Here’s another example of “tolerance” from our oh-so-tolerant friends on the left:

A Philadelphia high schooler says she was humiliated after her teacher told her to remove a Mitt Romney T-shirt she was wearing, comparing it to “wearing a KKK shirt.”

Samantha Pawlucy, a 16-year-old sophomore at Charles Carroll High School in the Port Richmond section of the city, says she wore a pink Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan T-shirt last Friday during the school’s dress-down day.

No one made an issue of Samantha’s political T-shirt until she got to geometry class.

“The teacher told me to get out of the classroom, I said no,” Samantha said.

“She told me to take off my shirt and said that she has another one if I need one. And then the teacher asked me… ‘Are your parents Republican?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ She said that’s like her wearing a KKK shirt.”

So remember, folks, when our friends on the left talk about “tolerance,” they mean they’re willing to tolerate white liberals, black liberals, Hispanic liberals, Asian liberals, religious liberals, atheist liberals, male liberals, female liberals and transgendered liberals.  They tolerate all points of views that match theirs.

Romney = KKK … my friend Paul would approve of the rhetorical technique.


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28 Responses to “Tolerance”
  1. Ulrik says:

    Wow, that’s really intolerant, I agree, but please don’t think everybody “on the left” is that intolerant! Please, we’re individuals too, and you shouldn’t lump us all together like that. You and I both know that there’s plenty of intolerance among right-leaning folks as well, and I presume you wouldn’t want to be lumped together with the worst of them either.

    I don’t believe everyone on the left is intolerant, but it seems that pretty much every time we hear about some teacher or college professor bullying a student (or another professor) over political beliefs, it’s a liberal doing the bullying. (The documentary “Indoctrinate U” did a bang-up job of covering that topic.)

    When I was still attending writers workshops and acting in plays and going to parties in Los Angeles, I saw leftist intolerance up close and personal all the time. If you weren’t a leftist, you couldn’t possibly just be someone with a different view of government’s proper role in society … nope, you must be an awful, evil person. The one time I made the mistake of responding to some blathering idiot at a party, it turned into a 10-on-1 debate. They were looking at me in disbelief, as if I had three heads. One of the leftists actually said, “I can’t believe you think this way. You seem like a nice guy.” (Anyone who doesn’t believe in big government and high taxes can’t possibly be nice, ya see.)

    Later another guy at the party sidled up and quietly thanked me for defending his beliefs. I asked why he didn’t join in on my side. The answer: “I work with these people. If they knew I’m a conservative, they’d never hire me again.”

    • Ulrik says:

      Interesting observation about Hollywood! My guess would be that they’re more of the authoritarian lefty variety there, since they’re so dependent on the State for their livelihood (subsidies and the copyright monopoly benefit them a lot).

      It would be interesting to see some actual studies about political orientation and tolerance, instead of just anecdotal evidence. I thought Jonathan Haidt would have something on this, but I couldn’t find it now.

      But I do think there’s something to your observation, and I guess it’s nothing new when I remember how Tom Lehrer highlighted this issue in his introduction to National Brotherhood Week: “I’m sure we all agree that we ought to love one another, and I know there are people in the world who do not love their fellow human beings, and I hate people like that!”

      One thing that strikes me though is that it could be more of a libertarian/authoritarian sort of thing, with libertarians (left and right) being more tolerant than authoritarians (left and right). What do you think?

      It seems to me (though I don’t have any evidence for it), that authoritarianism is growing on the left, while libertarianism is growing on the right. As a left-libertarian, I’m puzzled at how quickly the left has taking to supporting authoritarian issues like the war on terror, the Patriot Act, big bank bailouts, etc., just because their guy is president, even though before he was elected his promises pointed the other way!

      Although I wish more people on the left were more libertarian, I am pleased that libertarianism is growing on the right. I only worry that the Republican Party and big State-supported businesses are co-opting the libertarian movement, paying lip service to freedom, but in reality promoting Statism, privilege and corporate welfare.

      I haven’t heard of any actual studies, and I’d be suspicious of any that were produced.

      It is more of a libertarian/authoritarian sort of thing, yes. When I was a kid, the left-liberals of the Sixties generation prided themselves on being anti-establishment, anti-authority, etc. Now they’re the ones who love authority. What the hell happened there?

      • TonyNZ says:

        That’s why occupy Wall Street made me laugh. And I wasn’t even born in the 60′s. Or the 70′s.

