Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tolerance is Bullshit

I don’t believe in tolerance. I believe in liking some people, disliking others, and making no secret of either. I think it’s a simple philosophy, and it’s much more honest stance than “tolerance.”

I also don’t like the implied conditions in the “pro-tolerance” view of the world. For example, I will never tolerate gay people. How can I? I don’t hate gay people, so there’s nothing to tolerate. Toleration always implies that the other person is doing something I should be annoyed about, but by tolerating it and holding in these negative feelings, I’m somehow nobler than the person who voices their opinions honestly.

That’s a load of bullshit. It’s incorrect twice over. It’s wrong in that no one has any legitimate reason to hate gay people, and it’s wrong in that it’s dishonest for someone to hide their true feelings. People should express what they really believe, not self-censor themselves into appearing to be a better person than they actually are. What’s more, if we encourage people to hide their bigotry, we’re inviting a whole host of other problems, primarily focused on the breakdown of dialogue between opposing views.

Then you have the now-famous trope that tolerance of intolerance is not a good thing. But it doesn’t end with intolerance, as many things should not be tolerated. Liberals, then, should not be pushing “tolerance,” especially when they don’t have the common courtesy to give us a tangible list of what should and should not be tolerated… as if such a thing were even possible.

Tolerance is a worthless concept, especially in light of how intolerant these tolerance-purveyors actually are. Groups like feminists and the LGBT community are full of individuals who are mind-bendingly intolerant. There aren’t enough egregious incidents of it to make me hate those groups like I do most conservatives, but an element of short-sighted wrathful vengeance is certainly present in many liberal circles.

If you think this applies to you, then please: don’t change.

Many of the things liberal groups are intolerant of are things I also can’t tolerate. The problem is, it’s more than a little hypocritical for someone to go around preaching tolerance and to then bombard someone with violent vitriol. It’s not difficult for me to still have respect for someone who is mean to others, but when the next day they are entreating people to have a more patient understanding when dealing with people who are different… I have to call bullshit.

There’s probably no clearer example of this than the “anti-bully” movement. It’s like slowly watching liberalism repeatedly stab itself in the eye to watch liberals ruin the lives of folks that are often guilty of no crime besides bad taste. Strangely enough, it’s my own liberal predilection for siding with the victim that has me pissed off at anti-bullying advocates. If you turn assholes into victims, I’m going to feel bad for the assholes. For some odd reason, I can relate to assholes who say things that piss people off.

What’s more, I know liberals love some bullies. What is Jon Stewart, if not a bully? Sure, he mocks people liberals don’t like, but if he was mocking gay people and women instead of rich people and racists, it would be more obvious. The crux of the “anti-bully” argument is empty. Liberals don’t give a shit if you’re mean or not, they care if you’re mean to specific types of people.

I don’t think the world needs more intolerance, all I’m asking for is a little intellectual honesty.


  1. I see tolerance as what we need when we reach the limit of acceptance.

    Yes, in a liberal world, we may expand our range of what we accept (although we may also limit it in other areas). It's impossible, though, to agree with all people, all of the time.

    Tolerance is a framework that allows people with different views and characteristics to co-exist in peace, even if they aren't embracing and singing kumbaya. It's not a warm and fuzzy concept. I'd argue, though, that it's an incredibly powerful idea that is sorely needed in the world.

    Tolerance means that no one gets to kill you or arrest you, just because they don't like your group or your views (as long as you aren't actively planning something violent). It means that while you may not like the outcome of an election, you don't kill voters or stage a revolution. It means that you don't get to force others to follow your views. It means that people from different backgrounds can co-exist - even if they come from groups that have historically killed each other - without violence. It means that we don't make a fetish out of personal preferences and comfort, and tell people that these things don't allow them to deprive others of their rights. It means that gay parents have rights, even if they don't conform the the sexless, traditional, white picket fence image that you see on Modern Family.

    1. In the sense you're trying to use it, I think you are not taking into account actual people and what actually happens.

      What you seem to be suggesting is that people can (to use one simple, tangible example) privately hate gay people or homosexuality, so long as they publicly support things like gay rights.

      But the real problem is that people who oppose homosexuality think it's literally wrong. You can't expect them to "tolerate" it anymore than you or I would tolerate murder. It's stupid and ignorant to equate those two, but I see this view presented all the time.

      The only hope we have is to actually convince more people that homosexuality isn't wrong. All this "tolerance" garbage is wasted breath, because so long as so many people see homosexuality as immoral, it's empty rhetoric to preach "tolerance," especially when liberals saying such are intolerant of a great many things... like a person publicly saying they are morally opposed to homosexuality... which is why we can't even have the necessary discussions, because liberals have shamed conservatives into not even being able to honestly discuss their views.

    2. No, that's exactly the sense in which I meant it. I can and do expect people to respect the civil rights of others, even if they find may find them repugnant. That's what civil rights are all about.

      The alternative basically requires society to police the thoughts of others.

      Let me give you a concrete example:

      Back in the 1990s, way before the legalization of gay marriage in Canada, I had a number of cases in which the other side attempted to raise issues of "morality". These were messy cases involving people with messy lives. Many of my clients were involving with stripping and/or prostitution. One was accused of being a pimp. One lesbian client had advertised her services as a dominatrix, and her kids had accidentally observed sex acts in her home. Another was involved in an abusive relationship. There were also cases where husband tried to use the wife's previous abortions against her.

      In all of these cases, I argued that the courts couldn't consider anything other than the best interests of the child, period, and that any evidence of conduct which wasn't directly related to parenting had to be excluded. That meant that all of the evidence of the dominatrix-turned-lesbian's sexual activities went out the window. It also meant that the alleged pimp with the old criminal record for armed robbery got custody of his daughter.

    3. I guess I don't find it very compelling that you fought so hard to make sure kids stayed in those kinds of environments.

  2. Why not?

    Is it because you are making unwarranted assumptions about how these people parent? Is it possible for even someone who thinks of themselves as liberal to have a knee-jerk reaction that prevents them from judging a situation solely with the best interests of the children in mind?

    I found it distasteful and immoral for a man in his thirties to impregnate a teenager, and to know that the teenager had few options in life aside from prostitution - but the evidence was that the teen mom had not been capable of parenting, that the child went into hysterics when placed in foster care, and that the father and his family doted on the child and had a strong bond with her. Why should a child suffer because adults have moral issues?

    Tolerance means that there is one legal standard for all, and it means that rights are not dependent on the approval of others.

    1. Tell liberals that when it comes to the right to bear arms.

  3. I'm literally only thinking of the kids. I don't care if adults are prostitutes or pimps (well... I have no love for pimps, but I would rather it all be legal). I'm not judging the parents for what they do with their lives, but for the environment they're exposing their children to.

    1. At one time, even the pimps and hoes were children, too!

  4. As I said, the exposure to a sex act was purely accidental - the kids got up in the middle of the night and walked in on some friends who were sleeping on a pull-out couch. I argued, and the judge agreed, that it was no different than kids accidentally walking in on a heterosexual couple. Dominatrix mom didn't work from home.

    If kids are actively exposed to prostitution, that's something does affect their best interests, and it is admissible evidence.



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