Drowning in Tolerance: My Issues with the Left

I’m a liberal. No, I’m a leftist. A socialist. I’m as far left as you can reasonably go without actually being sarcastic. Since college, I’ve touted leftist ideology. I joke that my perfect man is Karl Marx, but the real joke is that I’m not joking. Being a leftist is one of my defining characteristics and is a major part of my identity.

But lately I’m becoming… disillusioned. I’m not ready to turn in my hammer and sickle quite yet, but I’ve been incredibly frustrated. I once heard this joke that was something along the lines of “die a Democrat or live long enough to see yourself become a Republican” and I rolled my eyes when I first heard it, but I fear I’m becoming more centrist as the left becomes more and more ridiculously Left. Here are some of the issues I’m running into with the leftist movement that I love so dearly.

There is no room for nuance

One of the drawbacks of being the “bleeding heart” party is the idea that we are the moral authority on every issue. And while I do believe that leftists want all people treated with humanity and dignity and to have access to basic human liberties, this righteous indignation can become exhausting when it refuses to allow for a differing or opposing viewpoint.

Natalie Wynn, a prominent leftist YouTuber and trans woman, is dealing with this very issue as she was recently ran off Twitter for saying, God forbid, she would prefer not to be constantly forced to state her preferred pronouns in HyperWoke spaces while she’s clearly presenting as female. Her very valid opinion was seen as disrespectful to Non-Binary people who harassed and demonized her until she no longer felt safe or welcome on Twitter. Keep in mind, this is one of the most influential, visible LGBTQ+ rights activists and educators of the modern age. She dared to have a nuanced take and was punished for it, which leads me to my next issue:

Cancel culture is absolutely out of control

You know who should be “cancelled”? Matt Lauer. Harvey Weinstein. Bad men (and women) who have done bad things throughout the years. Not good people with differing opinions. Not people who made problematic jokes in the past. This idea that anybody who has ever made an off-color joke or had a differing take should be demonized, threatened, vilified, de-platformed is absolutely ridiculous.

Jon Ronson wrote a really great book called So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed that addresses this very real issue of peoples’ real lives being destroyed by this tendency for the Anonymous Horde to dox and destroy lives based on lapses in judgment. People should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, develop their views and change their minds without being threatened or made into a monster. Nobody has ever grown as a person while being publicly hanged on the gallows of public opinion.

This isn’t just a high profile public figure issue, either. I personally don’t feel safe sharing my own more moderate or possibly dissenting takes on social and political issues, lest I be automatically labeled a TERF or a Conservative or a bigot. Mind you, I’m none of these things but the speed at which we are ready to permanently stamp each other with these toxic labels would give any normal person whiplash.

The incessant in-fighting is embarrassing and a waste of time

Have you ever argued with someone, only to slowly realize that you both are on the same side and are purely arguing about semantics? Or you’re so wrapped up in the emotion that you fail to recognize that a simple solution could be reached if the room were big enough to handle both egos?

That’s the left in a nutshell. The left is so ridiculously splintered and fragmented amongst itself that we don’t even need the right at this point, we can’t agree on anything by our damn selves. Liberals vs. leftists vs. socialists vs. radical feminists vs. (god forbid) left-leaning moderates. We should all be working towards the same goals, but we’re too busy fighting about pronouns to realize that the Earth is collapsing around us.

It’s childish. It reinforces what the right says about us, that we’re too emotional and ridiculous and deeply offended and should not be making any serious policy changes until we reach puberty. We are too busy policing each other’s language and canceling one another to do any substantial good for the causes we claim to want to champion. We, as a movement, need to stop this childish bullshit.

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