        If they were engaging in rational thought instead of that annoying urge among the young-and-stupid to get out and PROTEST AGAINST SOMETHING, they’d be occupying the capitol building, not Wall Street.

        • Ulrik says:

          And what exactly is the difference between Wall Street, K Street and Capitol Hill? It’s the same gang of thieves swapping places with each other, while robbing the rest of the world. Unfortunately, most of the OWS crowd don’t get that to the full extent. So we should teach them! We need more people to understand that poverty and inequality is manufactured by the government-financial-military-industrial complex. I applaud the anti-authoritarian aspects of OWS, but I fear they may soon be co-opted by the Democrats, just like the Tea party was co-opted by the Republicans, and just like much of the libertarian movement was co-opted by the Kochtopus decades ago.

          I’m not sure the OWS crowd is even anti-authority. They seem more anti-capitalism than anything. A freedom-loving crowd wouldn’t be calling for 70% tax rates.

  2. Reeda says:

    I really do think that intolerance appears on the right and on the left. For me, this incident says more about teachers than liberals. The relative anonymity of the Internet allows me to say what I’ve been thinking about teachers for several years now (I have two kids in high school): a significant minority of teachers are power-hungry, entitled bullies who got into teaching because it was an opportunity to get paid to smush kids under their thumbs. I’m sure there have always been teachers like that, but I don’t doubt that the strength of the teachers union has made the problem worse.
    Now, try to say *that* at your next cocktail party! You’ll get verbally pepper-sprayed with “Oh, but teachers work so haaaaaard and get paid nothing!” (Right. All other jobs that exist pay millions and require almost no effort.)

    I think liberals tend to be more emotional, largely because liberalism is based more on emotions than on rationality. Liberals have spent decades convincing themselves that they’re the ones who care about other people while conservatives are selfish and/or evil. All you have to do is watch enough TV or movies to see how rampant that attitude is in Hollywood, for example. By contrast, the conservatives I know don’t view most liberals as evil. They see them as well-meaning but ignorant about how the world works.

    • Giuseppe Crowe says:

      The liberal/emotional vs. conservative/rational dichotomy is a false one from top to bottom. Let’s face the facts, shall we? Intolerant and bigoted folks of all stripes exist and emotional rhetoric of the types you associate with “liberals” exists in spades with “conservatives”. Just observe peoples’ reactions when one is discussing U.S. foreign policy and wars against . Attempts at rational discourse are met with platitudes like “if you are not with us, you are with the terrorists” and similar non-sensical, emotionally derived drivel. So, let’s drop the labels and deal with actual issues. For me, while the Romney/Ryan camp argues about ginned up unemployment numbers and the Obama/Lieberman camp struts around claiming to have positively effected unemployment, everybody ignores the 800 pound gorilla in the room……the U.S. federal government must stop spending without end and that essentially means that military expenditures must be drastically reduced. Unless that happens, all these exchanges amount to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

      That’s why I don’t agree with those who say this is the most important election ever. I think in this election, we’re voting for who’s going to drive a bus that’s already gone off the edge of a cliff. We just haven’t felt the crash yet. Once we pile up $16 trillion in debt with another $50 trillion or so in unfunded future liabilities, there are only a couple of possible paths, and neither will be pretty.

      Obama’s running mate is Joe Biden. Lieberman was Gore’s.

      • Giuseppe Crowe says:

        Yeah, forgive the brainfart on Liberman/Biden. As to the $16 trillion debt, that figure too is fudged. The actual figure including unfunded mandates is more like $222 trillion….a sum that will never be repaid. A collapse of the financial system is inevitable. There’s simply no way it cannot happen. What comes afterwards should be interesting. I agree with you that this election is merely window dressing…..from a basic philosophical standpoint I cannot tell any real difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Further, all of those people who think Ryan is a fiscal conservative seem blind to the details of his plans. Ryan talks about balancing the budget in thirty years……derp. Where have we heard that kind of lie before? This is not a left vs. right thing…it’s a giant, corrupt government vs. individual freedom thing. (and included in the giant, corrupt government are all the entities that use the power of government to give them any advantage in the marketplace). Sorry if I’m coming across as vicious, but this is some serious juju that’s coming down and I’m quite angry.

