I Am A Liberal, But I'm Not Open-Minded

by Kate Spindler
Originally Published: 
A black-haired curly liberal woman with glasses in a black tulle shirt and burgundy leather waistcoa...
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It is now popular in conservative circles to turn arguments over to progressives by stating what they believe to be a brilliant rejoinder: “Liberals brag about being so open-minded, but just look when someone has a different viewpoint! They aren’t open-minded at all!”

I am here to agree with them. I am a liberal, and I am not open-minded in the least. I would correct you if you described me as such. Here’s why.

We live in an age when children and teachers must fear being murdered at school. Each time, Congress offers their “thoughts and prayers.” Again, they will do nothing, even though gun legislation has proven time and again to reduce gun deaths. We are a country obsessed with murder weapons. I don’t know how to fix this. And I am not open-minded on this issue: I do not care about your guns. There is no argument on earth that will convince me that your guns are more important than my children’s lives. My mind is closed.

When two people of the same sex or gender love each other and want to have the same rights as two people of different sex or genders, they get to do that, because they are humans and deserve the same rights as straight couples. It is no one’s business but theirs, and it affects your life in no way whatsoever, except that you get the privilege of another loving couple in your community. This topic is closed for debate with me, and I’m fine with that.

When a transgender person wants to use the bathroom they identify with, or have protections at work, they get that right. There is no argument against that. Think I’m close-minded on that? Damn right. I have yet to hear a compelling argument against it.

When unarmed black folks are murdered by cops by the scores, and you hide behind the “blue line” instead of questioning the institutionalized racism of the justice system, then I have lost my respect for you as someone who will not care for the plight of innocent people. The discussion is closed; I don’t need to hear your viewpoint, because racist rhetoric is useless and false. There are not two sides to racism; we decided that a couple centuries ago. It’s 2019; if you aren’t caught up, you best get on the train.

I am not a “tolerant liberal.” I will not tolerate your false equivalencies. Don’t know what “false equivalency” means? I’ll help you this once:

“[An] argument simultaneously condemns and excuses both sides in a dispute by claiming that both sides are (equally) guilty of inappropriate behavior or bad reasoning. While the argument appears to be treating both sides equally, it is generally used to condemn an opponent or to excuse one’s own position.” (credit: Bruce Thompson, professor of philosophy, Palomar College, 2017)

I will not tolerate your arguments that erase hundreds of years of history, that erase murdered children and broken women. So you can call me whatever you want, but if your insult is that I’m not an open-minded liberal, then I guess you’ve won that round. I am not.

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