INTOLERANCE REIGNS AS DEMOCRACY CRUMBLES
According to google, tolerance is the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular, the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree. Blocking people, asking people to hush up or not give their opinion because you disagree with them, is the opposite of tolerance.
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After two years of podcasting and over 20 years as political communicators, we are increasingly shocked by the lack of tolerance in the public square. Usually, we say, “Whatever,” and keep it moving. But we believe it is necessary to spend a little time explaining why intolerance is so dangerous.
Over the last two years, as we have shared our opinions through our podcast Policy & Pound Cake, we have had some serious and silly conversations with people who agree with us and people who think that we are completely nuts.
In our social media space, we have a pretty broad acceptance of anyone expressing their opinions. We do ask that you #AttackPolicyNotPeople. We try to do the same. On most days, we succeed. But on those occasions when we fail, we woman up and apologize.
We are total first Amendment communicators. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The highlight is, Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.
It is within your right to unfriend people or keep them out of your life because they voice opinions that do not align with yours, but we believe that is a narrow-minded, sad, pathetic way to exist. So yes. Sometimes it makes us uncomfortable when our friends disagree with us. But it always makes us better to have rich, diverse points of view in our life.
The big source of unfriending this week came from conversations around Sen. Josh Hawley and Khiara Bridges, a professor at Berkley. Many have heard the exchange, but it is linked here to benefit readers who have not.
Dee Dee had a similar conversation as she shared her views on the Armstrong Williams Show. This is a text message she received from someone after her appearance last week on Armstrong’s show.
It’s important to point out that not once did Dee Dee imply that you should shun your kids if they are gay. On the contrary, we firmly believe that you should continue to love and embrace your kiddos whether they are gay, straight or bi. However, that doesn’t mean you should celebrate homosexuality which we believe is a sin. Interestingly, the woman who sent this text, like Dee Dee, sends her kids to Catholic schools. Catholic teaching on this issue is clear.
The text message underscores the point that we always make. We have moved into an era where people won’t just allow you to accept homosexuality, bisexuality or transgender lifestyles. Now you must celebrate it. If you don’t wear a Gay Pride shirt and say you are okay with it, you risk being shunned, shushed, unfriended or fired.
The most disheartening point about Dee Dee’s exchange on the Armstrong Williams Show and Senator Hawley’s exchange is the use of the word transphobic. Dee Dee was called transphobic because she does not believe you become a girl or woman by simply declaring it to be true. Senator Hawley was labeled transphobic and accused of being a contributing factor to the one in five trans people who attempt suicide.
The characterization of Dee Dee and Senator Hawley’s behavior as transphobic should terrify you and make you concerned for this great American experiment. Democracy crumbles when you are called transphobic because you believe biological boys have an unfair advantage when playing sports with biological girls. Democracy crumbles when people are silenced, shamed, and drummed out of the public square for having an opposing point of view.