        I share your anger. I believe that thanks to the debts piled up by generations of irresponsible politicians (and the voters who put them in office), the odds are better than 50/50 that my girls will spend a chunk of their young lives living through another Great Depression.

        • TonyNZ says:

          “A collapse of the financial system is inevitable. There’s simply no way it cannot happen. What comes afterwards should be interesting.”

          That is such an academic thing to say. Some days I think like that. Other days I wonder whether I should start hoarding guns and ammunition.

          I know some perfectly rational (one could say “academic”) people who are doing exactly that.

          • Giuseppe Crowe says:

            It’s not academic. Look at the numbers, plug them into an Excel (or alternative) spreadsheet and run the projections. The U.S. government cannot and never will be able to pay off the mandated programs that it has started. As to holding guns and ammunition, well that’s part of a rational equation for self-protection, at least from the predators one can easily control. Food independence is another way to go as well as ditching the lifestyles that governments have promulgated as being healthy. OTOH, what comes after the collapse of central planning of the USSA could actually be a breath of fresh air. As always, OALA, EHOATAS and YMMV.

          • Bret says:

            Exactly. When the financial system collapses, we will have absolutely nothing but our survival skills. Food, shelter, weapons. And we will have to create local barter systems whereby we can share our skills, because not everyone can be an expert at all of those things. In fact, the way things are going now, the overwhelming majority of civilized people will not even have a scant trace of skills to contribute to those basic needs. Those people will have little chance of survival in such a condition.

            I’m one of them. Discussions like these make me realize I had better develop some of those skills, or else my family and I are screwed when the inevitable happens. My life’s work (to my existing 28 years at least) of being an airplane pilot will be absolutely worthless after a nationwide or worldwide economic collapse. I doubt the survivalist atmosphere will provide for a welfare system (not that I would use it if it did, because then I would be the biggest hypocrite that ever lived).

            If there is a collapse, I’m afraid we’ll see much more violence than occurred during the Great Depression. When the Great Depression struck, we didn’t have generations of Americans conditioned to believe the government is supposed to take care of them. Now we do, and when government can’t take care of them, there will be hell to pay.

          • TonyNZ says:

            The academic comment was not meant in a derogatory manner. I just saw the use of the word interesting as being kind of like a biology scientist staring down the throat of the lion that is about to eat them and commenting that its teeth were “interesting”. Kind of describes me sometimes. I also never thought that my wanting to hoard guns and ammo was irrational.

  3. Becky says:

    I agree with you that there is an intolerance on the left side (not saying that it’s not there on the right, either) I recently commented on a Facebook post about Betty White and ended up arguing with three different people (two of whom I’ve never met and two of whom were men) about how my vote for Romney is regarding his economic vision for this country and that I continue to care about Women’s rights despite that fact. I’m just under the assumption that women’s rights concern more than reproduction. Silly me, apparently that’s all I should care about. They just assume that they’re right and I’m A) evil B)ignorant or C) racist. Maybe all 3

    Only someone thinking emotionally instead of rationally could believe that being against forcing insurers to pay for birth control is the same as taking away a woman’s right to use birth control. By that logic, my freedom of speech has been violated since no one is being forced to subsidize my writing.

  4. eddie watts says:

    before i read your blog i never noticed this difference between liberals and conservatives.
    i suppose it’s because i’m from england and the labour/conservative split is not as dramatic.
    (US conservatives are also republicans with the whole religious right behind them i think? religion is not really broadcasted as much in uk elections at all, no politician makes religion part of the election although i’m not sure if any come out as being atheist either)
    so i don’t necessarily think it’s all about political policies, but the attachments that come with the party even if the individual does not believe all of the stuff the party seems to be for.

    but the liberal=emotional is definitely true i have a rabid liberal friend and whenever she goes on one i point out the flaws in her thinking and recently was branded a homophobe inadvertantly by her, which amused me no end.

    looking forward to the next “debate with leftist friend” update too :D

    There are different brands of conservatives. Some are members of the religious right, some are small-government libertarians, some are military hawks, some are a mix.

    • eddie watts says:

      i should probably amend no serious politician. we have the christian party and no doubt some other religious groups too, but they’ll never get in any time soon.

  5. Babs says:

    Hi Tom. You otta try being a faithful Catholic if you want to witness “tolerance” – amazing that even simply christianity (yes small c) can barely be tolerated anymore. DH and I find we’re getting quieter and quieter at gatherings of all kinds because there are so many subjects where our opinions are marginalized. Your comment “I can’t believe you think that” is so true!

