Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

We Determine Our Fate in Life

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

We Determine Our Fate in Life

Article excerpt

Byline: Star Parker

Intolerance, at times exploding into violence, is spreading throughout our society. And it's coming from the political left.

It's happening on college campuses. Most recently, students walked out on Vice President Mike Pence's commencement address at Notre Dame University.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was interrupted by boos and jeers at her commencement address at historically black Bethune-Cookman University.

Conservative scholar Charles Murray was met with violent protests and physically assaulted at Middlebury College.

Another conservative scholar, Heather MacDonald, was violently shut down in a presentation she was giving at Claremont McKenna College. These are just a couple examples.

Now it's spreading off college campuses with reports of violence and threats toward Republican members of Congress and their families as they hold town halls in their districts.

A column in The Hill newspaper bears the headline, "Republicans fearing for their safety as anger, threats mount."

What's happening?

A recent commentary in Forbes Magazine from a London School of Business professor calls this "The Post-Truth World."

He describes a prevailing feeling of helplessness as individuals inhabit a world in which knowledge is, in general, exploding but each individual knows, relatively, less and less. And he points to a world in which business and politics are becoming increasingly interdependent.

New York University psychologist Jonathan Haidt attributes what's happening to a culture in which young people are not forced to deal with opposing viewpoints. This, says Haidt, is amplified by social media, which serves to reinforce existing biases.

But all this doesn't explain why the intolerance and violence is coming mainly from the political left.

A new survey from the Pew Research Center sheds light on this.

Sixty-six percent of Republicans compared to 29 percent of Democrats say that a person is rich "because they worked harder than most people" rather than because of having personal advantages in life.

This 37 percent difference in attitudes of Republicans and Democrats about why some people are rich is 12 points larger today than where it stood just three years ago in 2014. …

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