People of all political backgrounds find that polarization is exhausting and stressful. The Pew Research Center found, “more than one-third of social media users are worn out by the amount of political content they encounter, and more than half describe their online interactions with those they disagree with politically as stressful and frustrating”
I entirely agree. It’s exhausting. I’ve had my fair share of political discussions (a charitable way of phrasing it) that result in a fruitless outcome. You end up asking yourself, why the hell did I participate in this discussion at all? Is all this ideological division affecting the way we interact with each other personally? An interesting survey conducted by Dartmouth suggested that these political divisions have been socially adverse for students. As it turns out, leftists aren’t nearly the champions of tolerance they claim to be. In the survey,
“… undergraduates were asked if learning that another student had political beliefs opposite from their own would affect a range of possible interactions with them. Forty-two percent of respondents said that knowing this would make them less likely to befriend them, while 54 percent said it would make no difference. More than two-thirds of student respondents (70 percent) said they would be less likely to consider dating someone with opposite political beliefs from themselves. About a third (30 percent) said learning someone had opposite political beliefs would make them less likely to trust the person. The influence of personal politics does not permeate academics as much; only 19 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to study with someone with opposing political views, and for “working on class projects with them” it was 18 percent. Overall percentages like these mask sizable partisan differences — Democrats were consistently more likely to indicate conflicting politics negatively affect potential relationships. While 82 percent of respondents who identified Democrats say they would be less likely to date someone with opposing political beliefs, only 47 percent of Independents and 42 percent of Republicans said the same. Similarly, 55 percent of Democratic respondents said opposite political views would make them less likely to befriend another student, compared to 21 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.”
Republicans were roughly twice as tolerant when it came to dating and befriending individuals of opposing political viewpoints. That’s a revealing takeaway. On a more anecdotal level, Will Witt of PragerU interviewed Democrats about their willingness to befriend Republicans followed by interviewing Republicans about their willingness to befriend Democrats. Sadly, these interviews reinforced the findings of the survey conducted at Dartmouth. Political intolerance is virtually one-sided and is largely rooted in leftist ideology.
When conservative commentators, such as Ben Shapiro, have to enter universities with a safety team so that he may safely deliver his lecture, leftists should begin to question the message they’re promoting. If they want to appear tolerant, they shouldn’t affirm the tactics of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, some segments of the mainstream media (MSM), LGBT activists, etc… when they weaponize their resources to ruin the lives of those that disagree with them.
I could go on ad infinitum with examples of how conservatives have been treated uncharitably in our modern culture by leftist activists. Voicing conservative opinions are unpopular, even among conservatives sometimes, because they grind against the accepted cultural norm. Nobody wants to publicly affiliate themselves with conservative thought for fear of blowback from friends and family. That is how we know tolerance is not a trademark of the left. They’re championing conformity, not tolerance.