It’s a fact of life that people gravitate toward others with similar beliefs and interests. Left to their own devices, and free of social engineering, individuals have for time immemorial demonstrated that they will cling to those of like mind and background. It is among the most fundamental of traits endemic to the human character. At the same time, in order to live in a world entirely out of our control, where we cannot dictate what others believe and practice, how rising generations tolerate those who think, act, or behave differently tells us a great deal about where our society is headed. Is intolerance rising? Are we promoting or discouraging freedom of thought? Are we becoming more or less civilized?
You will not be encouraged by the answers to those questions unearthed in a study just released by Generation Lab/Axios – considered a credible center-left outlet – on the relative attitudes of college-aged youngsters on the left and right about people of different political stripes. In fact, as much as you might have concluded that leftists have been behaving with increasing narrow-mindedness over the years, you will still be startled by this quantification of the difference in tolerance levels between up-and-coming conservatives and liberals/leftists.
A representative 850 students in two- and four-year colleges were asked if they would be friends with someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate. The results were jaw-dropping (the margin of error is +/- 3.4%): Republicans were 7½ times (!) more likely to say yes than Democrats. More than one in three self-identifying members of the GOP, 37%, said they would befriend a Democrat, while only 5% of Democrats would do the same with a Republican. And 71% of young Republicans said they would go on a date with a Democrat, while just 31% of such Democrats were willing to spend an evening with a Republican.
When it comes to money, 41% of Republicans in the survey would shop at a business owned by someone who voted opposite from them, while just 7% of Democrats would do so. And concerning the workplace, 30% of young Republicans say they would work for a Democrat, while 7% of Democrats would be willing to toil for a Republican.
Interestingly, college women weighed in as more partisan than men. So 41% of females would go on a date with someone who voted for the opposing candidate, compared to 67% of males. And only 68% of the college-aged women – compared to 84% of men – would shop at or support the business belonging to someone of the other party.
Some allowance can be made for the truism that people tend to be more liberal when young and more conservative when older, after being “mugged by reality.” The results of this poll might look somewhat different when these youngsters have aged by a decade or two. Nevertheless, this stark contrast in attitudes between the educated youth of the left and right reveals not just a difference of opinion but an attitude of moral superiority among leftists, who are increasingly threatened by having their positions discussed, debated, or, God forbid, contradicted. Those on the left are evidently finding it harder and harder to live with themselves if they allow their minds to be poisoned by interaction with anyone who would vote for Donald Trump – or any other Republican.
So, unless you want to challenge the validity or efficacy of the results compiled by what elite media – and many conservatives – have long considered a credible source, the resulting narrative is truly chilling. While there has always been an organic reluctance among conservatives and liberals to co-mingle, the utter intransigence on the left in the Trump and post-Trump era revealed in this survey leads to an inescapable conclusion: The growing Balkanization of America is being stoked by Democratic youth whose collective answer to the age-old question posed by Rodney King – can we all get along? – is an emphatic “Hell, no.”
~ Read more from Tim Donner.