Patterico's Pontifications


Study: Liberals Are Less Tolerant Online

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

Say it isn’t so.

Andrew Malcolm:

Not exactly shocking news for those exposed to them for years, but the respected Pew Research Center has determined that political liberals are far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans.

In a new study, the Pew Center for the Internet and American Life Project confirmed what most intelligent Americans had long sensed. That is, whenever they are challenged or confronted on the hollow falsity of their orthodoxy — such as, say, uniting diverse Americans — liberals tend to respond defensively with anger, even trying to shut off or silence critics.

Impossible. Andrew Malcolm should lose his job and be prosecuted for spewing such nonsense. I am considering a lawsuit and repeatedly defaming him online as well. Perhaps I will accuse him of what I am doing and then frame him for a crime or two. Will you join me?

Also, I plan to call a boycott against Investor’s Business Daily for this line of his:

Bottomline, this study is obviously racist.

You forgot homophobic and misogynistic.

Andrew Malcolm, you are blocked.

75 Responses to “Study: Liberals Are Less Tolerant Online”

  1. Not only are libs more quick to block/unfriend those with whom they disagree, they are more likely to “like” and comment on agreeing views.

    Unlike Limbaugh listeners, who are a bunch of mind-numbed robots.

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. There are intolerant conservatives, too, to be sure.

    But we think of them as acting like fringe leftists in their tactics, regardless of their political philosophy.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  3. In other news, water is wet, sky is blue.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  4. I think anyone quick to ululate “BIGOT!” is marked as a Liberal. The Big Tent harbors a number of these closet pantiwaists unwilling to address their latent racism against our moderate President because he’s mulatto.


    gary gulrud (1de2db)

  5. Have you considered that the people being blocked are name calling, using racist, sexist and anti-gay comments, and generally making a PIA of themselves, instead of engaging in civil discourse. Must be a reason for all of that blocking going on. Of course, it can’t be anything conservative commentators say or do, it’s just because they’re conservative. What a bunch of hoooie.

    GZarella (42fcf1)

  6. I’m shocked. No, really. You guys should see my shocked face. /sarc

    I’ve lost liberal friends who found out that I worked in one of those evil places where they set out to destroy all those cute fuzzy things like AIDS, cancer, Parkinson’s, and all those helpless misunderstood diseases. And how did we go about trying to commit genocide against bacteria? By ruthlessly torturing monkeys for no reason whatsoever! The horror!

    I’ve mentioned my socialist friend here a few times. This is one of the things he’s noticed and loves to mindph**k (with a ph) with his college liberal friends. Anytime he hears one of them say, “I’m like, sooooo open minded and tolerant,” he smiles and says, “that’s awesome! I’ve been looking for a tolerant open mind all day! Now let’s talk about the glory of Jesus and the wonder of free markets.”

    Suddenly, not so tolerant and open minded. Even the agnostic socialist loves calling out this BS. Probably why we’re still friends.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  7. I think they try to claim I’m gay more than they say I am homophobic, but it’s hard to tell.

    They do whatever it takes to shut us up. If falsification, distraction, and attempted embarrassment don’t work they turn to insults and even threats.

    That’s the most you can expect from those whose reality does not make provision for truths that can be shared. It’s all about power and manipulation.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  8. GZ
    Reading comprehension fail.
    The study wasn’t “who gets their feelers hurt and blocks people on twitter.” The study was, who says the more hate filled intolerant things. So… Try again?

    Wait, maybe those liberals are just responding meanly to those mean conservatives! I saw it the other day! Someone told me they disagreed with Obama, and I told him that I hope crows peck out his eyes and murder his first born so the seed of evil shall not be passed! That mean conservative was disagreeing!

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  9. GZarella,

    Of course it’s the conservatives fault. After all, they’re racists and bigots waging a war on women. Liberals are always civil, even when they’re falsely accusing conservatives of triggering the attempted assassination of a Congresswoman, calling women they disagree with “c*nt” and “tw*t”, mocking Romney’s “magic underwear” on Twitter and so on.

    Conservatives asked for it didn’t they? Must’ve been the slutty dresses they wear.

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  10. When people tell me that what they value most is tolerance, I congratulate them.

    Then I tell them that they are better than me, because I think that there are things that should not be tolerated at all – but they, on the other hand, think that views like mine should be tolerated.

