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Why Liberals Aren’t as Tolerant as They Think

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posted on May, 10 2017 @ 03:58 PM
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Now, first off, before someone brings out the tar and feathers ... yes, I see them.


This is Politico with this headline. And given the companion threads circulating today, I thought this might a good piece to bring up.

Guess what? Very few of us, left or right, are as tolerant as we think, and that's science saying so!

You all know how it goes. Left blames right for intolerance and right blames left for it. Each has different arguments and points to different reasons and justifications for calling the others intolerant. But we just plain don't tolerate each other like we think we do.


But more recent psychological research, some of it presented in January at the annual meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), shows that it’s not so simple. These findings confirm that conservatives, liberals, the religious and the nonreligious are each prejudiced against those with opposing views. But surprisingly, each group is about equally prejudiced. While liberals might like to think of themselves as more open-minded, they are no more tolerant of people unlike them than their conservative counterparts are.


That's right. Simply calling yourself open-minded doesn't mean that you are tolerant. In fact, here's the conundrum laid out in a nutshell:


“On the one hand, liberals have a variety of personality traits and moral values that should protect them from expressing prejudice. On the other hand, people tend to express prejudice against people who do not share their values.” So, if you value open-mindedness, as liberals claim to do, and you see another group as prejudiced, might their perceived prejudice actually increase your prejudice against them?


Think about that. You claim to be and value being open-minded, right? So how do you react when you encounter someone whose values don't align with your own? Are you open minded about that or are you prejudiced against it? If you are prejudiced against it, are you really as open-minded as you claim?

But beyond that, tolerance is simply allowing for coexistence, so if you show prejudice against values that aren't perfectly like your own, are you as tolerant as you say you are? And this isn't just something that happens on the left, but the left is excellent at pointing out this flaw for those on the right, but they aren't as good as finding the pebble in their own eye.

Now this isn't a totally bleak picture, both liberals and conservatives have their own values that weaken their tendency to show prejudice to those who don't share their values. Conservatives have and value self-reliance while liberals like universalism. Both of those weaken outgroup prejudice.


As predicted, conservatives were more discriminatory than liberals toward liberal groups, and liberals were more discriminatory than conservatives toward conservative groups. Conservatives’ discrimination was driven by their higher traditionalism and by liberal groups’ apparent violation of their values. Liberals’ discrimination was driven by their lower traditionalism and by conservative groups’ apparent violation of their values. Complicating matters, conservatives highly valued self-reliance, which weakened their discrimination toward liberal groups, perhaps because self-reliance is associated with the freedom to believe or do what one wants. And liberals highly valued universalism, which weakened their discrimination toward conservative groups, likely because universalism espouses acceptance of all.


And if you're paying attention, it will likely become apparent which of us generally have higher belief in self-reliance or universalism and which of us do not.

But none of that changes the original prejudice groups have toward those who don't share their values.

But wait! There's more ... this same intolerance also applies to both ends of the religious/irreligious spectrum too and it should surprise no one who's been with me so far. And like left and right, each end complains the other restricts its freedom.




Otherwise, each end of the fundamentalist spectrum looked equally askance at each other. And while liberals and the nonreligious sometimes defend themselves as being intolerant of intolerance, they can’t claim this line as their own. In the study, bias on both ends was largely driven by seeing the opposing groups as limiting one’s personal freedom.


And if you buy into this now, we can extend you this special offer ...


If liberalism and secularism don’t mute prejudice, you can guess what Brandt found about intelligence. In a study published last year in Social Psychological and Personality Science, he confirmed earlier findings linking low intelligence to prejudice, but showed it was only against particular groups. Low cognitive ability (as measured by a vocabulary test) correlated with bias against Hispanics, Asian Americans, atheists, gay men and lesbians, blacks, Muslims, illegal immigrants, liberals, whites, people on welfare and feminists. High cognitive ability correlated with bias against Christian fundamentalists, big business, Christians (in general), the Tea Party, the military, conservatives, Catholics, working-class people, rich people and middle-class people. But raw brainpower itself doesn’t seem to be the deciding factor in who we hate: When Brandt controlled for participants’ demographics and traditionalism (smart people were more supportive of “newer lifestyles” and less supportive of “traditional family ties”), intelligence didn’t correlate with overall levels of prejudice.


So you can make rough correlations with brain power too, but I am thinking maybe he needs to look at higher education less than brain power.

So around and around we go. We can argue over why we have the hostility to those who don't see things like we do, but that doesn't help us understand why that is or why they think that way.

Ultimately, the best solution the paper offers is shared community work where neighbors pull together, but we're even becoming divided in that way in this country.

Is it too late?




posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:03 PM
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Being open minded and tolerant is good so long as it serves the greater goal of peace. I am not open minded to people that aren't open minded to others and will use their power to supress them. There's a lot of groups that fit that last category, on both sides.


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posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:09 PM
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originally posted by: WhateverYouSay
Being open minded and tolerant is good so long as it serves the greater goal of peace. I am not open minded to people that aren't open minded to others and will use their power to supress them. There's a lot of groups that fit that last category, on both sides.




I am not open minded to people that aren't open minded to others and will use their power to supress them.


This is usually the issue with leftist. They often see their positions as morally superior and use that as justification for suppressing opposing view points. This is why students at universities attempt to and have no problem shutting down so many conservative speakers. They have a belief that whatever is said is going to be racist, homophobic, etc and therefore needs to be suppressed.

Liberals are tolerant as long as you believe as they do.

