The Eclectic Quill

Website of Joshua McGee

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Donald Trump


Life, the Universe, and Everything: 42
Death, a Fantasy World, and Nothingness: 45

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It is not “intolerance” to oppose Trump and his supporters

It is all the rage in some conservative circles online to point at people who oppose Donald Trump, or who oppose supporters of Trump, and say "Look at you, preaching tolerance all the time, and now you show that you are nothing but a bigot!"

OK.  Let's break this one down.

"Tolerance", properly construed, is merely a convenient shorthand for recognizing the humanity of others and their right to carry on in any fashion that does not actively harm another person.  It is not magnanimity to "tolerate" gay people, or fat people, or people in wheelchairs, or people with a different skin color — rather, it is an act of wickedness to ostracize them.

Likewise, no one argues that we should tolerate a man who is assaulting someone in the middle of the street.  It is an immoral act to permit an assault — when you prevent violence, you are not denying a man his right to harm others, you are supporting his victim's right not to be subjected to violence.

I would go a step further: it is an immoral act to tolerate someone who stands by and watches a man commit violence against another human being without attempting to intercede, let alone someone who cheers that man on.  Such a person is not expressing a simple difference; such a person is enabling an unjust act.  And that gets us to Trump and his supporters.

No, I will not "tolerate" Donald Trump.  No, I will not "tolerate" your right to support Donald Trump.  To do so would, itself, be an injustice.  Trump is — with every breath and every joke and every grope — degrading and insulting and injuring and threatening and violating our fellow citizens.  To oppose him, and the people who enable him, is not called "intolerance".  To oppose them is called "morality".