    That usually shuts them up.

    John Galt (8c0a58)

  11. Shunning should be used more often. It’s an Amish technique. It’s like slapping someone with silence.

    Noodles (3681c4)

  12. As someone who lives in Jan Schakowski’s district on the north side of Chicago, I can attest that it is true of liberals up close and personal as well. Very small and closed minded. But the troubling part, it that they rarely ever question anything they believe. Sad.

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  13. Montel Williams suggesting Michele Bachmann should kill herself – another classic example of liberal tolerance.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. I see crap on our side, too. But less of it.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  15. Duh…duh…duh and duh, duh, duh.

    Fred Beloit (4edfb1)

  16. Oh, you just know that it’s fraudulent, because it also has the linked story, Conservatives have better sex than liberals, attached to it.

    Of course, they could both be true, because, since we get laid better, we’re not so frustrated.

    The very tolerant Dana (3e4784)

  17. I can’t disagree with Pew Polls, but I know, as a liberal blogger, I’ve been blocked from American Glob,the Other McCain, and American Thinker for reasons that I can only attribute to my contrary thinking. I guess that’s not so bad a record, considering the number of right-wing sites on which I blog.

    tadcf (6f3ab1)

  18. In my case, I blocked wingnuts for spewing vile, moronic, hateful things. And for having IQs of 80 and below. Makes social networking much more enjoyable.

    Carry on, rubes.

    Cole Sear (6495ee)

  19. Talk about the most obvious study ever.

    bandit (2de15d)

  20. __________________________________________

    political liberals are far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans.

    The specifics of how that compares with the two other major points on the ideological spectrum are quite telling: The new research found that instead of engaging in civil discourse or debate, fully 16% of liberals admitted to blocking, unfriending or overtly hiding someone on a social networking site because that person expressed views they disagreed with. That’s double the percentage of conservatives and more than twice the percentage of political moderates who behaved like that.

    The proportion jumps even higher when someone on a social site disagrees with a liberal’s post. Only 1% of moderates would block or shut out someone who dared to disagree with them, compared to 11% of liberals, whose rate was nearly three times that of conservatives.

    Liberals (14%) even blocked or shut out those they deemed posted too frequently on politics, vs 8% and 9% for moderates and conservatives, respectively.

    ^ That deserves to be categorized and lumped together with surveys that indicate liberals are less generous (in donating their time, money and blood) than conservatives, less happy than conservatives, and more likely to believe blacks are intrinsically incapable of doing well for themselves and also can be excluded from a neighborhood.

    I previously noted that 3 icons of the Democrat Party in the 20th century, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman and Bill Clinton, either said or wrote astonishingly racist, bigoted things behind closed doors or — in the case of Wilson — supported the enactment of Jim Crow laws.

    As for another icon of the left, Franklin Roosevelt — who certainly would have sympathized with today’s OWS crowd — although he enacted legislation that greatly ratcheted up taxes on upper-income Americans, behind closed doors he had the nerve to tell the IRS the higher taxes didn’t apply to his own large income.

    I used to be slightly unsure about the definitiveness of the left being as two-faced and phony as indicated by things I read several years ago. But this most recent information combined with all the other data astounds even me. So my low regard for and suspicions about biases that make people lean left is that much more heightened.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  21. Liberals have taken advantage of our tolerance and use it against us. We have no choice but to intolerant of their behavior before they have taken all our freedoms away.

    We need to start holding them accountable. It will mean perp walks, because of the corruption that is part of their M.O. We need to investigate the AGW scams, Crony capitalism, Secret meetings and law breaking in the White House. Lets face it, criminals have found being a Democrat very rewarding financially.

    Wayne (40ce91)

  22. Tadcf cannot imagine any other potential reasons?

    I think it is silly to limit this to online.

    JD (d246fe)

  23. Shock audio:

    Rev. Al’s Racist Rants:

    Audio links on page 2 of article.

    koam @wittier (f284ba)

  24. They don’t want our opinions, they want our money.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  25. For what’s it worth, I have a Facebook friend whose posts I have changed from “view most posts” to “view only important posts” (this is a new Facebook feature that probably isn’t accounted for in this study) because he is constantly posting whatever left-wing talking points have been released by Kos or the DNC or Obama for America or whomever is handing out marching orders that day. And not the positive posts (“the Administration’s economic plans led to the creation of 200,000 private sector jobs last month”) but the hardcore anti-Republican, anti-conservative talking points. I have lots of other liberal friends who post on political issues from time to time, but this one particular guy did it more than once on each and every day and it got really old.

