Bill O’Reilly tonight highlighted findings that liberals on the internet tend to be less tolerant of opposing views than conservatives. Democrat Kirsten Powers agreed with this sentiment, relaying from her own personal experiences engaging with liberals and conservatives, surmising that the former tend to be less tolerant because they are used to controlling the media.
O’Reilly said the study finds liberals are far more sensitive about criticism, and a significant percentage of them have ended online relationships due to political differences. Powers explained that after getting out of her own “Democratic bubble,” she noticed that conservatives tend to be more open to hearing opposing viewpoints than liberals.
While I do agree that these days the left is far less tolerant of dissent than the right, I disagree as to the reason.
The problem with the left is that they are so convinced of their moral and intellectual superiority that anyone who disagrees with them is not only wrong but is also stupid, evil, or both. The demonizing and dismissal of dissent is not exactly conducive to debate and compromise.
Both sides have been guilty of this sin. It was just a decade ago that the right was equating dissent with treason and the support of terrorism. The only real difference between then and now is the right is no longer in power.
Right now the Republicans are clinging to the moral high ground because they have nothing else to cling to. If the terrorist attack in Benghazi had taken place four years earlier then yesterday you would have seen Condi Rice getting alternately grilled by Democrats and coddled by Republicans.
The reason we can see this is we no longer belong to either side. My journey has taken me from youthful idealism and optimism to tribeless cynical pessimism.
Sometimes I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.