The ideals of the American constitution circulate around freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Why is it that politics, both the Right and Left wings, are then so fervent of differing mindsets and freedoms? Richard Grenell explores and bemoans the intolerance in his article, Intolerance Is Back Again.
Grenell begins with an anecdote of his dinner in New York being rudely interrupted by a man eavesdropping on a political conversation and denouncing Grenell as a “bigot and ignorant.” This obviously rare occurrence in New York spurs Grenell into rehashing the intolerances of past and present politics.
Grenell’s first example is of the Religious Right’s “hypocrisy of promoting love and family values” while simultaneously castigating those whom they deem the wrong type of family. The initial point of the Religious Right’s “intolerance” may have indicated Grenell’s agenda, but reading further into the text Grenell rather abruptly reveals his disdain for the “angry and intolerant Left.” Grenell offers no evidence, simply condemns liberals as “elites” that have become “apoplectic” and have no other tact than to resort to “name-calling.”
While the surface of Grenell’s unsupported tirade appears to lean to the Right, with veiled phrases such as “it makes you wonder if ‘Intolerance and Anger is the Change We Need,’ “ and the “height of hypocrisy” is to “become enraged when someone isn't seeing the world the way they do,” it becomes clear that Grenell isn’t rallying for McCain so much as chiding the Democrats for not learning the lessons of the strident republican Right.
Grenell’s blanket statement of the “intolerant angry left has replaced the religious right in 2008” seems to ignore the true growth that’s occurred since the Religious Right’s family values rally. Despite the Right wanting a family to be only “people related only by blood, adoption, or marriage” (Martin, pg. 178) the nation has grown more accepting. In With God On Our Side, William Martin illustrated how much of the Right’s conflict with family values did not stem solely from intolerance, rather what “galvanized the Christian community was. . . trying to deny them tax-exempt status.” (Martin. Pg. 173)
It is not enough to declare the political Left or Right “narrow minded” or “elitist,” both statements become hypocritical. Rather, the aim of ridding politics and the nation of intolerance should be to identify the underlying cause, not lambaste each side with abortion and gay rights. What is the reason, Mr. Grenell, that the liberals have become so “narrow-minded”?