. That’s the big difference between them and conservatives. Conservatives (and Libertarians) like dissent because they can wage a cogent and convincing argument; liberals hate dissent because they usually can’t. That’s the left’s hypocrisy.

    • November 14, 2010 at 18:35

      That’s exactly what I was getting at. The Left treats women like children, so why on Earth do women still bitterly cling to the Left and their antiquated policies? The answer, I think, is that is never was about “reproductive rights” in the first place. It has and always been about keep women in line, but instead of keeping them in line with their husbands, they want to keep them towing the party line.

      That’s the reason why I choose to use the terms “classical feminist” and “modern feminist.” I suspect that the modern feminists coming out of the women’s studies programs from Brown are the ones running back to daddy when the world is mean.

  7. Woodhull
    November 11, 2010 at 07:33

    Oh, meant to add that the guy over at trueliberalnexus is just some sort of angry libtard whose best retort on a good day is to base his arguments on personal invective. If you look up “libtard” in the dictionary his picture is there.

  8. Woodhull
    November 11, 2010 at 07:44

    ..and another thing. The women of the left are idiots if they think Democrats, liberals, progressives (or whatever it is they are now calling themselves) are looking out for or even interested in their best interests. To them, women, just like AA’s, Latinos, gays, lesbians, “the poor”, etc. are merely special interest voting blocs to be marketed to with special language and promises in exchange for their vote. Interesting the left, that tower of inclusiveness, bases their campaign marketing on market verticals; keeping each group very separated from the others. It’s a very “conquering” tactic meant to set each group as more specialer than the others. Maybe it’s so transparent, each group can’t see it.

    • November 14, 2010 at 18:37

      As I’ve said before with wedge issues. There is no incentive for the Left to really do anything about it. They don’t want to lose a constituency. I mean really why the hell do gays support Democrats, who both signed DADT into law and now refuse to rescind it? I mean really, and they called Bush and idiot.

  1. October 28, 2010 at 10:49
  2. November 3, 2010 at 19:09
  3. November 4, 2010 at 11:23

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