Saturday, September 11, 2010

Can We Tolerate Intolerance?

Is there such a thing as tolerance for intolerance? Can such a thing exist? Intolerance, by definition cannot tolerate diversity. Intolerance leads to a sense of superiority, fed by fear and hatred of differences. The intolerant group will suppress the rights and freedoms of others. How does one tolerate such extreme views? When does a tolerant opposition become intolerant of the intolerance?

Tolerating intolerance is a great philosophical exercise, but nothing more. Intolerant groups demanding tolerance for their oppressive views do not show tolerance for others. This will not lead to a peaceful coexistence in the face of diversity. Intolerance is a lack of respect to anyone else’s ideas or beliefs. Intolerance will not unite a community, but rather drive them apart.

Tolerance holds respect for those with other ideas and beliefs. But to break this down to the logical outcomes, intolerance will only lead to fear, hatred and oppression, where tolerance will only lead to accepting the subjugation of the intolerance. These are two opposing ideals, which can not coexist. Our nation is based upon mutual tolerance, not mutual intolerance. So the real question is how can we truly be tolerant of intolerant views?

Freedom of speech defines that even the most vulgar hate speech must be protected under the law. But just because we can not legally quiet that voice, we must speak out against intolerant views. We must fight tooth and nail against intolerance people, not through tolerance, but through sensible reasoning. If we can not get them to understand the folly of their ways, we must poke holes at their argument, discrediting their intolerant messages and beliefs, allowing reason and sensibilities to shine through.

-Silence Dogood

Beyond Right vs. Left

Former President Bush’s TAARP program and the economic crisis brought forth a protest movement, who did not coalesce until after President Obama was elected into office. Through references to the Boston Tea Party in 1774, protesting taxation among other things, the Tea Party Movement was established. They rallied for a flat tax, smaller federal government, and a larger state government. After the election, the Conservatives also rallied in protest over losing control in both the Executive and Legislation branches, denouncing President Obama’s policies. Conservative media personalities were very vocal over their dissention of the Obama administration.

But it wasn’t long before the protest lines were blurred. Former Vice President nominee Sarah Palin spoke at Tea Party rallies, conservative rallies, and on conservative television programs. The Tea Party movement no longer stood apart from other conservative Republican protestors. One protest became analogous with the other, all feeding off of fear and frustration.

Before President Obama signed his first bill into law, doubts were cast over his country of origin. Debates over the crisis in the American automotive industry were met with accusations of a Socialist movement. The Health Care Debate brought forth rumors of “Death Panels” and a calling to “take out the opponent” and “lock and load”. Arizona’s Immigration Bill brought forth xenophobia, more fear and hatred by conservatives, and reactionary measures which included a call to repeal the 14th Amendment. California’s Gay Marriage bill brought forth homophobia and a debate over the sanctity of marriage. The false accusation of a Mosque on Ground Zero brought forth more xenophobia and a desire for isolationism.

Fear and hate proved to be a powerful motivator, more so than logic or reason. Protestors depicted President Obama as a witch doctor, a tyrant, and other racial slurs. Talks of Obama’s country of origin, his Socialistic movement, and death panels were prevalent at these rallies. Republican politicians decried over being “shut out” of policy discussions, while refusing to attend or contribute.

Though the Tea Party Movement was based upon a protest over taxation, Conservative protestors was based upon smaller government and less taxes, and Conservative media based their arguments against any non-conservative movements, what they left us with is much uglier. We are left with fear, frustration, and hatred towards anyone who is not conservative enough for this Right Wing agenda. With a lack of viable leadership, all they have to offer is lies, fear mongering, and war mongering. But society does not allow it to stop there. Society has been divided into two groups of thoughts, the ultra Conservative ideals and those against them. There is no compromise, there is no respect for anyone else’s opinions, and there is a break from reality. Their hypocrisy is staggering. But even worse than that, the Tea Party Movement, Conservative protests, and Conservative media are bringing the American society to the brink of a civil war and/or a holy war against Islam.

What we are left with is no longer a Right vs. Left debate. Politics have replaced religion in our society. And we well know that religion does not follow logic or reason, only fear and blind faith. When logic and reason fails the conservative voice, they turn to colorful metaphors, lies, and fear. This is only propels the “With us or against us” mentality. Fears over a Black Democratic President, losing control of the Executive and Legislation branches, and losing viable leadership only brought us only a devotion to take back what was once ours, but this has not been defined. Conservatives lost control of government because of their extremist views. Extremism has no place in our society. They may scream the loudest, but we are still Americans. And as Americans, we must protect the freedoms for all citizens. We must not only tolerate differences, but we also must respect them, just as we expect toleration and respect for our beliefs. As Americans, we can not allow the Conservative movement bring us to a civil war or a holy war based upon fear, hatred, and their false sense of superiority. We must turn our backs on those who wish to deny rights and freedoms to our citizens, regardless of race, creed, or gender. We must turn our backs to those who take extremist measures to propel their agenda. Logic and reason must supersede fear and hatred.

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York, Pennsylvania, United States
I am a very creative person with years of experience in many different creative fields. I am a published writer writing for political blogs as well as product reviews. I have also worked in the Digital Audio/Video special effects business too.

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