…and discovers that it isn’t the right that’s full of intolerant, hate-filled bigots.
Someone on Twitter cited my migration to Hillsdale as an example of following an ideology to my own peril. I think just the opposite happened; I rejected an ideology and it set me free. When I stopped being scared to say what I really thought and surrounded myself with people who put their principles into practice, I was able to begin really thinking for myself.
To be clear, she’s still a liberal (for the moment) but discovered that, unlike the liberal university she attended before the Chinese Virus hit, at a staunchly right wing university, not only was she not subjected to Kung Flu Mania, but she was able to express her opinions freely, even when she was at odds with the professor and fellow students.
Interestingly, back in the stone age, when I was taking college classes, I experienced the same thing from the other direction. Back then I had no idea of (nor cared about) the political leanings of most of my professors, but I had one militantly feminist English Lit professor with whom I strongly disagreed and wasn’t shy about sharing my opinions; we had many very…um…high energy…discussions in class, but I was never shouted down, called names or even had my grades suffer over it. In fact after giving me the A for the class that I’d earned, she told me that I should become an English teacher.
Oh how times have changed.
At any rate…I was going to reply to the commenter who said:
“But often, religiosity in this country aligns with policies that I could never endorse, including banning or severely limiting access to abortion, opposition to gun control and universal health care, and climate change denial.”
But I didn’t feel like subscribing for the privilege of engaging in conversation so I’ll say it here:
I agree with every position he voiced opposition to above, even though he confuses “health care” with health insurance and caricaturizes the right’s position on global warming*; but where the difference between the right and the left becomes clear is the fact that no one on the right tries to prevent him from expressing those positions. No one accuses him of being morally inferior or calls him names just because he holds beliefs and opinions that we feel are incorrect. Heck, many of us, myself included, dedicated significant portions of our lives in the military, pledging our very lives in the defense of his right to express opinions that we think are incorrect, morally wrong or even evil.
The left is right that there is plenty of hate, and intolerance and institutional bigotry in this country, but it’s not coming from the right – as any leftist who wanders outside their bubble and stumbles into an enclave of right wing thought will discover.
Basing your opinions of “the other side” on a caricature is usually not the most effective means of gaining true understanding about them.
*For any leftist who might stumble across this: There is no significant number (there are always a few nutballs in every demographic) of people on the right who deny that climate change is happening. That would be silly…climate change has been happening since God created the earth. The climate is constantly changing. Most of us even agree that human activity is having an impact on the climate. The only thing that we deny is that “the science is settled” about how much impact humans are having, whether the changes in climate are going to result in disaster, and whether the “solutions” proposed by the left will be effective or are just expensive boondoggles that will do more harm than good. Screaming “DENIER!!!!!111!!!” at us neither negates our arguments, nor convinces us to change our minds.