Is There A Widening Tolerance Gap?

Film, Observatory

Two stories jump out at me from the press this week. The first involves a rash of gay suicides in the US caused by bullying, coupled with horrific attacks on gay men in New York, of all places, and the rise of homophobic comments by Republicans, including the Republican candidate in the New York governor race, Carl Paladino, condemning pride parades and saying gay people must not teach in schools, here.

This contrasts with the soaring value of the pink Euro after the first gay trade fair held in Spain, where over 20,000 visitors attended and there was a fight to get exhibition stands.

Now obviously, this is not a clear-cut issue – there are terrible race and sexuality tolerance problems arising in France (where next year’s expo is to be held). Conversely, I’ve yet to meet an intolerant American, but one senses a tidal change in Republicans who now have the confidence to spread hatred of difference.

And by the time we get to the egotistical simpleton Marco Rubio, who looks set to win big in Florida and says that God chose America to rule the rest of the world, I’m starting to feel that the grandchildren of the sixties have really lost their way. Rubio is also a Creationist and global warming denier. He says; ‘We are the greatest nation in history. That is not a theory, that is a fact.’ The Greeks, who invented democracy, might argue with that. More about Rubio here.

I count Americans among my greatest friends and strongly believe in our ‘special relationship’. I have a problem when patriotism is thrown back in the faces of a hardworking people in order to win votes. When these sentiments are voiced, who gains apart from a handful of super-rich at the top? Comments pro and con always treated fairly and welcomed here.

9 comments on “Is There A Widening Tolerance Gap?”

  1. Rachel Green says:

    That makes me very afraid.

  2. Matt says:

    Oh My! What is going on? I would be a real shame if things unravel at this time in human history. I guess that the real world is a long way from being straight forward. That the real US government/shadow government is a long way from the fictional ‘West Wing’ view. It also makes me very afraid.

  3. I.A.M. says:

    There is an increasing use of über-rhetoric in the US political field on both sides of the spectrum. With this comes a tacit encouragement to top the last geezer’s outrageous statement (“Obama = Hitler”, say), put it on a placard, and march around in front of news cameras, thereby creating in the eyes of viewers the slogan as a fact, which then permits further amplification of statements, and so on. At this point, the only people who start sounding even remotely reasonable are the political comedians who poke fun at everyone, as most of the political candidates are being so perfectly mock-able.

    Which brings us to the cry to stop being so perfectly ridiculous, headed by John Stewart and Stephen Colbert; hosts of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report/i> respectively. While seemingly a mock-rally (including plans for signs being carried including “This is a Sign” and “I Disagree with Your Opinion. Would You Like Some Pie?”), there’s a very solid and necessary goal here: demonstration of the existence of the centrist, rational, reasonable, quiet 80% of the populace who would like both sides to stop their ranting for a bit and get something done that doesn’t involve getting their electable faces on TV. Like solving the 10% unemployment rate; or the massive deficit; or the healthcare problem; or just about anything, really. Times a-wasting and FoxTV News is making it worse by giving all the time they have to the extremists; influential people on both sides quietly agree about that.

    It’s quite sad when the Court Jesters start sounding more responsible than the rulers.

    For more on the rally on the 30th of this month, head to

  4. Martha says:

    I occasionally (still) get asked why I don’t want to live in the US of A. I rest my case. Estonia/Europe may not – definitely isn’t perfect when it comes to Gay tolerance – but it ain’t like that.

  5. Steve says:

    I think the most frightening thing about the current political climate here is that the people who truly believe that evolution is “just a theory”, that the earth is 5,000 years old and that Jesus will return in their lifetimes – are actually gaining power. The anti-intellectual and intolerant climate is way too reminiscent of Hitlerian Germany for comfort.

  6. BangBang!! says:

    But where are the 80% of people who are so upset about it? We hear this all the time and yet these scum are still elected with huge majorities. And the US will be embarrassed by more school boards insisting on teaching creationism and ID. Whle their country is crumbling down round their ears they are more concerned with making sure a gay man can’t teach.

    I suggest we spend every penny we have partying till we all have heart attacks because this world is finished!

  7. Helen Martin says:

    If I were gay I would not go to the U.S. just now. We’re just back from a holiday there and a couple of times I heard comments that made me uncomfortable. There is an inherited idea as to ‘how things are’ that makes life difficult for anyone who doesn’t fit. All we can do is demonstrate how things *really* are here where it’s safe and hope it shakes the inherited ideas. Here in western Canada a friend was on a gay teachers committee which fought for their right to be open so their students could be safe. That is theoretically so now, but the homophobic remarks allegedly thrown at young Justin Bieber the other night would indicate we have a way to go.

  8. Helen Martin says:

    And then there is Prince Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia,recently found guilty of murdering his manservant in a London hotel. An ugly case but the prosecution points out that the prince may very well apply for asylum on the grounds that, his homosexuality having been made public, he could well face a death sentence if he were sent home. We have advanced a little. Maybe.

  9. Helen Martin says:

    And today’s news is that he will be serving a lengthy sentence in Britain. His experience in prison should be illuminating for him.

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