    It’s also boring when everyone things and speaks the same drivel no? Like being the only one at a party who doesn’t drink!!!!!

    There’s a strident anti-religious attitude in Hollywood, certainly. I remember watching a TV show with my wife, and in the opening scene, a guy was praying to Jesus. I turned to her and said, “Within 10 minutes, this guy will turn out to be a hypocrite, a buffoon, or a killer.” In this case, it was killer … and a serial killer at that.

    • It’s a little hard to take someone’s ideas seriously when their justification for it is based on faith and even they cheerfully admit that faith means they have no actual reason for what they believe.

      You can argue with someone who’s trying to use reason and doing it badly. If someone asserts an arbitrary faith in anything, all you can say is “that’s nice” and act like they said nothing. Because that’s exactly what they’ve contributed to the intellectual discussion–nothing. You might as well have come up and said “but I like chocolate!” as though your personal taste meant diddly squat.

      I’ve seen these discussions where christians whine and complain that they’re being marginalized, and it’s always because they’ve said something totally vapid and meaningless. If you want to take part in intellectual discussions, you need to stop mouthing *opinions* and start giving the reasons why you have those opinions. “Jesus said so” isn’t a reason any more than “my underwear drawer said so”. If you want to say, “I agree with Jesus because . . .” that’s different.

      I don’t think the regular portrayal of religious people is anti-religion exactly, it’s just that religion is an easy target for this kind of thing. Many, many people nowadays can only think in terms of polemics–they can’t prove or argue in favor of anything, they only know crude ways of poking holes in things. And there’s no such thing as a well-reasoned, logically consistent religion. It’s an easy target for lazy thinkers whose idea of original thought consists of pointing out that “love thy neighbor” and “youi’re going to hell” don’t *exactly* match up. And you don’t get much lazier than Hollywood. Heck, half the time they don’t even bother trying to put a coat of fresh paint on their tired old material.

      I’m not religious, but I’m not anti-religion either. I respect people who have religious faith but understand that’s what it is — faith, not science. What bugs me about Hollywood is the constant portrayal of one group — Christians — as buffoons, hypocrites, murderers, etc. I have several Christian friends who are deeply religious and not one of them is a buffoon or hypocrite, nor have any of them tried to convert me. They accept that I’m not religious, just as I accept that they are religious.

      While Hollywood is busy portraying Christians as hypocrites, Hollywood itself is stunningly hypocritical on the subject of religion. If anyone dared portray Jews as buffoons, hypocrites and murderers in a film or TV show, heads would roll. Look at what happened to Mel Gibson when he made drunken remarks about Jews not even intended for public consumption. Meanwhile, around the same time, Bill Maher declared to his national audience that 80% of all Christians are hypocrites. Nothing happened to him.

      • Erm, actually Hollywood is remarkably consistent in that regard–they’re not anti-religion. They’re anti-”majority”.

        Also, keep in mind that depending on what religious sect your friends belong to, failure to attempt to convert you IS hypocrisy. I have a friend who is nominally a Jehovah’s Witness. He’s married to a Catholic. Good for him, he’s open-minded (I guess). But he’s also a hypocrite because if he was serious about the religion he claims to have, he would NEVER have married a Catholic.

        If you’re going to cherry-pick only SOME of the beliefs of a given religion, you’re a also hypocrite if you call yourself a member of that religion. You may believe deeply, sure, but you’re *not* consistent with that religion. You may be *internally* consistent, in which case your best option is probably to make up a new name for whatever it is you believe. Otherwise your religion will get you coming AND going.

        Of course, I grant you with some people religion just seems to be a machinery for manufacturing guilt, so maybe they like it that way.

        Yeah, I’ve wondered why the Catholics who use birth control still consider themselves Catholics.

        • TonyNZ says:

          Some people just don’t think critically about it. I one heard someone asked why they said they weren’t catholic even though they followed Jesus and a christian god. They simply replied “could you belong to a church if the head of that church says that what you do everyday will send you to hell?”

          Interesting thing was, this was one biotechnologist talking to another biotechnologist.

  6. Elenor says:

    “They see them as well-meaning but ignorant about how the world works. ”

    Brilliant, Tom! Beautifully put!