From what I've seen, conservatives are far less oppressive when it comes to opposing viewpoints.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:13 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

There are some groups that are very close-minded, but generally, no, I haven't seen conservatives doing much more than picket or protest and get laughed at.

I can think of some movies like Dogma that Catholics didn't like and tried to boycott and protest, but no one was actively prevented from going to a theater to see the show.

Christians in general object when government subsidizes art that is generally disrespectful to our religion, but we don't tend to kill the artist or anything.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:15 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Why not stop grouping literally EVERYONE who isn't an out spoken right wing conservative into the whole 'liberal' category.
When did this whole liberal shaming even begin?
I was never yelled at, or called a libtard or liberal, of lefty until this election took place, I even express one word towards what is deemed as a 'left' ideology and I am made fun of.
Boggles my mind. Most people agree that religion is terrible for for us, divides us, etc, etc. Yet they don't see how upper politics has just replaced that?



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:23 PM
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a reply to: strongfp

I wasn't even thinking of you.

You grouped yourself.

This is about how holding views makes you less tolerant, even prejudiced, toward those who don't share your views, even if you spend all your time endlessly proclaiming how open-minded you are. And that works for all people of any in-group.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:32 PM
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Without further adieu, here are students booing / turning back on Betsy Devos speaking at their graduation ceremony. Of course, the leftwing rag justifies this type of boorish behavior.

Let's Celebrate These Students for Booing Betsy Devos



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:32 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

So tell me this:

Someone on the right says that transgender people are mentally ill freaks and we should never feed into their delusions, no matter what.

Someone on the left says if it's not hurting us to do so, why not treat transgender people with the dignity and respect that they ask for?

Who is being more open-minded and who is being more close-minded?



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

It's not too late.

And sticking to today's theme,

People just need to drop the partisan and separate themselves from the extremes and the groupthink.

Stop being offended by the words "left" or "liberals" if the assertion doesn't apply to you.

Stop being offended by the words "right" or "conservatives" if the assertion doesn't apply to you.

Be an individual and think like an individual.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:41 PM
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originally posted by: kaylaluv
a reply to: ketsuko

So tell me this:

Someone on the right says that transgender people are mentally ill freaks and we should never feed into their delusions, no matter what.

Someone on the left says if it's not hurting us to do so, why not treat transgender people with the dignity and respect that they ask for?

Who is being more open-minded and who is being more close-minded?


I don't think that is a fair comparison as that is not necessarily what the left is doing. It isn't live and let live. It is throw it in your face and force you to accept it as normal no matter how ludicrous it may to some people and if you don't accuse them of being a bigot and hateful.

I don't give a flip if say Steve and Adam want to be married. However, I draw the line when the school (as my local elementary school did) starts trying to normalize it third graders. Or saying I have to accept a guy with a five o'clock shadow dressed in a summer skirt as a kindergarten teacher.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:42 PM
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a reply to: kaylaluv

You didn't read did you?

This isn't about open-minded/close-minded, but it is about tolerance.

The paradox pointed out is that being open-minded as a value can make you prejudiced against those who do not share that value which is actually a form of intolerance.

If your open-mindedness actually made you tolerant, you wouldn't be so prejudiced against someone who held a view you consider close-minded, but clearly you are and that makes you intolerant rather than tolerant.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:49 PM
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a reply to: kaylaluv

That's only one topic of a whole spectrum of discussions.
Read the OP a little better.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Some people think that blacks are inferior and should be treated as such. Is that being close-minded? Is it being hateful?

Some people think that transgender people are inferior and should be treated as such. Is that being close-minded? Is it being hateful?



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:53 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

I don't think it's been any big secret that Liberals and the Left are intolerant of people that are racist, sexist, nationalist, supremacist, homo and trans-phobic. We're not in denial of it either.

This is what the 4th ish thread today and hundredth ish this week bashing Liberal/Leftists?

*Disclaimer for snowflakes: None of my words are meant to convey support for violence.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:54 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

See, that there is a pretty good example of what the article is about.
Both you and kayla have opposing views on the matter and both of you feel that you're pretty open-minded.

Neither of you is really "wrong".

But you've both just shown that your open-mindedness/tolerance has it's limits.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:55 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Close-minded people tend to be intolerant of things/people that are different from them - simply because they are different, not because those things/people are harmful or hurt anyone.

Open-minded people tend to be tolerant of things/people that are different from them, as long as they aren't hurting anyone. Am I tolerant of someone who rapes a child? No. Does that make me close-minded? I don't think so.
I am not tolerant of someone who wants to take away civil or human rights from someone who is considered "different". Does that make me close-minded? I don't think so.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:55 PM
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Intolerance of intolerance isn't the same as intolerance of "the other"...

& it never will be.



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 04:57 PM
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originally posted by: kaylaluv
a reply to: Edumakated

Some people think that blacks are inferior and should be treated as such. Is that being close-minded? Is it being hateful?

Some people think that transgender people are inferior and should be treated as such. Is that being close-minded? Is it being hateful?


I just don't think you're getting this...

And some people think that fascists shouldn't speak.

Is that openminded? Is that tolerance?



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:01 PM
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a reply to: essentialtremors

I personally don't care who speaks, as long as their speech does not incite violence. I am from the left, and I know many, many other people from the left who think the same way I do on that subject.

Is that open-minded? Is that tolerance?



posted on May, 10 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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a reply to: kaylaluv

I don't think anyone is tolerant to rapists.

For me what it boils down to is quite simple;

Open-minded = tolerant of different opinions and views.

Closed-minded = intolerant of different opinions and views.


It really is that simple.



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