| By Roger Propst|
The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so. - Ronald Reagan
The Liberal left in this country purports to be for free and open debate of all issues, for tolerance, civility, and inclusion of everyone's views. Conversely, they accuse conservatives of attempting to stifle debate, intolerance, imposition of religious views on others, narrow intellectual views, etc. In reality, some of the most vitriolic rhetoric being thrown around in this country comes from the Left, some of which bombards us on this website. Opinions & Comment
Here is how I think it is supposed to work in our great country. On the issues of the day, citizens avail themselves of all the information possible from many sources and develop positions that reflect their understanding and views on those issues. The opinions they express are open to debate by those having different views, and as a result of these debates, many views are expressed and people may change or alter their positions, or they may not. If one does not accept the other's position, does that make him a fool, a liar, a nincompoop, or even worse?
I have always been of the opinion that when someone resorts to public personal attacks on people because they cannot persuade them to accept their views, they are expressing the height of intolerance. The Left in this country throws that term around indiscriminately all the time, attempting to equate intolerance with agreement.
I do not agree with unrestricted abortion, gay marriage, and high taxes, but I don't pillory those who do. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and the only true path to eternal life is through him, as the scriptures tell us. If I believe that, then I cannot believe the central tenets of other religions that do not accept Christ as the only path, but does that make me an intolerant, fundamentalist? Of course not, it means I disagree; but in our country it means I accept others' rights to believe as they see fit and live peacefully and happily alongside them.
Instead of this honest and open debate, some choose to set themselves up as possessing ultimate truth, and attack those who don't agree with them by disparaging their intelligence, falsely accusing them of intolerance, formulating their positions by brainwashing and other less enlightened methods.
A recent column on this website attacked those of us who don't accept the views of the extreme left in this country by asserting that we are blind. "None So Blind"
This type of rhetoric is condescending and insulting, and has no place in civil discourse. The President, Vice-President, Joe Lieberman (recent addition), Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter are all patriots who many of us believe share our views. What they are not, are people with big eyeglasses dangling a pocket watch in front of us to put us in a trance and impose their views upon us. What an insult!
Joe Lieberman, Democratic candidate for Vice President in 2000, is expressing his honest, open views and beliefs, but now is portrayed as a cheerleader in skirt and pompoms. Did someone say something about intolerance? It also shows extreme partisanship in one's viewpoint, rather than sound reasoning.
Rush Limbaugh is a conservative talk radio host with over 800 radio stations carrying his program, as is Sean Hannity with over 500 stations; no liberal host has even 100. Bill O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone" on Fox News is the most watched program on cable television, being seen by more people during his time slot than CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC combined. Ann Coulter has written multiple New York Times Best Sellers, and is admittedly sometimes controversial, but states her opinions openly, which she has every right to do.
Making assertions that one believes to be reality, does not make them so. Other people, who do not see reality in the same light, are neither blind, nor necessarily wrong; they simply disagree. Those who continually resort to disparaging others' views in public expression will continue to find themselves relegated to the fringes of public discourse.
Let Freedom Reign!