Saturday, November 24, 2007

On Tolerance

Last night I was at a gathering of twenty or so people. I was chatting amicably with a fellow, his wife and another couple. The subject of conversation centered on the work experiences of one of the men, a painter for the State of Wisconsin. After a while, the painter asked what I do for fun. I hesitated, then answered honestly, "I like to blog." He asked for the name of my blog. I hesitated again, having been through this before. I said something to the effect that he may find some of my views objectionable. But he persisted, asking why etc... until I had to explain my views on unions. My view, in brief, is that unions can be helpful for members but that they are often harmful to society at large. Though I delivered this viewpoint reluctantly, gently, and at his insistence, it soon became clear that he not only didn't like my opinion, but that he didn't like me. Like I said, I have been through this before. Oh well.

In recent years, I have gained greater clarity of my political views. I am comfortable holding them, discussing them, and defending them if neccessary. One of the consequences of this increased confidence is that a small minority of liberals will reject me personally because of the viewpoints that I hold. In other words, I am not only wrong, mistaken, naive etc..., but bad. Again, oh well.

Interestingly, when I was moderately left of center, I did not encounter a comparable rejection from conservatives.

My conclusion: conservatives are more tolerant than liberals, generally speaking.

21 comments:

smallgovsam said...

Generalizations, made or followed, are harmful. Let each individual act and be judged according to his own decisions, choices, and behavior.

I disagree with you slightly, Denis. I think libertarians, not conservatives, win the most tolerant award. Socially AND economically, neoliberals are tops. Liberals want to say what you do with your money, conservatives your behavior. I couldn’t care less. It is my strongest belief that I don’t care what you do. Maybe it’s all a matter of semantics.

SAM BRAUN

Denis Navratil said...

Sam,I think it is mostly semantics as you suggested. I would include libertarian within the broader category that I call conservative.

Real Debate said...

The frightening thing though is that liberals really believe they are toleran of diverse opinion.

Tell me, when was the last time a pro life speaker was allowed at a Democratic Convention?

At the last Republican convention 3 of 4 keynote speakers were pro choice.

Denis Navratil said...

Sam, I had a previous post on the subject of labels, arguing that they are a neccessary shortcut without which the ability to communicate would be severely hampered. I would think the same is true of generalizations. Based on my experience, I have found that conservatives have a greater level of tolerance for a diverse range of opinions than do liberals. As an aside for other readers, I am not equating tolerance with agreement. Anyway, I don't think that sharing this observation is harmful to anyone or to the communication process. It would be if I concluded that a particular liberal or all liberals are intolerant. There is no inherent harm to accurate generalizations, but using accurate generalizations to reach a conclusion about a specific individual would be unfair.

Anonymous said...

My conclusion: conservatives are more tolerant than liberals, generally speaking.
_______________________________

...and you say that with a straight face? I am speechless...just like Hannity and Colmbs; O'Riley; etc...

Me thinks your objectivity is in need of a claeaning...just ask Tony Blankley, that bastion of even-handedness on McGlaughlin...

Anonymous said...

...oh yeah...real debate is REAL objective...NOT!

Many 'liberals'(your words) are pro-life...they are just not pro-injustice...like the neo-con right.

Denis Navratil said...

Yes anon, I say that with a straight face. And I might add that your many postings provide ample evidence to support my position.

beg to differ said...

conservatives: you must say the pledge of allegience in school and students will stand up for it

conservatives: prayer in schools mandatory

conservatives: don't burn the flag or we will arrest you

conservatives: gay people can't marry

make your own case against liberals. or moderates. it is easy

people are just not tolerant (in general). those who say they are are usually the worst

Anonymous said...

Beggar;
Conservative' Do Not:
Support Compulsory "Pledges". But believe it should start the day, participation should be voluntary, but refusal to participate should be respectful of others.

Support Mandatory Prayer, But it shouldn't be "outlawed" either. A prayer at a Graduation offered by a students should not be prohibited.

Support Flag burning. Most conservatives would support protection of the symbol of our country, but many of see it as a free speech issue. I'm in that camp; Don't expect me to support you for dissing my country or offending me and others who fought for that country represented by that Flag. But I wouldn't arrest you.

Believe Gay marriage is a right. If your church wants to sanction it, thats fine with most conservatives. If I disagree with that church I can leave or start my own church. But changing the definition in Law, or amending the US or State constitutions is not supported by most conservatives.

Don't accuse me of intolerance because you can't make a factual argument. "Hate is not a family value", etc. I don't hate Liberals, I just logically & legally disagree with them.

Urban Pioneer

Denis Navratil said...

Thank you Urban Pioneer for your response to beg to differ, as you have expressed my sentiments as well as your own.

Anonymous said...

Because it is your style, you probably said the things you said to that artist in a mean, hateful way. You love to get people angry, and then when they get mad, you say they are not tolerant. You are a truly evil person, Dennis

Caledonication said...

but evil in a good way...

