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Leftists have a blindspot when it comes to tolerance

It seems many on the left have a strange one-sided notion of tolerance. While signalling their preferences for co-existing with as many different people as possible, they find any disagreement over mainstream political issues abhorrent.

Published: March 8, 2017, 11:42 am

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    In recent interviews, American conservative voters told the New York Times that they felt assaulted by this “moral Bolshevism” — the belief that the leftist vision was the only right one. “Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed,” the paper noted.

    The only place one Trump supporter said he felt comfortable wearing his Make America Great Again hat was on a vacation in China. A few days before the election, Bryce Youngquist, 34, said he was going to vote for Trump. On election night, a friend posted on Facebook, “You are a disgusting human being.”

    “We are in a trust spiral,” said Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University. “My fear is that we have reached escape velocity where the actions of each side can produce such strong reactions on the other that things will continue to escalate.”

    Left-leaning academic Haidt has written extensively about these ideological blind spots that disproportionately seem to affect liberals. The phenomenon identified by the Pew Research Center as the “spiral of silence,” revealed how people are reticent to openly share views that may subject them to “ostracism, ridicule and bullying” online by leftists.

    Nearly one-quarter, some 24 percent of Democrats say they blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media after the election because of their political posts on social media.

    Fewer than one in ten Republicans (9 percent) and independents (9 percent) report eliminating people from their social media circle, the Pew Study found.

    Political liberals are also far more likely than conservatives to say they removed someone from their social media circle due to what they shared online, 28 percent vs. 8 percent respectively).

    Only five percent of Americans say they are planning on spending less time with certain family members because of their political views. Democrats, however, are five times more likely than Republicans to say they are trying to avoid certain family members due to their political views.

    Democratic men are nearly twice as likely as Republican men to block or “unfriend” people in their social media circles because of their political views, and Democratic women are three times more likely to take this step than their Republican counterparts.

    Ann O’Connell, 72, a retired administrative assistant in Syracuse who voted for Trump, was a registered Democrat. She voted for Bill Clinton twice, she told the Times.

    She remembers Clinton giving a speech about the dangers of illegal immigration, but when Trump gave an almost similar speech, the left went crazy and organised violent protests.

    “The Democratic Party has changed so much that I don’t even recognize it anymore,” she said. “These people are destroying our democracy. They are scarier to me than these Islamic terrorists. I feel absolutely disgusted with them and their antics.”

    Already in the 2009 book The Politically Correct University, published by the American Enterprise Institute, included a chapter laying out “the route to academic pluralism” to include more conservatives in education and another that claimed “the academy’s definition and practice of diversity is too narrow and limited”.

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