I hate being tolerant. Tolerance is a burden. The worst thing about it is that you can’t embrace what this country stands for without endorsing tolerance. Here’s the conundrum: our core American values also include freedom of speech. How often do the two conflict?
Can liberals force America to be tolerant?
When liberals take over the government we are expected to strain the limits of human endurance while faced with all manner of politically correct aberrations. Tolerance calls on us to keep our mouths shut and look the other way while we are asked to endorse behavior that ranges from the annoying (LGBT awareness seminars at work), to the intolerable (extending the welcome mat to illegals), to the anti-American (accepting the Ground Zero mosque).
The Five Ways to Abuse Religious Freedom talked about another of our cherished American values that is used to punish us. Tolerance is just as abused, a good reason to dig in our heels when we are asked to grit our teeth and nod passive acceptance.
Tolerance stops us from speaking our mind.
The demands of being tolerant can shut our mouths to protest. When the Justice Department announced charges in the Benghazi incident this week, how many of us wondered why this impotent, too little too late response to a cover up over murdered Americans met with so little outrage? How many Americans can look the racially correct bunch in the eye and tell them that our legal system decided on George Zimmerman just like it did with O.J. Simpson and the time has come to shut the hell up?
Please don’t confuse tolerance with fairness.
As American values go, tolerance is abused but fairness is used to abuse us. Other than what the Constitution and Bill of Rights grants and the law dictates, there is no mandate to be fair about anything. It is easier to argue that capitalism is all about being unfair, about losing your business and house when the economy takes a dump after years of hard work and struggle. Unfortunately, fairness tends to work in one direction. It means that after you lose your livelihood your taxes go up to support everyone but you. Being fair should not require your income to make lives better for the less fortunate. It should not require you to pay for transplant surgery for illegal immigrants we are forced to tolerate (see: Bad Politics Makes for Greedy Americans). It should not require you to pay for health care for all while you lose your employer-sponsored insurance but – surprise! – it just might.
Being tolerant encourages politicians to take advantage.
Nothing speaks to the dark side of tolerance in America like Park 51, the Ground Zero mosque. Remember remarks like these about the mosque project from politicians after our president’s endorsement of Islamic religious freedom at a Muslim iftar dinner¹?
As I’ve said before, while I understand the strong emotions this proposal has created among some 9/11 family members, survivors, and first responders, I believe that preventing the project from being built would run counter to our proud constitutional rights of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom to assemble.²
That there wasn’t rioting in the streets over the merest suggestion of an Islamic landmark where thousands were murdered shows where our American values fail us. Who better to abuse us with one of the best things about our country than politicians?