    (You don’t have to post the rest, if you don’t want to open a can o’ worms… I’m just braggin’ I guess… Or looking for a warmer audience.)

    I just answered a liberal on John Durant’s blog (“On the NYC ban on big sugary drinks”) who thinks I’m a republican nut because I support gun ownership. Waste of time, I know… but it seemed like fun while I was doing it. (Just felt like slapping a liberal. {eye roll})

    I had written (about Bloomberg banning large sugary drinks):
    (quoting Durant:) “There are certain fundamental rights, like owning a firearm, that American cities should not be able to ban.”

    Ah but — if you let him/them do it to one object (that they should not be able to control / ban), then they WILL do it to other objects. I disagree strongly with: it’s okay if they ban drinks, but not guns. What’s the difference? Hell, they’ve already registered the guns — they’re not going to be able to confiscate larger cups, but guns?! Sure. And they WILL make the (wrong, but emotionally powerful) case (because they already do) that guns cause more harm than sodas.

    I like your “voice and exit” concept — but I don’t think it’s sufficient, or maybe even do-able.

    The brainwashing that has made so many people (and the majority in NYC) anti-gun will not allow for a reasonable ‘voice’ in the next decision to ban guns. (Beyond, of course, that NYC has, for all intents and purposes already banned guns!) (And how does “exit” fit with that poor dying document, the Constitution?)

    It’s not even a slippery slope: it’s the old: when they came for the sodas, I wasn’t a soda drinker, so I said nothing…. Then they came for raw milk (already illegal in GA, where I am) and I didn’t drink milk, so I said nothing… EITHER the govt can ban stuff at their whim, or they can’t. There’s no halfway!

    This fellow wrote (oh, maybe he meant Durant… his message followed my message):
    Oh my god, I cant believe I actually thought u were a good guy once. But from what I read about your ideas on gun control, you seem like a republican nut! You’d rather the right to bear arms remains than all the lives that could be spared by not allowing guns.

    I answered him:
    You betcha! Your “not allowing guns” just means only the criminals have them — and ALL the rest of us become victims (instead of just those folks who wish to pretend the cops can come when needed)! “All the lives that could be spared” won’t be spared! Are you even aware that the vast majority of “child gun deaths” are young males between the ages of 14 and 24 (a 24-yr-old child?! but that’s how they record it) — and nearly all of them are involved in drugs and gang warfare?! (Dyah think outlawing my guns will stop them?! I guess you do.)

    How many of those lives do you think will be “spared” if MY guns are taken away? And why should MY safety be jeopardized because you hate guns? The Supreme Court has ruled that the police haved NO legal duty to any single person to protect them from violence. (Police are mostly a mop-up squad, a report-taking squad, an investigation squad — for AFTER the crime occurs! And nowadays, they’re mostly the enforcers of a police state!) Do you truly feel safe relying on people who have no stake WHATSOEVER in your protection or — more important — the protection of your wife and children?

    And a Republican?!? You make me laugh. They’re just as complete sell-outs as the Democrats! No, I’m something much more terrifying (to you, apparently, anyway): I’m a far, far right (totally non-religious) reactionary! I believe I cannot and should rely on “powers” whose interests either aren’t mine or run contrary to mine. To be a successful politician in this society, you have to be a pathological liar, willing to do anything to get elected — and so they are! Their interests do not align with mine, and I don’t expect them to. And if you think they align with yours? Well… good luck with that.

    Still, there’s no point in trying to convince the uneducated. You believe whatever you choose to believe about the “horror” of guns, and keep your child-like innocence about the world. If you think owning a gun makes me likely to go out and commit mayhem — or anyone ELSE who isn’t already predisposed to commit mayhem — then you’re … well, child-like will have to do. I don’t mean to particularly insult you… but adult knowledge requires adult decisions. The decision to defend yourself and your family — and not to rely on people who are fundamentally unreliable — is an adult decision. One which, apparently you’re uninterested in making. (And yes, I’m saying the cops are unreliable — not because I’m saying anything about THEM — but because when you need help within seconds? They’re only minutes (or more!) away!

    Yup, those “child gun deaths” are mostly teenage “children” shooting at each other.

    Whenever the statists want to take away more freedom, their first tactic is to say it’s to protect the children. So using their logic, we should immediately outlaw balloons, marbles and swimming pools, which kill a lot of actual children, not gang-banger “children.”

