Pat

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I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup

Here it is, 2019...the end of 2019 and I am just now reading this article. I was recently turned on to this website “Lesswrong.com” and this is the first article I decided to read. Why? Because I have felt this way my whole life! My mother taught me that people pick on others to make themselves feel better. She also taught me that I should not pick on others or compare myself to others, just be the best person I could be and be kind.

This simple concept shaped my political views in certain ways. I could never understand the intolerance of people on the Left or the Right for the opposite “tribe”. I still don’t understand the labels people decide to use to categorize people. It’s way too convenient to slam an opposing view by labeling the person expressing those views as a “racist” or a “left-winger”. Everyone is way more complicated than that.

I am personally not affiliated with a political party. Does this make me virtuous? Probably not! I'm too Wish-washy to decide and I am afraid of attracting criticism. I’m not verbally talented enough to defend views that I hold. The views I do hold are easily cast aside as too soft, even in my own mind. So I am silent. I do not discuss politics except with my husband. We seem to agree on most things anyway.

Anyway, great article. I especially liked the bit at the end about the effort it would take to truly be tolerant of an opposing view. It’s easy to sit back and label the “red” tribe and the “blue” tribe when you belong to a third option. The labels come easy. I think both of those tribes are made up of way more diversity of opinion and belief than is apparent on the surface. And maybe that’s the point of the article.