When tolerance becomes intolerance

When tolerance becomes intolerance

Dewey Mullis

Political discourse, often including opinion writing, naturally has polarizing attributes that can place senders and receivers on opposing ends of an ideological spectrum.

Admittedly, the difficulty sometimes lies within presenting a perspective that is well-researched and exhibits an awareness that other views exist on the same grounds. It is easy to get carried away.

Though liberal-leaning myself, I am disappointed in the evolution of tolerance that has long been embraced by the left in the debates regarding social issues. What used to be a driving force for equality has become a tool to push opposition to the margins of the discussion.

When Phil Robertson, patriarch of the “Duck Dynasty” television show, openly claimed to misunderstand why people would want to engage in homosexual behavior, the left immediately called for his firing. To no avail, Robertson remained a prominent figure and the show went on.

But in recent weeks the push for “tolerance” has not fared well for the minority viewpoint.
Following fervent pushback from prominent liberal groups, former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigned just days after his appointment. The hostility toward Eich was in response to his support of the California ban on same-sex marriage, according to ABC.

And after a seven-year battle in the courts, Mike Adams, a professor at UNC-Wilmington, emerged the victor following his claim that UNCW had denied his promotion based on his political views, according to WWAY. A federal judge ruled that UNCW discriminated against Adams, an openly conservative Christian, and ordered the university to promote him and provide compensation in the amount of $50,000 for lost wages.

What we are seeing here is a political discrimination that should be viewed as contradictory to the values expressed by the very definition of liberal. The goal should not be to change the individual, but should be to change the way we view pressing and polarizing matters.

There must be an acceptance of differing opinions that equals the respect applied to mutual perspectives.

In order to maintain reasonable standing in political discourse, the liberal left has to be accepting of the fact that people are not always going to change their minds. We can’t get carried away.

Dewey Mullis, a junior criminal justice major from Wallburg, is an opinion writer.