    • Ulrik says:

      Isn’t it funny, Elenor, that you and I, respectively a far-far right reactionary and a far-far left radical (totally non-violent), probably agree more with one another than the typical right-wing versus left-wing statist?

      (In my dictionary, though, a reactionary is someone defending the status quo and the privilege of the power elite, but I presume you use the word in another sense?)

      Anyway, a friend of Liberty is a friend of me! Gun-violence is fueled by the government’s war on drugs, on government-granted monopolies and occupational licensing and regulations, that keep people in poverty by keeping them from making a living. Oh, and a total lack of mental health-care (government mental health-care is of course disastrous as described by Thomas Szasz – it needs to be provided by charities on a voluntary basis, and absent the war on drugs the problem would be much more managable.)

      I’m totally with you on the “War on Drugs” nonsense. You’d think we would have learned our lesson after Prohibition.

    • TonyNZ says:

      If you want to outlaw anything that someone can use to intentionally inflict harm on another, better outlaw knives, cars, glass, baseball bats, garden rakes, matches, electricity, rocks…

      This list could get pretty inexhaustible.

      By the way, on a farm you really should have a firearm handy. If an animal is dying you can either shoot it or let it suffer. And if the vegetarians take issue with this; in the wild, the animals only choice is to suffer.

      I’m armed. I feel an obligation to protect our animals from predators if need be.

  7. Bret says:

    Now the girl and her family are dealing with threats. One of them a death threat.

    The 10-to-1 liberal outnumbering was explored interestingly in a doc called Rated R: Republican in Hollywood. Patricia Heaton said on camera that when she told someone at a dinner party that she and her husband had voted for Bush in ’04, the table went quiet and jaws fell agape. As if she had just said, “Hitler was a saint.”

    Giuseppe made some interesting points about political stereotypes, until he succumbed to one himself: pointing to defense spending as a singular or even majority source of budget deficit. Seems to me that when it comes to pinning down sources of government financial problems, conservatives only want to talk about social programs, and liberals only want to talk about defense. Can we not reasonably agree that both elements are completely out of control?

    Lastly, separately, my experience is that anyone with an obvious partisan allegiance, regardless of which party, is typically guilty of letting emotions prevail over facts and logic. Republicans have disappointed me just as often as Democrats. Our 2003 Iraq invasion, for instance, was based as much on emotions as the implementation of any social program, except that instead of pity, class snobbery, and naïveté, the emotions in this case were fear, anger, revenge, and arguably racism. Certainly the basis was not evidence. With politicians of either of the two conventional parties, we can’t ever seem to get benefits without accompanying disasters. Obama started our exit from Iraq but then had to preside over this tragic Obamacare debacle. That’s why libertarian ideals and principles appeal to me so much. All the Libertarians I’ve ever known have ditched the emotions, examined the facts, and concluded that government ought to be based on simple principles: be small; provide national security from credible threats; provide a means of recourse for instances of fraud, harassment, and violence; and otherwise, STAY THE HECK OUT OF PEOPLE’S LIVES. I’ll know it’s time to ditch Libertarianism when it starts endeavoring to save people from themselves and make their personal decisions for them. But I don’t expect that to happen any time soon.

    Interestingly, a fellow comedian once told me libertarians are the most rational, intelligent people he’s met — and that’s why they’ll never win national elections. Most voters (in his opinion) ultimately vote with their hearts, not their brains.

  8. Josh says:

    I was giving an innovation workshop at a high school yesterday and one of the participants stated “I hate muslims”. I took into consideration that I am working in regional Australia and that this is a very complicated subject at this time. I did challenge her as to if she actually knew any muslims personally, which she didn’t, and if she thought that the most vocal muslims covered by the media were the majority of muslims, she said she didn’t know. I could tell she was uncomfortable so I ceased the conversation. I think we can all agree that this was a reasonable response on my behalf, no?

    I grew up in the States with my beloved Grandfather who called himself a libertarian. He was a registered CPA and he never once paid a dime in income tax. He did not evade as he had never volunteered to pay. I’ve listened to many ‘funny’ taped recordings of the times the IRS came to visit him. He was a father to me. He had very strong political beliefs. He had me reading ‘The Iron Curtain Over America’ by John Beaty at 13. Very confronting reading and I’m sorry to say that it does represent the more extreme right; the more extreme conservative. Emerson is more my kind of libertarian. Thankfully my grandfather was a picture of tolerance with respect to rearing me. He did give me prescribed reading but he also encouraged me to think for myself. When he saw that Martin Luther King Jr. was one of my heros he simply stated disappointedly that MLK was a communist. But I also knew from many honest conversations about ‘beasts of the field’ and the like that my grandfather was a racist. And I knew that this was mostly to do with his age and particular context.