    So I guess I would be one of those “intolerant” blockers according to how this study is interpreted. I think a much better metric would have been “Have you ever unfriended somebody because of their political posts?” It’s one thing to decide you don’t want a daily tribute to the heroism of Sandra Fluke on your wall, but it is something entirely different to say that you don’t even want to see pictures of the kids or hear about a friend’s new job just because he has different political leanings than you do.

    JVW (4d72aa)

  26. It’s not just online. I had a very liberal pair of friends, a couple who were, unsurprisingly, also Obamabots. Once they learned that I was less than sold on his Obamaness in 08, they threw a hissy fit on my facebook wall, offended a bunch of my other friends, and have refused to talk to me since.

    Tolerance! It’s the Democrat way!

    Book (5b3f1d)

  27. Dear Patterico,

    Can we boycott his advertisers too?

    Yours truly,


    ThOR (94646f)

  28. Comment by JVW — 3/13/2012 @ 9:59 am

    If he’s posting a bunch of Republican hate, and you haven’t unfriended him or even confronted him, this is not an example of you showing intolerance for other viewpoints. This would be an example of a conservative not wishing to put up with bullying, no matter where it’s coming from.

    I have noticed this trend among conservatives. If a Republican sees some loopy democrat talking point online, they are more likely to just shake their head and move on. Why argue with stupid, right?

    But Dems seem to think that because a lot of people rally around them and echo their thoughts, that this legitimizes their arguments. In other words: majority rules.

    I can’t say that their tactics aren’t effective, despite the mob-rule mentality.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  29. One of my best friends, who has never once mentioned politics in real life, posts every single mediamatterz Oliver Willis loves Ho Hos and thinkregress talking point on FB. I asked him once if he really thought I was racist.

    JD (d246fe)

  30. JD. Liberals are good at talking the talk.
    For example: Sandra Flucker says women have needs, reproductive rights, blah blah blah blah blah, HEAR ME ROAR, etc etc etc etc.

    She means. PAY FOR MY $EX LIFE.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  31. since when is the Pew Research Center “respected”

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  32. I think more liberals than conservatives are taking anti-depressants, which explains why they are more intolerant and more prone to violent rhetoric and actions we see at OWS demonstrations and elsewhere.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. When I have liberals show up and comment on my blog, I welcome them and debate them. When i show up on theirs, I get insulted and banned. And heaven forbid i comment over at one of the big-time liberal sites like Think Progress (more accurately called EmoteRegress)– they will actually demand to know who I think i am for daring to invade their turf with a dissenting point of view.

    in other words, the goal of the liberal movement (which claims to be all about diversity)is to make sure that people of all races, religions, genders and sexual orientations think exactly the same way.

    Rhymes With Right (c6e21c)

  34. My experience on a liberal blog supports the conclusions. I was polite, and after my novelty value wore off they attacked with name calling.

    Several other non-liberals joined me and some of the worst offenders left because we were ruining the site. Most of the remaining people were open-minded liberals. They were willing to read other opinions.

    I believe the main problem comes from ideologues who happen to be liberal or conservative.

    James (4861fa)

  35. When I first started commenting on Lee Stranahan’s blog, there were always the liberal trolls who hated him because he was friends with breitbart. It was amazing to watch. He pretty much agreed with them, but, like the racists they are, “not one drop of impure blood!” will be allowed.

    Back when MySpace was a thing, there were debate forums where the hardcore leftists would say the most racist things you’ve ever heard, and completely unaware of their racism. One Hispanic dude named Matt called Obama an Uncle Tom because he wasn’t full blown communist. And for the life of him, he couldn’t figure out why that was racist.

    His final rebuttal was something like, “but I’m not white so I can’t be racist.”

