Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, it does seem that conservatives are more tolerant of their friends with opposing political points of view than liberals. We may have anecdotal evidence for that notion, but can’t regularly confirm that hypothesis with actual scientific data. Well, today, we have some data to work with.
The “Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project posed a series of questions about people’s general use of SNS [Social networking sites] for politics and about the ways in which they interact with friends on the sites over political material. One goal of the survey was to see if people are using the sites in a way that suggests they live in social network “echo chambers” of like-minded friends.” And what they found confirmed our hypothesis:
Liberals are the most likely to have taken each of these steps to block, unfriend, or hide. In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates.
Introducing the study, Ed Morrissey (to whom I tip my hat for this story), quipped “Superior liberal tolerance is such a fact that they will scream at you if you dare to disagree or debate them, demand that your advertisers bail on you, and pressure the FCC to get you banned from the airwaves.” The 2010 CPAC blogger of the year also quotes Andrew Malcolm who, as Ed puts it, “has some fun with the implications:”
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.
Now, to be sure, there are somenarrow-minded conservatives, but they represent a smaller percentage of the right-of-center rank and file than do intolerant liberals. And while there may be more liberals using social networking sites, there are more conservatives in American society. Nearly twice as many.