Let me preface this segment by expressing my skepticism about “studies” showing cognitive or behavioral differences based on descriptions like “liberal” and “conservative.” I’m skeptical when they attack conservatives as less intelligent; I’m skeptical when they attack liberals as less tolerant. I’ve known plenty of liberals and conservatives about whom both of these descriptions can apply. If I had to choose which side is more tolerant overall based on my own experiences, I’d choose conservatives — but that’s a subjective point of view based on personal observation, and not packaged as a “study.”
With that said, Kirsten Powers thinks that this George Washington University study actually gets it right:
Democrat Kirsten Powers agreed with this sentiment, relaying from her own personal experiences engaging with liberals and conservatives, surmising that the former tend to be less tolerant because they are used to controlling the media. …
Powers explained that after getting out of her own “Democratic bubble,” she noticed that conservatives tend to be more open to hearing opposing viewpoints than liberals.
“Liberals, because they are used to controlling all the media, pretty much, academia, that for them, when they hear things that don’t jibe with what they want to hear, it’s very disconcerting and unsettling to them.”
Powers added that most of these liberals are generally shocked about dissenting views because they just assume everyone believes their beliefs are just common sense. Kate Obenshain agreed with Powers, saying that when conservatives on college campuses openly disagree with liberal orthodoxy, they are charged with “violating the campus speech codes.”
I’d note that the campus speech code issue isn’t an online problem, but a comprehensive problem on universities. They want to champion Free Speech, but when Free Speech produces an Ann Coulter appearance or even a dissenting viewpoint on a Free Speech Wall, well … at that point, “not every opinion is valid .”