    As long as you think like them and regard wrong thinkers as evil, all sins are forgiven.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  36. I just wish gay people knew how much the left hates them.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  37. James, respectfully, and speaking as a recovering Democrat, there is no comparison.
    The left first and foremost are illogical, and most on the Left have lived in make believe land for so long, that the do not see reality.
    The LEFT is bought and paid for by special interests for the most part.
    I am Conservative. I want the GOVERNMENT to be what it was designed to be, not a LIBTARD SLUSH FUND.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  38. Ghost, imagine how much the LEFT hates GAY JEWS.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  39. Certainly not news to anyone who follows politics closely. Conservatives seem to reserve their harshest attacks for those within their party – a pretty sad state of affairs actually, not to mention one with electoral ramifications …

    ombdz (2a81ef)

  40. With all such studies, I’d like to know the politics of the researchers, and what their motives are. I don’t trust Pew anyway, because I’ve sensed they’re pushing agendas with other studies.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc)

  41. Gus,
    Unfortunately, I don’t have to imagine it.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  42. Book – and yet, by comparison, most of the politically engaged people in my (left-of-center) social circle viewed Obama with skepticism; he was marginally better than Sen. Clinton, but nobody really loved him.

    I always found the allegations from conservatives of liberal hero-worship of Obama to be bizarre, for those reasons.

    aphrael (5d993c)

  43. Ghost, at 36: politicians on ‘the left’ have legislatively passed bills to recognize gay marriage in three states since the start of the year. politicians on ‘the right’ have voted against those bills in each of the three states.

    And yet somehow I’m supposed to believe that ‘the left’ hates me more than ‘the right’ does?

    aphrael (5d993c)

  44. I don’t think their hyperbole was regarding legislation, aphrael.

    JD (d246fe)

  45. aphrael–outside your own social circle (which I would expect to be thoughtful and smart and nuanced by virtue of the very fact that you like and respect them) do you claim to not know or never to have witnessed or seen evidence of zombie-like “obamabots”, brainwashed “kool-aide drinkers” and hero worshippers of Obama’s wonderfulness and perceived near divinity elsewhere–and especially on the web?

    Do you really view this as mere “allegations from conservatives”? Please say that you don’t.

    elissa (f22181)

  46. Shorthanded GZarella, tadcf, Cole Sear: “They started it!”

    Icy (306668)

  47. Aphreal,
    I didn’t say that there aren’t those on the right who don’t hate gay people. Wait, how many negatives is that? Did I get that right? Anyway, Rick santorum does not like gay people. But by no means should you say that the left doesn’t hold the same views. And it was a republican legislature that passed gay marriage in new York. And Fred phelps of Westboro infamy is a democrat.

    My wife is a surrogate for a gay couple. All I’m saying is that I wish my gay friends knew how much anti-gay hate is on the left. Look at how they treated Andrew Breitbart (who served on the board of GOProud). Everywhere he went, people called him f****t, homo, queer… Which means one of two things: 1) they thought HE would think that being gay was a bad thing; or the more logical conclusion, THEY see being gay as a bad thing.

    It would be like arguing that Mel Gibson thought the cop was a skinhead, and that’s why he called him a Jew. See, Mel really likes Jews, he just thought that guy would be offended.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  48. now Big Zero says
    bitter clinger countrymen
    just lend me your rears

    Colonel Haiku (946856)

  49. most lefties display
    an arrogant ignorance
    goes with the program

    Colonel Haiku (946856)

  50. Stop calling them liberals. Real liberals are for more freedom and more tolerance.

    They are leftists, and that’s what they should be called. If we allow them to redefine words, we have already lost the debate.

    And yeah, leftists don’t believe in tolerance. To them, the greatest evil in the world is if someone disagrees with them. Genocide? Not the biggest evil. Lynching blacks? Not the biggest evil. Global warming? Not the biggest evil.

    Disagree with a leftist? Oh oh, you have just committed the worst crime in the universe…..

    BeeKay (6b62d8)

  51. B. Obama can
    kiss my mamma-jammin’ ass
    and twice on Sunday

    Colonel Haiku (946856)

  52. This is a very clever post and it occurs to me that the contraception debate is a good example of liberals’ tolerance. If liberals were consistent on the contraception issue, they would argue that every insurance policy should provide 100% coverage (with no deductible) for contraceptives and 100% coverage (with no deductible) for pregnancies. After all, if it’s about choice, pregnancy is just another choice.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  53. As the Very Tolerant Dana noted at #16,

    Oh, you just know that it’s fraudulent, because it also has the linked story, Conservatives have better sex than liberals, attached to it.
    Of course, they could both be true, because, since we get laid better, we’re not so frustrated.

