Recently, I have been pondering the concept of intolerance.
According to Dictionary.com, the word intolerant is defined as follows: “not tolerating or respecting beliefs, opinions, usages, manners, etc., different from one’s own, as in political or religious matters; bigoted.”
As this definition demonstrates, anyone in their right mind should consider intolerance to be a negative characteristic. And indeed, ever since I was in preschool, it has been a universally agreed-upon fact that being intolerant is a bad thing. It is treated as obvious and non-controversial that everyone should strive to be tolerant of others.
However, in the past year, I have noticed a disturbing trend. It is becoming common for people to openly and shamelessly admit that they are intolerant. On several occasions, while arguing with various people on social media, I have pointed out that their views on vaccine mandates, statue destruction, or gun control are intolerant. Instead of denying that this is the case, they have responded by saying something to the effect of, “Yes, I am intolerant of you.”
As if being intolerant of someone different than you is perfectly fine. As if intolerance is a good thing. As if intolerance is something to be proud of.
The tone of these individuals makes it clear that they are not acknowledging a flaw that they need to work on, but rather denying that being intolerant is even a flaw at all.
The past two years have been marked by the disturbing rise of an authoritarian and, yes, intolerant brand of progressive ideology. Proponents of this ideology have claimed to be inclusive and tolerant, while their words, actions, and policy positions demonstrate that they are in reality the exact opposite of this. But now, even more disturbingly, some proponents of this ideology have given up even the pretense of tolerance.
Barring people from public life because they have declined a medical procedure. Smashing other cultures’ works of art to pieces with sledgehammers. Desecrating the graves of long-dead soldiers who were on the losing side of a war 150 years ago. Taunting and insulting supporters of a candidate who narrowly lost an election. Ridiculing those who disagree with you. Censoring dissenting views.
Actions like these epitomize intolerance, and this is why they are so morally repugnant.
At least some of the perpetrators of these actions now realize that they are behaving in an intolerant manner. But instead of changing their views, and/or trying to work on this character flaw, they deny that being intolerant is a bad thing at all. Proponents of authoritarian progressivism do not share even the most basic moral beliefs held by morally decent people. The decision to openly embrace intolerance demonstrates the complete and utter moral bankruptcy of this ideology.