Anonymous said...

To the last Anon:
For one thing his name is spelled Denis, not "Dennis", not a big deal but his name is written at the top of his posts.
If you think Denis is evil then you must have a broad definition of evil. I have been around Denis when he is attempting to convert a Liberal and I find him to be very kind. Too nice for my liking infact, but I guess I am not a forgiving as he.
You are probably the same Anon that is forever spouting insanity on this blog so I am wasting my time writting to you, but for anyone else, whatever Denis is, he is not mean when he talks to liberals.

a different anon said...

Conservatives are tolerant to a diverse range of opinions. Is that really true Denis? If so, please explain why conservative President Bush, and the current conservative Republican field running for president declined to participate in a nationally televised debate moderated by Tavis Smiley or speak to the national convention of the NAACP?

Please explain the "tolerance for diverse opinions" that clearly wasn't demonstrated in these cases.

Anonymous said...

Dear Different,
I don't think Denis needs explain why Presidential candidates don't show up to debates. Bush ran as a Compassionate Conservative. He has fulfilled some of the basic to please us Conservatives. Judges, Stem cells, and fighting the War on Terror, despite the urge to surrender from the left. He tried to reform Social Security in a way which have benifited nearly everyone, but McCain, and Lindsay Graham, got in the way and messed it up. He did things that didn't make us conservatives happy: The Teddy Kennedy No Child Left Behind Act" (*which btw was based on the plan Hillary put together in Arkansas, and raised Ark. from 49th to 46th in the US). Almost gave us Aunt Harriet, but we stopped that. Medicare part D;
Amoung others.

As for the reach out to African Americans, Tavis Smiley et al. Bush was blasted by the NAACP and then didn't show up, then did show up only to eviscerated again. 90% of Blacks don't vote Republican, you go where your voters are. (as I recall there were other preconditions that Smiley wanted, and/or scheduling conflicts).
The Republican field has a wide spectrum of Lib-Cons. Candidates: Huck is a Lib-Mod. on most Social issues, but Cons on Abortions; Rudy is lib to mod on most items, Romney is "embracing" most cons. principles, and right now I'm leaning to him. I know he may have changed position on Abortion, but he knows he'll have to follow "W's" lead on judges, Stem Cell, War on Terror, and lower taxes. I liked Fred, but i'm not sure he can break thru. I believe all of the "R's" recognize they'll have to lead in shrinking Fed Spending, which Bush didn't do a very good job of.
Now imagine 8 Republican candidates going to a African Amercan debate, and discussing how they'll cut spending, abortions, welfare and reducing taxes on the successful. I don't really see the point. They'll just be accused of mean-spiritedness, and being cold. I can see Jesse and Al "the Just-us League", screaming in front of "a Million (25,000)Man March" on screaming "Katrina". Finally enough debates are scheduled to get the questions out. (unless of course you're Hillary and only wanted scripted questions written by your staff!).

Thats my take.
U Pioneer

a different anon said...

Anon, thanks for proving my point.

Conservatives fail miserably in having..."a greater level of tolerance for a diverse range of opinions than do liberals"... as stated by Denis.

If i recall, Bush rescinded all 4 NAACP invites prior to re-election, and THEN was blasted, then tried to save face after the 4 non-commitals. The first sitting president in the past 4 or 5 decades to have zero communication with the largest organization of "minorities" in the country.

Now that's tolerating diverse opinions isn't it Denis?

Anonymous said...

Denis Navratil said...

Yes anon, I say that with a straight face. And I might add that your many postings provide ample evidence to support my position.

7:07 AM
-----------------------------
Of what? Thinking for myself?

I don't parrot the talking points of the right, which has been HIGHLY organized since Reagan!

Wind Lake Jase said...

I love this anonymous posters - it's easy to say anything when you are too chickenshit to say who you are.

Put a name to your claims - you state your points with vigor. Why do you hide?

Wind Lake Jase

Anonymous said...

really? and your name is Wind Lake Jase. What are you, Native American.

Anonymous said...

Wind Lake Jase said...

I love this anonymous posters - it's easy to say anything when you are too chickenshit to say who you are.

Put a name to your claims - you state your points with vigor. Why do you hide?

Wind Lake Jase

-------------------

And you are who??? There is no name like THAT in my phonebook................

Fair Play said...

I am not familiar with your views about unions etc... to know why this man took such a dislike towards you, but I have found the exact opposite to be true regarding the tolerance level of conservative. It's funny because I just made a comment about this on Fred's blog a day or two ago. I have been reading some political blogs over the last year and I have found that there isn't a lot of tolerance coming from the conservative bloggers (especially the men). It seems like comments that are made about any given topic inevitably take a racist or sexist turn. It happens often enough to have me staying clear of a few blogs these days.