    My point is that I loved this man as a father. And I did not rebel against him as he never gave me a reason to. So, I am an individual that sees perverted and gross injustices in un-regulated trade, that has experience in being not just tolerant but empathetic to libertarian ideals. And I’m not a winners and losers kind of guy, unless I know in my heart that I have won fair and square. Am I a lefty?

    I suggest that some ‘lefty’ peoples reactive response, like the misguided teacher in your post, to modern conservatism is to do with the possibility that many loud folks that tote the conservative flag also exhibit racist ideology ( Then we get into the boring semantics of conservatism like maybe these folks are paleoconservative, and that American conservatism is actually a form of liberalism and blah blah blah. I’m certainly not suggesting that you or any other republican voters are racist Tom. Definitely not. But maybe this teacher deals with racist attitudes all of the time and sees a correlation between these attitudes and people that share other conservative ideals. Which is no doubt bad science on her behalf and admittedly her persecution of Mitt Romney is without a doubt unfounded. She played her cards poorly. Just as Sarah Palin has so often played hers poorly.

    Paleo-conservative, neo-liberal, socialist pig… I guess I’m a we’re in this together kind of guy. Not a I want my luxury comfort at the expense of your base level comfort kind of guy? I don’t know if that makes me left or…

    Do you think that we could be on the same side? I’m definitely with you on the issue of cholesterol.

    I am suspicious of your tendency to ridicule the left as depicted in the original post that I’m responding to. In fact you implied that your posting was an emotional response to experiences you had in Hollywood. I take this a step further and I put it to you that you have a tendency to frame these issues as left vs right, as your little debate with your friend suggests. I also see evidence in your little debate that you guys actually see eye to eye on some of the fundamentals like: racism is bad, we should be concerned about our liberty, and there are concentrations of dubious individuals making it bad for the rest of us.

    What I’m trying to say, and I’m sure its been said elsewhere, is that it is not the lefties that are taking our freedom away as it is not reasonable conservatives like yourself, but that we might have a common enemy that revels in our debate, and commits heinous crimes against humanity while we try to out clever each other on the internet. Just like your bewildered comment about the hippies of ’69, I think we all have liberal aims, similar aims and I think we should keep the debate alive, but we should also as well commit far more energy to a bipartisan effort to put some of our values and beliefs to the side and really see that we are in the same boat, we want the best for our children. And then look into who our common enemy might be.

    Instead of “Debate with a Leftist Pal”, where you guys exercise your word-smithing muscles. It is admittedly entertaining. But maybe an effort like:

    “When Reft Meets Light: we seem divided and conquered.”

    Think about it. Who knows, maybe there are insurmountable fundamental differences. But I think its worth a shot.

    Left vs. Right is admittedly painting with a broad brush. In the current political grouping we call Left and Right, some on the right want to restrict freedoms (drugs, pornography) and some on the left want to restrict freedoms (“hate” speech, numerous economic freedoms, guns). As another commenter said, in some cases we’re talking about libertarians vs. statists or authoritarians. However, most of Paul’s beliefs fall neatly into the left-liberal camp. The one glaring exception is that he wants the U.S. to maintain military bases around the world.

    I wouldn’t call my response to my experience in Hollywood an emotional response. It was more of an objective observation that other conservatives or libertarians in Hollywood have also made: the place is dominated by leftists who seem to believe all the smart, creative, cool people must also be leftists and who are shocked to find out someone they like isn’t one them. The depth of the groupthink there is truly stunning. Pay attention when you watch TV and films for awhile, take note of when a character is clearly identified as a conservative or (eeek!) a religious conservative. The odds are about 90% that character will turn out to be a buffoon, hypocrite or murderer.

