[Paleopsych] lib/cons

Michael Christopher anonymous_animus at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 1 19:32:14 UTC 2004

>>My conservative friends are the most
accepting/tolerant of contrasting opinions, whereas my
liberal friends are the most rigid and rejecting of
opinions that contrast their own. What is it 
about the Left that makes them so hateful?<<

--I would say the same about my liberal friends, who
would probably say "what is it about the Right that
makes them so hateful?". Perhaps you get different
responses depending on where you stand. Most people
are "hateful" to people who make them feel judged or
rejected, regardless of the belief systems involved.
Most people are very accepting if you show them
acceptance. It's easy to skew data by participating in
the experiment, no?

People often judge others by the filters they apply to
their own relationships, which is why many men will
insist women are the more unreasonable gender, and
many women will insist men are the more unreasonable.
Whatever has the power to reject or judge you is seen
as the greater threat. So if a "liberal" is kind to me
and judgmental of conservatives, I'll judge him to be
a "decent person" because of how he treats me. A
conservative might get friendier responses from other
conservatives and overlook a judgmental or hostile
attitude toward liberals. We aren't aware of how we
invoke responses in others, and we aren't aware of how
we generalize and apply unconscious filters. That's
one reason why society swings from liberal to
conservative and back again. People have to go to an
extreme before they catch themselves, because they're
focused on the other side's extremes and can't see
their own behavior.

I've seen extreme intolerance on all sides of
political battles, and I tend not to become friends
with those who are more hostile. Since my friends,
both liberal and conservative, are pretty much equally
accepting and reasonable, I can either congratulate
myself on being able to make good friends, or I can
generalize and say liberals and conservatives are both
equally reasonable or unreasonable. Hard to say which
is more true.


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