    Which brings me ’round to the intolerance of the liberals: It renders them a collectively unhappy people. And to piggyback on the contraception issue, if they don’t get their way, you won’t get laid.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  54. If liberals were consistent on the contraception issue, they would argue that every insurance policy should provide 100% coverage (with no deductible) for contraceptives and 100% coverage (with no deductible) for pregnancies. After all, if it’s about choice, pregnancy is just another choice.

    But of course they do argue just that, DRJ. I mean, when is the last time the left ever acknowledged that there needs to be a limit on what gets covered by an insurer? Their whole modus operandi is to say “You should get all the coverage you want, but someone else should have to pay for it.” Contraception, abortion, sterilization, fertility treatments, pregnancy, daycare — you name it — the left will argue that government needs to provide it as an entitlement if it helps foster the Big Government agenda and if it makes the vote more dependent on the beneficence of politicians.

    JVW (4d72aa)

  55. Dana @53 – I read about that elsewhere. What a wimpy protest. One week, meh. If they had any courage behind their convictions they would make it a year, minimum.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  56. …which is why I’m not liberal, daley.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  57. Dana and daleyrocks: It’s sad that these women seem to think the entirety of what they have to offer to men resides between their legs, isn’t it?

    JVW (4d72aa)

  58. leave it to lefties
    just trust them to deny the

    Colonel Haiku (946856)

  59. It solves the problem: if they’re not having sex, they don’t need my money for their birth control. Win-win!

    Dana (4eca6e)

  60. let me sleep on it
    Paradise by Dashboard Light
    don’t let your meatloaf

    Colonel Haiku (946856)

  61. iowahawkblog “The only thing Al Sharpton likes less than “Chinamen” and “Greek homos”? Paying taxes

    Colonel Haiku (946856)

  62. It solves the problem: if they’re not having sex, they don’t need my money for their birth control. Win-win!
    Comment by Dana — 3/13/2012 @ 5:19 pm

    — Plus, no little future Marxists, no abortions, no need to collect food stamps, no reason to say “think of the children”; in fact, no justification for their “do whatever feels good and let the collective pay for the consequence of your hedonism” philosophy at all!

    Don’t think they’re gonna go for it.

    Icy (306668)

  63. Somewhat random comments:
    1)There is no indication of one important statistical context to such a study: do conservatives and moderates “friend” people of different political leanings at the same rate as liberals. If they friend such people less than liberals, the Pew statistic is that much less important; it they friend such people more than liberals, than the Pew statistic actually understates the intolerance of liberals. Think of it in this light–you can only unfriend a person if you have previously friended them in the first place. Another missing statistical context is how many family members of liberals are conservatives versus how many family members of conservatives are liberals, for similar reasons and results.
    2)Social networks add a complication to the expression of politics–to comment there is to expose one’s views to others, and people might be responding not to the opposing views but to how their action is being viewed by other people in their network. At its worst it might simply be another piece of groupthink; or it might simply be to avoid the embarrassment of letting one’s friends know just how conservative the next door neighbor or Uncle Bill actually are.

    JBS (46fd97)

  64. As I was brushing my teeth yesterday morning, I realized that we probably spend as much in toothpaste as birth control pills cost Sandra Fluke a month. Since good oral hygiene is a serious health issue, why shouldn’t my dental insurance cover the cost of our toothpaste?

    The poverty stricken Dana (f68855)

  65. Totalitarians aren’t tolerant?

    Gee, who knew?

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  66. Lysistrate. But there, the women wanted to end a war.

    nk (dec503)

  67. Since good oral hygiene is a serious health issue, why shouldn’t my dental insurance cover the cost of our toothpaste?

    Comment by The poverty stricken Dana

    It’s a fair application of Fluke’s point.

    Greg Gutfield noted recently that you need gasoline to get to the clinic to get the contraception, so they need to pay for that too.

    honestly, we should just abolish currency as inevitably related to health in some way, and simply have the state issue everything.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  68. This whole discussion keeps bringing me back to the same thought …

    If abortion had been as easily available when our current First Occupant was born as it is now, and if the country is a racist as he and his supporters keep claiming (and given that it was a whole lot *more* racist back then), as the foetus of an unmarried young white female and a black male in the United States back then, one suspects that our First Occupant would have been just another aborted piece of tissue …

    Ironic, ain’t it ?

