According to Merriam Webster, tolerance is defined as “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.” With this in mind, please have a look at an excellent video from Prager University called “Do you have any Republican friends?” The young interviewer asks this simple question to people in the very heart of New York City. The answers are disturbing but sadly, not surprising. Here’s the link.
Clearly, these people have had no contact with conservatives. They have heard only one side of the national argument, and it isn’t ours. They think we’re racist and intolerant. Based on what? They have no idea how we think or see the world, and worse, they’re incurious, having no desire to know us, what we think, or why we think it.
The woman who said Republicans are always telling people no, telling them what to do, and won’t let people live their lives obviously has it 180 degrees wrong. We’re not the regulators, the Democrats are – and I’ll bet she votes Democrat. What blows me away is that she lives in the most regulated, highest-tax locale in the country, dominated by Democrats, and yet she doesn’t seem to notice or care. But what is most disturbing is the contempt for our side.
Preceding contempt is dripping arrogance. In the stark absence of any real substantive knowledge, these people know that they are right, and that they are better. We are left with the label of bigot – the worst blight of all. When people see their political opponents through a lens of contempt, dehumanization follows, and that is a very dangerous turn indeed.
Watch the video and decide for yourself. But I advise caution. Let’s remain hopeful but realistic. Let’s not be like the people in this video. Try not judge the whole by this very sad sample.
Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.