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Political liberals “far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans”?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:46 pm - March 13, 2012.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Liberal Intolerance

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.

Emphasis added.

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.



  1. I love the Gay Patriot, you people are the best

    Comment by trailer park prophet — March 13, 2012 @ 6:15 pm - March 13, 2012

  2. Political liberals “far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans”?

    No surprise!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — March 13, 2012 @ 10:39 pm - March 13, 2012

  3. They needed to do a “poll” to find this out? I could have told ’em and saved them a lot of time…and money.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — March 13, 2012 @ 11:21 pm - March 13, 2012

  4. Thank you once again for providing truth!

    Comment by PTown Patriot — March 14, 2012 @ 8:47 am - March 14, 2012

  5. I can’t say I’m surprised. Although (and of course this is only anecdotal) I have found that my conservative friends are the most vocal on social networks. Many more of their status updates are politically related, and often seem to cite the echo-chamber sort of websites that I end up rolling my eyes about. And it annoys me – not because I disagree with them, but because it seems like can’t even have a social network for our friends without politics corrupting it anymore. I have the same reaction to my liberal friends’ posts as well. (It may just seem like my conservative friends are more vocal because there are so many more of them. That could very well explain it. 🙂 )

    Of course it may annoy me because there are a few of my dear friends that post stuff that is either completely untrue or gross hyperbole, and I used to think their critical thinking skills were better. But they are still my friends, so I love ’em.

    Comment by Neptune — March 14, 2012 @ 10:02 am - March 14, 2012

  6. I have been saying for several years now, that liberals have the lowest tolerance levels one earth for anyone who is not likeminded. They will demean and smear before allowing a person to have an opinion, if it differs with theirs.
    While conservatives absolutely do not agree with certain social/behavioral ideals, most will still treat all people with dignity. Not so the social “liberal”
    Thanks so much for posting this column!

    Comment by Trish — March 14, 2012 @ 10:32 am - March 14, 2012

  7. Well, let’s have some consideration of the different views. Why should I tolerate an opinion rooted in ignorance? Conservatives trot out these archaic, bone-headed positions on homosexuality, reproductive health, torture, and education, then get indignant when no one wants to listen to them or dismisses them out of hand. I’ve taken the time to hear out the opposition’s points on gay marriage, and all it serves is to reveal how mean-spirited, arrogant, and hysterical gay marriage opponents are. There’s never been anything close to a sound argument made by the conservative side, and I’m expected to tolerate this? No thanks. At some point, engaging rank stupidity has to give way to dismissal and outright mockery.

    Complain about it if you want, believe it’s all true if you must, but before you start complaining about unfair it is, maybe you should try cobbling together a fragment of an argument that makes sense. It would help.

    Comment by Levi — March 14, 2012 @ 10:26 pm - March 14, 2012

  8. Why should I tolerate an opinion rooted in ignorance?

    You say this, and then you mention some misrepresentations of what conservatives believe, thereby demonstrating your own ignorance.

    There’s never been anything close to a sound argument made by the conservative side, and I’m expected to tolerate this?

    That is a pretty odd thing for someone who spends so much time on a conservative blog to say.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — March 14, 2012 @ 11:40 pm - March 14, 2012

  9. You hit the point exactly, Rattlesnake.

    Poor screaming Levi is so insecure in his own statements that he has to shut up anyone who disagrees with him.

    Levi is particularly hateful toward gay conservatives because, as a homophobic bigot himself, the only good gays in his world are those gays who shut up and obey their kind massa Levi, acknowledging that they are inferior and stupid and need their massa Levi to tell them what to do and say.

    Levi does not see gay people as equals. He sees them as slaves. He’s here to silence the uppity gays, just like his ancestors tried to silence the uppity slaves before they figured out it was just easier to enslave them using the welfare system.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — March 15, 2012 @ 2:33 am - March 15, 2012

  10. in other news…water is wet

    Comment by JP — March 15, 2012 @ 3:30 am - March 15, 2012

  11. […] I was interested to learn, via Gay Patriot and Hot Air, that the Pew Research Center has just done a study on some related questions: One goal […]

    Pingback by Liberals More than Twice as Likely to De-friend You for Disagreeing with Them « Enjoyment and Contemplation — March 15, 2012 @ 12:01 pm - March 15, 2012

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