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The weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth on the inconsolable left continues seven weeks after Hillary Clinton blew her inevitable presidency, and the mourning now is mostly about the inevitability of a Donald Trump presidency and whether the correct-thinking can survive in the dirty, rotten world where cruel fate has cast them.
We don’t recall a meltdown remotely comparable on the right when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Conservatives were disappointed and downcast and even fearful of what was to come, but most of them understand that in elections, as in the World Series and the Super Bowl, in a sandlot softball game and in playground game of rounders, for every winner there has to be a loser. That’s why God invented next year.
A new survey confirms what many have suspected, that those who demand “tolerance” from those who disagree with them are themselves the least tolerant. The new survey, conducted for the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, finds that liberals and Democrats are three times more likely to block, “unfriend” or “unfollow” someone on social media over political disagreements than conservatives and Republicans.
Nearly 1 in 4 Democrats say they have blocked, “unfriended” or stopped following someone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or other social-media platforms since Nov. 8. The percentage of self-professed liberals pulling the online plug was even higher, at 28 percent.
Democratic women are the least tolerant of those who don’t see politics their way, disconnecting at a 30 percent rate, more than twice that of Democratic men at 14 percent. They were absolutely, positively sure that Hillary would be Madame President.
Fewer than one in 10 Republicans and fewer than one in 12 conservatives told the pollsters they had “unfriended” or “unfollowed” those in their social-media circles for the crime of disagreeing with their choice of candidates.
The findings follow a Monmouth University Poll in late September that 7 percent of voters say they lost, or dispensed with, a friend over the presidential race — 9 percent among Clinton supporters, and 6 percent of Trump backers.
The intolerant left that demands acquiescence (or silence) from everyone else on controversial issues, from sanctuary cities to sexual orientation, claim to do so in the name of diversity. Liberals, alas, usually favor diversity except in the one area where diversity actually makes a difference — diversity of opinion.
Acknowledging this can be tough for liberals. When Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, wrote of “The Dangers of Echo Chambers on Campus,” he invited considerable wrath from the port side. “Too often,” he wrote, “we embrace diversity of all kinds except for ideological … We want to be inclusive of people who don’t look like us — so long as they think like us.”
Aaron Hanlon, a professor at Colby College in Maine, was outraged, and chided him in New Republic magazine for “contribut[ing] to the enduring strain of anti-intellectualism in American politics.” Liberal intolerance on campus is an isolated phenomenon, he wrote, and he for one is fair to his students regardless of their political beliefs, but that “Trump and his supporters have no regard for knowledge or debate, and thrive on petty caricaturing of political opponents.” The professor thus makes the columnist’s point with unexpected precision.
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