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Is America as Tolerant as we like to Imagine?

  1. Apr 15, 2003 #1
    [SOLVED] Is America as Tolerant as we like to Imagine?

    George Bush has shown himself to be an effective leader. He makes up his mind, sticks to his decision and keeps his team united along the way. He has experienced great success, so much so that he boldly talks to the world about freedom, democracy, tolerance, etc. Most of this is good, as I see it.

    But there's a dark side too. Bush's simplicity, his use of us/them imagery, simple good/evil dichotomies, encourages intolerance of anyone who does not agree wholeheartedly with his government's outlook.

    I am aware it is difficult to have a full and open debate when a war is going on, that criticism is seen as disloyalty to troops willing to sacrifice their lives, but surely a fully tolerant society should allow, even encourage dissenting voices to be heard. It doesn't make the war harder to win if folks such as Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Tim Robbins and the Dixie Chicks woman are alalowed to say what they feel on TV and don't have to suffer for it as a result of commercial cowardice.

    I backed the war, fully and completely. I think getting rid of Saddam was a great thing and a fine victory. But I think the treatment of war critics and protesters was very poor. They were denied a voice on national media (except at the very beginning before the war had started). Once the first shot was fired, all the networks became pro-war with virtually no balance. Hardly ever did they feature an Arab commentator, a critic or opponent. At most we got retired military who wanted a quicker victory.

    America can be intolerant of diversity at times of crisis and that is frightening. It was a breath of fresh air to see the British Parliament energetically debating the war even while it was in progress, and no one can fault the commitment of Tony Blair nor the British miltary in assisting the Americans.

    (Please don't tell me to go live in Syria. I am as pro America as they come but I do like Susan Sarandon
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2003 #2
    That has nothing to do with making the right decisions...but looking like a leader is always more important these days...
  4. Apr 15, 2003 #3
    to expand on that and use a word that the intolerant people like to throw around without any understanding, it is down-right un-Amreican.
  5. Apr 16, 2003 #4


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    just some thoughts...

    Interesting. The conservative voices in the media are saying the opposite...that the "liberal" media is focusing on the war protesters and all the problems/errors of the war (i.e., anti-war bias) and is ignoring all the pro-war supporter rallies. Guess it depends on your viewpoint and which media outlet you listen to.

    I suspect that, on average, Americans are more tolerant of diversity than the average world citizen (given the educational system, immigrant foundation, and a good mix of races in America). Examples of intolerance in America are no different than other places (but we have more media coverage and more power behind it). Don't forget that there has been a lot of debate in the US Congress too about the war (Democrats leaned toward agreement with the UN and a few voices were outright against the war).

    Times of crisis - - It may be human nature to "circle the wagons". True for anyone.
  6. Apr 17, 2003 #5
    Compared to other nations and societies, America is tolerant of diversity. But that doesn't mean that America is tolerant ENOUGH.
    I for one, admit that I am intolerant of conservatives, Republicans, and anyone who is willing to admit he or she voted for George W. Bush.
  7. Apr 17, 2003 #6


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    In my workplace I have observed that diversity does not extend to redneck potato farmers with a course sense of humor and an opinion that women belong at home.

    While I do not agree with much of what this person said or did, I am left somewhat puzzeled by the true meaning of diversity.
  8. Apr 17, 2003 #7
    America has a deep level of intolerance, and the fact that more people don't act on it is more a consequence of American 'complacency', and the fact that most Americans have more to lose than maybe in a poorer country.
  9. Apr 17, 2003 #8
    If America has a "deep" level of intolerance (to what?) then it would have to be the case that most, if not all, other countries have a "deeper" level of intolerance.
  10. Apr 17, 2003 #9
    That doesn't make any sense...care to explain?

    (or is it your general attitude that America MUST be better at everything, simply because Rush Limbaugh says so)
  11. Apr 17, 2003 #10
    That was pretty simple, Zero. If you can't understand it, maybe you shouldn't be a "mentor".

    America is the most ethnically, racially, and religiously diverse country on the planet with a population of some 280 million people. Our level of civility towards each other regarding these qualities would be evident to you if you lived here.
  12. Apr 17, 2003 #11

    If I lived where? On Planet Rush Limbaugh? Where I live, the 'tolerance' is a thin coating that covers festering racial and cultural hatred...you know, the attitude that you show?
  13. Apr 17, 2003 #12
    If anyone doubts that America is prudish and intolerant of nudity and open displays of sexuality, go here:snow sculpture too daring
  14. Apr 17, 2003 #13


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    Just to clarify, I thought you were in the UK?
  15. Apr 17, 2003 #14
    No, I'm a half-day drive south of you...and what does that have to do with anything?
  16. Apr 17, 2003 #15


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    Um, what does where you live have to do with your post about where you live? [?] Gee, I guess nothing...
  17. Apr 18, 2003 #16
    are you aware that by bashing people like Zero you are attempting to control them by trying to humiliate them, and thus forcing them to "shut up"? Its a tactic that I notice conservatives use a lot.
  18. Apr 18, 2003 #17
    He swings his bat just as hard as I do.

    If only I could control his thought process, I would be ruler of an ultra-conservative world. Muuuuaaaaahhhhhhh! All hail the Evil One George Bush!
  19. Apr 18, 2003 #18
    Work on controling your own thoughts first, Grasshopper.
  20. Apr 18, 2003 #19
    Alias, would you be tolerant as Politics Forum moderator? Would you allow all opinions to be expressed? Would you edit and delete controversial statements? Would you prevent liberals from having their say?
  21. Apr 18, 2003 #20
    Of course, if that's how a moderator is supposed to behave.
    Again, yes, if that's part of the job description.
    Only in the case of violations of TOS. However, selective deleting or editing is a slippery slope. I would prefer to just delete any post that violated TOS, with the exception of profanity, which is pretty safe to edit or delete.
    Hell no! What would be the fun in that. You have to let people have their say if you're going to smash their arguments. Imagine me, being like Zero(or the opposite of)....

    Are you offering me a job?
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