Tolerance has long been a place of pride for those on the left, and many times for good reasons.
Many Liberals were the first to call for legalized same-sex marriage, even if they were not gay, tolerating a lifestyle that was contrary to theirs in the name of personal freedom. That is admirable but is not the same type of tolerance we are seeing from the left in 2020.
Past calls for open-mindedness and acceptance towards others’ ideas were almost always rooted in equal freedom for all Americans. Today the left has thrown that tolerance away, calling for tolerance only for what they declare morally right and good, as seen by groups like Teaching Tolerance.
The left would now have you believe that you should show tolerance to your neighbor who is pushing a sex change on their 10-year-old, but that you should not tolerate your neighbor next door who is a police officer. You should accept those who wear shirts idolizing dictator Che Guevara, but those who supported President Trump should have their names put on a black-list.
Calls for tolerance are not calls to tolerate all ideas promoting personal freedom, just the ideas that they like. The far left’s use of tolerance now is just a club they use to beat those who disagree with them over the head.
But here’s the thing: tolerance should never have even been put forward as the ultimate good in the first place. There are many things we shouldn’t tolerate like murder, acts of racism, and pedophilia—just to name some of the worst.
Complete tolerance towards all ideas is in itself impossible to achieve and in no way a form of good. American’s need a standard in which to judge if something should be tolerated, and that standard should be whether it increases or decreases an individual’s freedom.
Personal freedom used to be the ultimate good to those who were socially liberal, allowing people to do what they want as long as it does not harm others. This is what the current push to legalize marijuana is based on.
The problem that has arisen with personal freedom is that the left is changing the definition of what harms others. In the past, threats and acts of violence, along with any attempt to disrupt an individual’s private property were thought of as harm. But now we are seeing slogans as radical as “silence is violence” being printed in mainstream journalism outlets, which is an extremely dangerous idea to be introducing.
The idea of what harm is has been shifted so far in the minds of the far left, that, to them, true freedom cannot be allowed to exist. This shift in what harm is can also be traced back to the overindulgence of tolerance of ideas. Children are being taught in school that there is no such thing as a wrong answer and that all ideas are good ideas, in order to try to help them be more creative and participate more. Not only has a recent study done by Charlan Nemeth shown that criticism can increase creativity, but also that a lack of criticism has made recent generations weak-minded.
When someone espouses that a personal belief is wrong or presents an idea that is contrary to what one believes, it is taken as an attack. This can be seen happening in platforms such as Twitter and Instagram on a consistent basis as conservative members are banned for putting forth opposing ideas.
American’s today need to be wary when they see the promotion of tolerance as an ultimate good. It’s essential that Americans remember that the end goal is not to allow anything and everything to be acceptable in society. The end goal for a well functioning America is the pursuit of individual freedom. That is why brave men stormed the beaches of Normandy and why this country has turned into the greatest power the world has ever seen.
If individual freedom is continually sought after, America will continue to prosper.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.