    I doubt the teacher recently saw some racist statements in a conservative group and therefore was pushed over the edge upon seeing a Romney/Ryan t-shirt on a student. It’s more likely we’re simply looking at a typical public-school, unionized, big-government-loving liberal teacher. The education system is full of them, and the cases of them trying to indoctrinate students would fill a rather large volume. When my wife was taking some college classes in California, a teacher even offered to give them all extra credit toward their final grade if they’d write to the state legislature to support some liberal cause the teacher favored. (The same teacher had taken it upon himself to lecture them on the evils of Reaganomics — in a digital media class.) My wife raised her hand and said, “Excuse me? So we get a better grade if we agree with your politics?”

    • Ulrik says:

      Josh, you said “I am an individual that sees perverted and gross injustices in un-regulated trade”. I hope you’ll consider my alternative viewpoint: that what has been called “free trade” never was, and we’ve yet to see a truly freed market.

      Now, on the one hand, a freed market is not un-regulated: it’s well regulated by the respect for equal liberty (the greatest amount of liberty compatible with equality) and the resulting free and fair competition. On the other hand, government intervention in the market via “regulations” forms the very perversion you object to, and injustices result (what is injustice but deviation from the rule of equal liberty?). There are many perverting government interventions, but foremost is the government control of and monopolization of the money supply, which robs the people of their credit (and their savings during inflations) and insures usurious rents for the banking elite.

      It’s true that some voices on the right often say they want “free trade”, but it turns out they actually mean the theft of land from peasants in the third world, while pushing subsidized crops grown in the US. That is indeed perverted! And don’t even get me started on the slave labor involved on cocoa and coffee plantations and many other places, resulting from government making back-room deals with multinational corporations and turning a blind eye!

      Please see Markets not Capitalism, which is an excellent compilation of essays on how Capitalism (meaning: State-Capitalism, the system we have now and which so many are protesting against) causes injustices that would not occur in a truly freed market. It’s available for free online:

      Regarding “left” and “right”: I see people on the left wanting to steal from the rich to give to the poor, and people on the right wanting to steal from the poor to give to the rich. Whoever believes in Liberty and Justice will steal from no-one! Thus, at the anarchist/libertarian edges, left and right of the political spectrum close up. (And maybe similarly at the authoritarian edge, left and right meets in “steal from everybody and give it to the dictator”?!)

  9. insane grok says:

    its funny that there is more divide between the supporters of the two party system, then the people running the party…

    i find stupid knows no party…and that both sides seem to think less of me for thinking ron paul speaks truth…

    maybe one day i’ll get to see true freedom and property rights…ohh to dream

    The pessimist side of me believes we’re on our way to a major debt-induced crash. The optimist side of me me hopes people realize the crash was caused by a bloated, tax-sucking, over-regulating, over-promising government and that we’ll emerge from the crash with a new commitment to freedom and property rights.

    • Bret says:

      I’ve never been prouder of a politician in my entire life than when Ron Paul said in response to a moderator’s question (I think it was at the 2008 Republican primary debates) that we never should have gotten into the Iraq war–this was after every other other candidate fell all over himself trying to reconcile their party’s position with reality.

      I don’t mention that because I care about the Iraq debacle any more than any other major issue of our times, but just because it was such a stark example of a politician standing up to his peers and rejecting all the b.s. systemic expectations in favor of the truth and the common good. Warms my heart.

      Ron Paul isn’t afraid to take unpopular positions … which is why I respect him, and also why he’ll never win a national election.

  10. TonyNZ says:

    Unrelated, but:


    So observations that fit with Mars’ climate change validate earthly models. Therefore we should listen to all these people that claim that humans are causing it and that humans can change it?

    I hear that the Range Rover market on Mars is really booming.

    Apparently our CO2 is reaching Mars now.

  11. Gerard says:

    Teachers, Academics and people in the arts are predominantly left – this is why you can easily get biggoted stories concerning them. Because if you take enough replicates of people of any political persuasion you will find biggots.

    The conservative students of whom attempted to prevent Michael Moore speaking at a Utah University covered in the movie “This divided state” comes to mind. I don’t like Michael Moore but its not the point – he should be allowed to speak in a free world country.

    Your a really smart guy Tom but this post to me was a bit simplistic. Biggotry and stupidity are found on all sides of politics. I’ve even seen posts on the net suggest that Atheist can’t be *real* Liberterians. Despite the fact that many Liberterians such as Pen and Teller are Atheist.

    I don’t get why you like to slam the left so much. To me I hate the left and right equally but for different reasons.

    There are intolerant people on both sides. But at least in this country, there are far more examples of leftists attempting to stifle speech.

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