It is interesting and instructive that conservatives feel we are all obligated to be tolerant of their intolerance, but that they are not required to be tolerant of – anything. How does that work, exactly? Good question: Isn’t it a wee bit hypocritical to cry for tolerance of your own intolerance?
Yes. But don’t expect conservatives to understand that. Right Wing Watch caught Matt Barber and Mat Staver demonstrating this up is down thinking by continuing the endless conservative whine fest about critics of Duck Dynasty:
Barber: There’s a take-away from all this; it’s been a few weeks now, all the dust has settled and everything but left in the rubble of all this, the big losers GLAAD, the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Human Rights Campaign, the so-called secular progressive left in general. People are finally seeing that if you stand up to these bullies, you are dealing with a paper tiger. They have no power that people don’t give them. These big corporations and individuals in the entertainment industry and people grant these homofascist bullies – I call them the Gaystapo – they grant them this power that otherwise they would not have. This tyranny of the minority has been taking place for too long now and Americans, when they stand up, when the double down and say ‘no, I’m not going to waiver from biblical truth on matters of human sexuality,’ it’s like okay, what are you going to do now? Nothing. They go away and lick their wounds.
Staver: It’s the rank and file people of America, the vast majority of people who do not support this homosexual agenda, do not support this homofascism, they en masse respond and A& E and Cracker Barrel had to read the tea leaves and it was pretty easy to do it …
So [Phil Robertson is] not going to be bullied by anyone and I think the other thing is to not back down. Some people, they get intimated, they don’t want to get involved in this fight and yet Phil Robertson stood there on principle, he stood there with love and he became a national hero to many people because he would not budge. If you back down, if you give someone an inch – it’s almost like negotiating with terrorists – if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.
The tyranny of the minority. Yes, he said that.
That was one fear the Founding Fathers did not have. Being far wiser than Matt Barber and Mat Staver, they correctly divined that the threat was to the minority at the hands of the majority, and history justified their fears.
And if you give them an inch they take a mile? You can hear the outrage, and this is what’s in the back of Staver’s mind: “You mean they not only want to be freed from their slavery, but they want to vote too?”
The real problem conservatives have is with any minority thinking it has any rights. Saying “no” is tyranny. Standing up to a bully is “tyranny.” Freedom, yes, freedom, is “tyranny.”
Why? Because the more rights, the more freedom, the more liberty, the more equality people enjoy, the fewer rights conservatives have to bully everyone.
There has always been intolerance and like war, there will always likely be. And yes, there have been plenty of intolerant liberals and progressives throughout history. But conservatism seems to have institutionalized intolerance.
The problem is, they didn’t put a lot of thought into it. I can understand how a reactionary defense of the status quo could lead to intolerance, but sometimes they seem to be intolerant just because they like to be, out of pure spite, even when it is harmful to their own interests.
And like Barber and Staver, they don’t even care how stupid they sound. It’s okay in America to stand up for the “biblical truth on matters of human sexuality” but not the constitutional truth on matters pertaining to the First Amendment protections of freedom of religion and speech?
Isn’t the Constitution, and not the Bible, the law of the land? I don’t think the Supreme Court has spent the past two centuries plus interpreting the Law of Moses.
And then there is the atrocious logic of their argument.
In the conservative mind, if somebody stands up to a bully, they are a bully, but the original bully is not a bully but a victim of bullying. The result is that conservatives can bully whoever they like – women, gay people, lesbians, atheists, Latinos, Muslims, and pretty much anyone else they wish to bully – with impunity and yet always be victims. It’s a neat trick.
All you have to do is be willing to sound like a blithering idiot.
And if we object, we’re bullies. We’re fascists, or terrorists. Their free speech is being violated. We, in turn, have no free speech. We have no right to speak out against their bullying.
If there was ever an example of warped thinking, it is this: The original victims are somehow not victims. By this thinking, it was the Jews who were bullying the Nazis, women who were bullying the puritan patriarchs, the slaves who were bulling the plantation owners.
None of this makes even a lick of sense, of course, but it is what conservatives insist is reality. All we have to do is ignore their whining as we gently remind them at the polls that we’re not as stupid as they sound.