Politico: ‘Liberals Aren’t As Tolerant As They Think’

(Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Davis Richardson Freelance Writer
Font Size:

A new Politico Magazine article written by Matthew Hutson claims that “liberals aren’t as tolerant as they think.”

Referencing the Berkeley riots over scheduled lectures from Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos, and citing psychological research presented in January at the annual Society of Personality and Social Psychology conference, Hutson argues, “conservatives are unfairly maligned as more prejudiced than liberals” and that conservatives, liberals, the religious, and the non-religious are all “equally prejudiced” in their convictions.

“As predicted, conservatives were more discriminatory than liberals toward liberal groups, and liberals were more discriminatory than conservatives toward conservative groups,” Hutson writes. “Conservatives’ discrimination was driven by their higher traditionalism and by liberal groups’ apparent violation of their values. Liberals’ discrimination was driven by their lower traditionalism and by conservative groups’ apparent violation of their values.”

Citing a recent study by psychologist Mark Brandt, in which the professor assessed surveys of Americans’ reactions towards perceived traits of 42 social groups in relation to a national election survey, Hutson pointed out that both sides exhibit intolerance towards different groups of people.

“Conservative political views were correlated with coldness toward liberals, gays and lesbians, transgender people, feminists, atheists, people on welfare, illegal immigrants, blacks, scientists, Hispanics, labor unions, Buddhists, Muslims, hippies, hipsters, Democrats, goths, immigrants, lower-class people and nerds,” says Hutson. “Liberal political views, on the other hand, were correlated with coldness toward conservatives, Christian fundamentalists, rich people, the Tea Party, big business, Christians, Mormons, the military, Catholics, the police, men, whites, Republicans, religious people, Christians and upper-class people.”

Huston briefly muses over which side has more toxic intolerance, flirting with the notion that Republicans do more damage to society by ignoring scientific evidence for climate change, before wrapping his findings together with a bipartisan call for unity.

“Progressives might see the conservatives trailing history as being on its wrong side, but conservatives might feel the same way about the progressives way ahead of the train. Getting everyone onboard simultaneously could well be impossible, but if we share a common vision, even partially, maybe we can at least stay on the tracks.”

Davis Richardson is a writer whose work has appeared in VICE, Nylon Magazine, The Daily Caller, and WIRED. Follow him on Twitter.