Sunday, December 12, 2004

Intolerance Again

Over the past several months, I have heard numerous references to the intolerance of the left. This has puzzled me overall because I am an active progressive and I don't hear much intolerant talk from my side of the fence. I do hear a lot of anger, which I feel is rational and reasonable. It is part of the greiving process. I also have heard an assumption that every red voter is stupid; this was best illustrated by the email that purported to show the average i.q. by state and the blues were all on top. I have not bothered to check, but I assume this is a work of political fiction and wishful thinking.

I have seen quotes taken out of context (in one case I heard the original quote on the radio before I heard the distortion) to make those of us on the progressive side sound intolerant. But unless there is a huge undercurrent in the progressive movement that I have not yet encountered, I have to assume that this intolerant left meme from the extremist conservatives trying to smear progressives with a broad brush.

I did get this comment on an entry in my blog:
Actually the Democratic party in this country is more closely alligned with the Nazi Party of Hitler in Germany. Let's look at this. Hitler came to power by uniting the workers, poor, academic elites, and the unemployed to oppose the conservative government that was in control. Hitler was for government control of health care, industry, transportation, and almost all other economic activity in the country. In 1935 Hitler said "This year will go down in history, for the first time a country has full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future." Sure enough, when Ted Kennedy was working on the Gun Control Act of 1968, he requested the National Archives for a copy of Hitler's legislation.
Nazis supported euthanasia. Do the Republicans or Dems support that? Democrats in America have nothing but hatred and contempt for Christians. The national religion of Nazi Germany was pagan animism. Hitler condemned christians as "right wing fanatics".

That pretty much speaks for itself.

I find it interesting that progressives are called intolerant without any evidence being cited to support this, but extremist conservatives get to say some truly breathtaking things. For example, I was recently accused of Not Supporting the Troops because I questioned the validity of the war.

Let's have a quick look at how extremist conservatives go about supporting the troops when they dare to ask for armored Humvees with the encouragement of a reporter:
The duped soldier should be put at the very front of the action, no armor. The cooperating sergeant's career should be over and maybe become MIA. Pitts and all his cronies should be executed as traitors. We are fighting a war, the debate is over, you’re either for us or against us, there is no middle ground. I say start executing the leftists in our country, soon. Editor and Publisher: Pitts and the Pendulum

Again, it speaks for itself. I learned of this via Eschaton.

Me personally, yeah, I am intolerant. I am judgemental. I'm not proud of it, and I am working to change it. But I won't pretend that I'm innocent of this. I get angry and I think I am right and then I go and do and say things I regret and that I must make amends for. Pride kills me. I get convinced I am right, and off I go. I don't serve the debate well when I do this. So I try to learn from those mistakes and not do it again. It is a slow process though. It doesn't help when I encounter garbage like this from the extremist conservatives.