Conservatives be it the politically right leaning or the religiously inclined are most often branded as intolerant while many liberals have accustomed to think of themselves as tolerant – although in all honesty that seems not the case. Why does one say that ?
Most social or political or religious conservatives as well as their respective liberal counterparts, both on a closer examination reveal their own set of intolerances. Using the reproaches of political correctness, shaming, slandering, mobbing, fear mongering, censorship and a plethora of propaganda tools either sides oppress and invalidate contrarian intellectual narratives/arguments and alternate perspectives in equal measure. While liberals and leftists might like to think of themselves as more open-minded, they are infact no more tolerant of “the other” than their conservative or right-wing counterparts. Recent research in psychological prejudice demonstrate that simple binaries such as an “angelic” liberal and the “evil” conservative that we so often find in our society are in reality inaccurate pseudo-intellectual constructs. The study findings (Brandt MJ. Psychol Sci. 2017 ) confirm that conservatives, liberals, the religious and the non-religious are all each more or less equally prejudiced against those with opposing views !!! . In essence, most liberals (me included), atheists or leftists are no different in the attitude-problems they tend to share with their conservative brethren – hostility to contrarian views, portraying “the other” as dumb and hostile, and above all an attitude of self-righteousness that one´s camp is morally, intellectually or politically superior over one´s opponent.
It appears that irrespective of whether one is liberal or conservative, left or right leaning politically, religious or an atheist, we simply seem to be incapable of considering a narrative with which we disagree. The less obvious truth is – righteousness or virtousity is not a monopoly of any one of us and listening to contrarian views can teach us all a tad of something. And NO – the end does not justify the means either – that is simply an argument we use to justify our own hostility and aggressive posturing.