Modern liberalism should advocate for more than just tolerance

Peaceful coexistence is not enough, people must respect each other

ALEX BIVIANO, Evergreen columnist

The modern liberal platform is intolerant, and that is completely intentional. Although the left is responsible for integrating many human rights visible today, this was not due to its tolerance, but rather the opposite.

In order to progress as an integrated society, tolerance is not the goal. Tolerance simply entails putting up with someone rather than truly respecting them and viewing them as an equal.

The standard of tolerance implies there is something wrong with a person, therefore they should be accepted, but equals aren’t tolerated — unavoidable nuisances are.

Jac Archer, vice chair of the Spokane County Democrats and member of the Spokane County Human Rights Commission, said tolerance of differing ideologies depends on the impact a person has on those around them.

“What you’re looking at as an individual is whether or not their prejudice will have a larger effect than the average person,” Archer said.

After the 2018 midterm election, many conservatives voiced complaints about how they were being treated by liberals because of who they voted for. These qualms often revolved around the idea that liberals should tolerate conservative voices since they preach integration of marginalized groups.

Many on the right feel that tolerance should include all ideologies, even intolerant views, rather than just people who are different demographically.

This reasoning is deeply flawed and only serves to divert responsibility from conservatives and reduce guilt rather than actually expose hypocrisy among the left. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and this holds true today.

By allowing ignorance and bigotry to flow freely, marginalized groups are often left to bear the burden of hatred while already facing an uphill battle.

Limiting intolerance is not everything and is not a realistic solution to truly creating an integrated society. Small steps like educating peers can go a long way for an individual’s character development on their way to becoming more accepting of others in society.

“Injustice isn’t sustainable,” Archer said.

The way to truly eliminate intolerance is to be respected and treated as an equal. This has worked to clear many barriers, including racial integration and women’s suffrage.

In 2018, new issues are presented and different marginalized groups are fighting for equality.

“We must strive for equality rather than equity,” Archer said. “Different groups such as [LGBTQ+] people, queer folk have different needs than non-queer folk and that deserves consideration. We should have as much ease of access to health care as anyone else.”

Simply tolerating the LGBTQ+ community would be insufficient in this case because it would only provide the bare minimum. Instead, we must go the extra mile to properly meet the needs of all people, not just the majority.

Topics as dire as medical care are why liberals cannot just “let it go” when it comes to voters supporting intolerant candidates. By empowering bigots like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and President Donald Trump, real people suffer.

Discomfort is necessary in order for progress to occur. Nothing gets done without brave individuals putting themselves out there so others can have a better life.

If supporting an intolerant candidate feels like the best option for you, feel free to stand by your decision, though it is not the duty of others to make you feel comfortable about that decision.