The Tolerance of Progressivism

Toleranceby Jerry Richardson   7/30/14
The 1st Commandment of Progressivism is “thou shalt be ‘tolerant’.” But, what does that mean? In today’s America, we can find two different meanings for tolerance, I’ll label them: 1) classical tolerance, and 2) progressive tolerance.

Classical tolerance, still used by many Conservatives, means the rejection of coercion or force as a means of changing anyone’s thoughts, beliefs, or opinions.  At the same time, exercising classical tolerance does not, in any way, preclude public dissent or disagreement with any thoughts, beliefs, or opinions.

Classical tolerance has been famously supported by a quote often misattributed to Voltaire: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” 

Progressive tolerance contains no such precept.

Progressive tolerance encourages coercion and force, if needed, in support of “tolerance” for politically-correct, i.e., progressive viewpoints; and progressive tolerance is often viciously opposed to dissent from accepted, politically-correct viewpoints.

So for progressive tolerance the proper saying is: “I disapprove of what you say, and I will force you not to think, believe, or say anything of which I disapprove.”

Any resistance to this demanded “tolerance” is immediately labeled “intolerance.”

Even though “intolerance” has become the unpardonable sin with Progressives, ironically intolerance (the real thing) is extensively used against progressive opponents.  Of course, its use is justified as demanding “tolerance” for some particular politically-correct viewpoint.

The “tolerance” demanded is nothing short of abject agreement—zero dissent—with the particular viewpoint in question. Coerced acceptance or silence from any opposition to an approved, politically-correct, progressive viewpoint has become the essence of progressive “tolerance.”

“It is fascinating and troubling how we have corrupted our own language. The original definition implies that to tolerate is to allow. The newer definition goes a step further and says that even disagreeing with a group or idea is intolerant.

“In a well-intentioned attempt to be more inclusive, our society has actually become more exclusive. It has become politically incorrect to disagree with social movements – any resistance through either rhetoric or demonstration is labeled intolerant. The glaring irony is how intolerant our new definition actually is. It takes away the debate.”

The recent punishment for a hapless Californian accused of “intolerance”, in effect, is demonstrated by the Internet lynching of former FireFox CEO, Brendan Eich:

“Add another victim to the ever-growing list created by the not-so-tolerant left for failing to walk in lockstep with their mindless groupthink. 

“Turns out that horrible human Brendan Eich, who cofounded Mozilla and invented JavaScript, donated $1000 to support proposition 8 back in 2008 and is now forced to resign for such an unpardonable sin. 

“After dating site OKCupid blocked Firefox because of his [Eich] support for traditional marriage (in spite of the left smearing him as being anti-gay), Firefox forced him to resign amidst the uproar raised by the liberal left loons. 

“In spite of Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker admitting that “I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness”, Eich is the latest casualty silenced and harmed by the left.”
Mozilla CEO

Brendan Eich was not forced out of Mozilla due to any accusation of on-the-job misbehavior or out-of-line attitude:

“I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness.”    — Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker

Eich was forced out for believing-in and politically supporting the traditional definition of marriage.   He was punished (forced to resign) because of his dissent with a politically correct viewpoint on “gay-marriage.”

Don’t miss the enormity contained in the specifics:

The political beliefs of a private citizen were made the grounds (the only grounds) for his forced resignation from his business employment.  This is a frightening example of an Internet lynch-mob persecuting a private citizen for groupthink-declared, organizational misbehavior.

Remember, Brandan Eich broke no law.  His privately-held political belief was presumed to make him unavoidably a bigot in his organizational position—that was his unforgivable misbehavior.

So, presto, the bigot must go!

However, no accusation of any actual on-the-job, bigoted behavior was or has been lodged against Brandan Eich.

What we have actually witnessed is punishment for a presumed thought-crime.

You don’t need to re-read Orwell’s 1984 to understand the heinous nature of thought-crime mores or laws; you can see the results in America today in 2014.

And what was Brandan Eich’s thought-crime for which he was punished?

It was his unacceptable political belief—unacceptable political belief.

We are seeing a steadily increasing collection of incidents where private citizens, in America, are being punished—not publically debated, not subdued at the ballot box, but publically punished—for expressing their personal political beliefs.  Is this still America?

Tell me we don’t live in dangerous times.

© 2014, Jerry Richardson • (3096 views)

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10 Responses to The Tolerance of Progressivism

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    In a well-intentioned attempt to be more inclusive

    Does the author of this quote really believe such nonsense? The Left’s vanguard didn’t come up with this PC campaign to be inclusive. They came up with it to create another club with which they could beat down Western civilization.

    I am sick of “conservatives” trying to prove they are nice and reasonable by saying such things. Only when we admit, and shout from the roof tops that there is very little good intent in the actions of the Left, will we rally people to stand up and fight against the open destruction of our society.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      But was the person saying that a conservative? There are some scattered liberals who admit that political correctness has gone too far — even Bill Maher has said as much, and Andrew Sullivan (who pretends to be a conservative and thus may not count). If one sees that as the plaintive comment by a liberal who realizes how illiberal modern liberalism has become (though Allen Drury pointed this out over 40 years ago), it’s another matter.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Well, we must make some allowances for the fact, Mr. Kung, that the level of Useful Idiotism here are Stubborn Things is at the quite low level of point-nine-five (on a scale of ten). That’s in contrast to a culture at large which is at 8.45 and places such as National Review Online which hover at about 3.65 (depending on whether or not Andy McCarthy is writing something that week…he brings that number down).

