Distinguishing between Tolerance and Intolerance Used to Be Easier


John Wilson and April Kelly-Woessner have been having a very thought-provoking exchange on the relative tolerance or intolerance evident in the views of today’s young adults in comparison to earlier generations at that age.

Somewhere in the mix of all of these issues, one probably has to account for the broader cultural influence of a Far Right rhetorical strategy that has become commonplace over the last several decades, but has become much exaggerated since Obama was elected president.

In other posts to this blog, there has been a discussion of what a “balanced” viewpoint means—and, more specifically, a discussion of the media’s conflation of fair coverage of all viewpoints with an almost mathematically equal coverage of all viewpoints. As much as anything else, this practice has made the lunatic fringe seem much closer to the mainstream than it has in most periods in our recent national history.

That rhetorical strategy…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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