Anyone who knows me or has read my posts knows I’m fairly liberal. I’ve never thought of being liberal as a bad thing. Usually, I don’t give it much thought at all. That’s why I found former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s statements so interesting.
Cuccinelli was criticizing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for statements he made last week. I criticized Cuomo’s statements in a previous post myself. Cuomo’s message that extreme conservatives have no place in the state of New York offended many people. It was a douchebag thing to say.
Cuccinelli didn’t stop by condemning Cuomo’s statements though. He went on to say “most of the left” shares Cuomo’s views. Then he let us know how he really feels about everyone who is liberal. “They do not view us as worthy of respect because we hold traditional, thousands of years of principle-based views. Their radical, society twisting and altering and destroying views are the only ones that they accept,” Cuccinelli said. “Nobody should make any mistake, the most intolerant people in America are leftists, bar none, it isn’t even close.”
I can’t talk about ALL people who are liberal, and I won’t even talk about the many liberal people I’ve had conversations with, read articles by, and listened to in the past. I can talk about myself, not as part of “many liberals,” but simply one liberal person. My feelings. My beliefs. My tolerances. My intolerances.
I respect other people’s beliefs, but I expect to have that same respect in return. My beliefs shouldn’t take away other people’s choices. My beliefs aren’t better than anyone elses, they are simply better for me. My beliefs evolve as I learn more, experience more, and grow as a person.
At first I wondered how anyone could possibly think I was intolerant at all, let alone one of the most intolerant people in the country. After self-examination, I discovered some of my own intolerances.
- I am intolerant of other people’s views being pushed on me.
- I am intolerant of closed mindedness.
- I am intolerant of people using their religious beliefs to dictate laws.
- I am intolerant of people’s rights being stripped away.
- I am intolerant of people not discussing beliefs, but instead stating what they think and plugging their ears to the other side of the issue.
- I am intolerant of people dismissing me simply because I hold liberal beliefs.
Damn, maybe I am really one of the most intolerant people in America.
Cuccinelli says my liberal views are “radical, society twisting and altering and destroying.” That seems both harsh and judgmental.
How can views that encourage people to use their brains, think for themselves and make their own choices, really be what’s destroying society?
How can not taking away rights and freedoms be what’s twisting society?
How is my personal attitude of “as long as you aren’t hurting anyone, I don’t really care what you do,” be so society altering?
If someone can explain that to me, I would be happy to listen. Mind you, I’m not asking someone to be an asshole and jump in my shit, but I do have a sincere desire to understand how being open-minded, liberal, and accepting can be considered destructive.
I understand what works for me may not work for everyone else, but Cuccinelli (and the people who agree with him) feel the beliefs, morals and values that they embrace must be embraced by others. If those beliefs aren’t happily accepted, they want to outlaw all other options. A “my way or the highway mentality.”
As an adult, why shouldn’t I have the freedom to make my own choices? As a parent, why wouldn’t I teach my children to reason things out, think for themselves, question what others say and don’t rely on someone else to tell them what to believe? I would be failing them if I didn’t teach that.
Are these the very thoughts and feelings that Cuccinelli is referring to? Is this what is tearing down society? Is my unwillingness to blindly accept and follow “thousands of years of principle-based views” really just scary to him?
I don’t believe all conservatives, or even that “most conservatives” share Cuccinelli’s beliefs. It would be foolish to group so many into one person’s foolish statements.
Cuccinelli condemns Cuomo, but what’s the difference between his statements and the statements he was condemning? Both men stereotyped a group of people and made offensive statements.
There are radicals in any group. Radical “Christians” like Mat Staver the homophobe or Richard D. Land who thinks all single mothers should put their children up for adoption. To group “most christians” in with those extremists would be as ridiculous as Cuccinelli grouping “most liberals” in with Cuomo’s outlandish statements. It would also be as ridiculous as making the statement, “the most intolerant people in America are leftists, bar none, it isn’t even close.”
In Cuccinelli’s state of Virginia and around the country there are hate groups such as the White Nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Separatists, and many others. Groups known to encourage hate and discord, intolerance and segregation. Even with those groups around, Cuccinelli really believes the “leftists” are the most intolerant people in America? With that for perspective, it seems Cuccinelli has a skewed view on intolerance, or at least a very different view than I have.
Whether you are liberal, conservative, or anywhere in between, do you agree with Cuccinelli? Can you see his point at all?