      There are plenty of useful idiots who do not understand the two-tier concept that most of us here do. Guys such as Bill Ayers are not for “tolerance.” They simply do not like America, as founded, and want to shit all over it in any way that they can.

      The second level (the useful idiots instead of the leaders) buy into the marketing of the leaders. And clearly this writer (Jeff Craig) has bought into the assumption that the true point of “tolerance” was always to spread a little love around.

      And as for whether this guy is a conservative or not, it seems doubtful from just this one sentence in his concluding paragraph:

      No person should be afraid to express himself. No person should be forced to base her beliefs on what society considers the norm.

      Note the girlified use of the pronoun “her” as well as the truly insipid idea that “no person should be forced to base her beliefs on what society considers the norm.” Now, if we nuance this carefully, and are especially generous, we can say that he means beliefs, not actions. But if he truly does not think that people should not have social norms enforced on them, then he’s just another libertarian kook. I, for one, want the social norm of “Thou shalt not murder” enforced, for example.

      And, frankly, if you’ve seen some of those weirdos in a gay “pride” march, there really are people who should be afraid to express themselves…or at least a little embarrassed to do so.

    • David Ray says:

      It is indeed pure BS when Republicans get cowed into shrinking away from being conservative.

      Reminds me of GWB billing himself as a “compassionate” conservative. That pearl of ill wisdom didn’t fall far from his dad’s idiom tree.
      GHWB announced upon winning the GOP nomination in ’88: “We need a kinder, gentler nation”. (Only Rosalyn Carter’s slap at Reagan: “He makes us comfortable with our prejudices” was more obnoxious.)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        GHWB announced upon winning the GOP nomination in ’88: “We need a kinder, gentler nation”.

        “Compassion” is now defined by how much government does for you, not the self-reliance of the individual. Reagan made this observation decades ago.

        How to parse this? There are many ways. One way is that clearly this stuff appeals to the demographic of women. And of all the ways to try to understand our culture, you could call it the age of the ascendency of women. We are being taught that to think and feel as women do is the way things should be while typically (but by no means exclusively) male attributes such as self-reliance, being of good character, and the need to endure discomforts as a learning process are demagogued as the worst kind of un-compassionate behavior. Obama called it “Everyone out for himself.”

        So the idea of freedom, free markets, and self-reliance — generally male callings — have been demonized and replaced by the more female traits: the desire for security, kumbaya instead of confrontation/competition, and feelings over standards (including objective law).

        And by “female” I need to nuance that a bit. The females who helped found this country were as hard-bitten and non-girly-man as you can imagine. They endured hardships willingly that would have sent the modern sluts, such as Sandra Fluke, crying to a Congressional sub-committee for relief.

        That is, “female” has been redefined by feminism itself, asserting that women are just as good as men, but at the same time treating them as if they were so fragile that they can’t possibly take care of their own birth control or handle a situation where some guy has a girly calendar on his desk. And, of course, all this is simply a means to intimidate and emasculate men.

        And so when I say that this is the age of the ascendency of the female, I’m also talking about the girly-man. I caught a jolting whiff of this in, of all places, a sporting event. I was watching highlights of the Tour de France last Sunday and they were interviewing two different riders who had had a minor spill that knocked them out of contention. Both cried during the interview.

        And I thought, “Good god, is this what we are coming to?” And indeed it is. The John Wayne type of man has been replaced by the “sensitive” man…one who acts like a girl. And this is what they learn is expected of them. And one can argue whether or not this has been good for women. But it’s eating out the core of manhood. And without manhood, there is no way to safeguard the impulse for freedom.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          It’s always good to point out the contradiction between the “women are the same as men” claim and the demand for men to act more like women, just as it’s always good to point out the contradiction between “women are as good as men” and the demand for different standards. (The Department of Injustice is suing the Pennsylvania State Police for holding women to the same physical standards as men.)

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            What can one say, my good man, but “Welcome to the Brave New World”?

            • Timothy Lane says:

              It wouldn’t be quite so bad if the Brave New World didn’t so closely resemble Orwell’s nightmare rather than Huxley’s. And if they could, it might even look like Zamyatin’s We (which is why I refer to goodthinkful well-doers, mixing terms from the Orwell and Zamyatin).

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    To be precise, modern liberalism regards toleration of deviant behavior (as long as the deviance isn’t politically incorrect) as its touchstone. Since this toleration is judged by the deviants, who understandably want approval rather than mere toleration, this leads to a rejection of “intolerance” — i.e., political heterodoxy on moral issues. But the Left naturally reacts this way anyway, particularly because of their inherently totalitarian mindset, partly because it saves them the trouble of having to win arguments (which is difficult to do when your ideology rejects reality, as happens with what amounts to a non-transcendant religion).

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