    Alasdair (b9112c)

  69. Imbecilic, even by MSLSD standards…

    “MSNBC’s Chris Matthews says Republicans are willing to outsource the election to a Mormon in order to win the presidency. Matthews also likened the process to calling India or another third-world country to get your computer fixed.

    On top of that, Matthews called Romney a cultist as well as his two opponents who are Catholics.

    “I think religion matters,” Chris Matthews said on MSNBC’s “Ed Show” with host Ed Schultz. “Reverend Al, you, Ed and I know the way that the people in these polls down there say they think the president is a Muslim. I mean, the majority in one of those states thinks he is, the other 30-some percent don’t know. In other words, they don’t know whether he’s lying about his religion, which is a pretty strong indictment right there. So, culturally, they are out to lunch for the president. There not going to vote for President Obama. So who they going get to beat him. That seems to be on their mind’s now, not who they like. They are willing to outsource it to a Mormon.”

    “It seems to me, if they can win — I said it’s almost like calling up India, or somewhere in the third-world to get your computer fixed. You don’t care who is fixing it, just fix the damn computer. They want to get rid of Obama so they’re willing to vote for a guy they don’t like or trust his religion. But they have no choice,” Matthews said during MSNBC’s primetime coverage of primary results on Tuesday night.”

    Colonel Haiku (e907d0)

  70. Don’t these silly pundits and pollsters realize yet that many people say they think Obama’s a muslim just to mess wid em? I truly believe that’s often the case.

    As to the “outsource to a Mormon” slur–that’s vile even by MSNBC standards.

    elissa (97540a)

  71. Ha! You used “standards” and “msnbc” in the same sentence. I didn’t think it could be done.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  72. Welcome, Dana!

    Colonel Haiku (e907d0)

  73. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy. I have learn this submit and if I may just I want to counsel you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles regarding this article. I wish to read more things approximately it!

    mla (94f343)

  74. Re JBS #63: Those are interesting points- thanks! Liberals and conservatives clump into their own areas geographically too, now that our society moves a lot. Conservatives move much more that way than liberals do (about 2.5 times as much). That may support your point about self- or a priori selection in the friending study…Liberal intolerance and bias is very real- not a single liberal acknowledged the survey content here, or commented on it other than to disparage either it or responses to it. I think our intolerance around conservative ideas may be because many of us have “I’m against the system” in our bones- we can view our current version of a market-based, consumerist society as a faceless destroyer, arousing our compassion for those who suffer needlessly from it- not arousing practical compassion, mind you, which was pointed out as likely weaker in liberals- just the strong emotion we feel around what we see as unjust suffering of innocents. This feeling provides a powerful fuel for our much simpler (conservatives might say simplistic) moral outlook. We are generally focused almost exclusively on compassion, and less on other values like loyalty, respect for authority, or sacredness. What I see even more than intolerance is us getting really upset emotionally during disagreements, which is a little different- I think because of our simpler, intense feelings around our narrower moral framework (“There’s no REASON for all this suffering!”). Liberalism has many more idealists, which makes for frustration that could easily lead to “defriending”-type behavior. I have to remind liberals that conservatives are often not nearly as upset as they are- conservatives can often deal pretty well with an argument that hits liberals too close to the bone morally to deal with well, or even politely.

    Openness is a proven psychological characteristic of many liberals, but it’s much better thought of as interest in a wide variety of things in life. It feels to liberals like we’re being tolerant when we’re helping out or accepting about “the little guy”, a suffering minority. Our intolerance comes out feeling justified (moral) with those we view as complicit with ‘the system’ in causing unnecessary suffering. Our “fight the power” attitude crops up with conservatives way too much because something hits our compassion bone, the only real moral pole we have. It can be quite shrill when it happens, which is also related to a personality difference: conservatives are more associated with personality traits related to politeness, probably due to their higher respect for tradition.

    Those are statistical variations: in most situations, we’re all rather intolerant with each other. There are a host of biases that help us all think we are being more reasonable than the other guy, make it seem like they’re raging, and make us feel justified to escalate or react strongly.

    Scott (9d9af8)

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