The concept of tolerance is out of control. Tolerance as a value has taken on an unparalleled status as the “end all” for any discussion. I can’t count how many times impassioned nit wits try to decisively end an argument with me by declaring me intolerant.
These arguments are generally political battles aimed at social issues. When my viewpoint doesn’t coincide with the “enlightened,” liberal drivel I am quickly chastised as a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, bad, bad, BAD, boy! This drives me nuts, and I quickly lose any regard for intellectual decorum once they do this. I end up wrecking my case as I lambaste these think-phobic reactionaries with derision and wholly insensitive insults aimed at antagonizing them. Unfortunately for me, I end up allowing them to prove their point (at least in their oxygen deprived minds). I can’t help it, it’s funny shit watching peaceful, neo-hippies get all huffy. 🙂
Back to my point. The problem with accusing somebody of intolerance as a means of winning an argument, of course, is that one has to lack tolerance for the other person’s viewpoint. But to be tolerant, one must have a fair, objective, and permissive attitude towards opposing opinions!
I, on the other hand, am not so sure blind tolerance is the way to go. People should have an opinion of what’s right and what’s wrong. If we were a world of politically correct fence sitters, none of the great liberal causes like the Civil Rights Movement would have happened! Hell, we’d probably still have slavery!
I’m on board with equality and justice for all regardless of ethnicity, demographics, etc. I am not, however, on board with the idea that all: thoughts, morals, cultures, and laws are created equal. Neither should you! We don’t need more fence sitters afraid of rocking the boat. We need more extremists from both sides! Just don’t claim to be tolerant when you know damn well you are not.
“Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.”