by Ross Elder
As my first debunking of 2015 I thought I would approach a subject separate from my usual internet rumor / conspiracy theory vein. No, in this article you won’t be reading about the latest claims to FEMA Camps and Martial Law; no NAZI UFOs or Al Gore’s father killed JFK; not even the police state or the NSA secretly monitoring you through your microwave. I thought I would debunk the most over-used word in the modern American lexicon: Tolerance.
Over the course of the last 50 years, Americans have been encouraged to become more tolerant. The powers that be, as well as virtually every special interest group, have even demanded that we tolerate this or that issue. Tolerate the hippies. Tolerate the drug culture. Tolerate the emergence of Marxism as a part of American society, politics, and higher education. Tolerate other points of view. Tolerate other religions. Tolerate other sexual proclivities. Tolerate, tolerate, tolerate.
When we show anger toward a particular ideology, we are accused of being intolerant. It doesn’t matter if that ideology runs counter to what we perceive to be “The American Way” or what we call American culture. If we don’t tolerate it, we are the bad guy, every time.
The problem is that tolerance is not a solution to conflict. Tolerance is not a winning strategy. Tolerance simply means putting up with something you don’t like. Just keep your mouth shut about it and bingo, you are tolerant. Unfortunately, this mentality is being drilled in to the minds of our younger generations. It has gotten so bad that I wonder, if we could travel through time, would some government entity promote the idea of tolerance toward the Nazis. Hey, it’s just a different point of view, after all. How dare we propose to judge it?
If you walk up to me every day and punch me in the face, and I don’t respond, I am tolerant. That doesn’t make you right. It only means I am willing to tolerate it. If something is so distasteful that you have to learn to tolerate it, perhaps it isn’t you who is the problem. I can tolerate something without liking it. I can certainly tolerate something without accepting it as valid. We tolerate a corrupt government and a corrupt judicial system every day. That doesn’t mean we accept it or approve of it. It simply means we have no control over it any longer.
Tolerance is not the answer. Tolerance is not a good thing. Tolerance should not be the goal of any movement. Was the ultimate goal of the civil rights movement tolerance? Nope. Tolerance results in things like segregation and racism. We will tolerate your presence but don’t get all uppity.
We also don’t have to tolerate you imposing your own ideas of morality and righteousness upon us. It’s nice that you are a devout Muslim or Jehovah’s Witness, but that doesn’t mean you can impose your standards on the rest of us heathens. WE aren’t intolerant of YOU if we continue to live our lives as we always have. YOU are intolerant of US if you can’t tolerate our behavior.
In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, there were innumerable apologists willing to start barking about tolerance and how a lack of tolerance toward Islam led to the terrorist act. Even one of Charlie Hebdo’s founders, Henri Roussel, in an article for the magazine Nouvel Obs, said the editors brought the horrific attack upon themselves with their over the top intolerance. Since when do we tolerate anything that is detrimental to freedom of speech and expression? I wonder if these were the same people who applauded the ridiculous “artwork” that placed symbols of Christianity in jars of urine?
Tolerance is not the goal. Acceptance is the goal and acceptance is not gained by forcing others to tolerate you. If I find myself in a position of forced tolerance, I am never going to accept you. The two positions are diametrically opposed in theory. If you prove yourself to be a worthy cause or person, you will gain acceptance as others begin to see the value of your presence in the group. If the group has to tolerate you then you aren’t going to break through to acceptance. How about you stop being an asshole and then we see how things go?
Stop being so damned tolerant and start holding everyone to the same standards of conduct. Then, perhaps, each and every one of us will gain acceptance. Until then, you can’t force me to accept your position.
Final analysis? Tolerance is bullshit. And you won’t find this one on Snopes.