Do the math: If you’re a liberal, tolerance = ?

Do the math: If you’re a liberal, tolerance = ?
Harvard Yard. (Image: Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons, Mancala)

When I was a young Harvard Law Student, my car tires got slashed, perhaps because I had a libertarian bumper sticker on my car in a city that was dominated by progressives. (The sticker on my Plymouth Horizon read “Don’t steal, the government hates competition”). Cambridge, Mass., was a sanctuary for progressive, big-government ideas, and I had violated that “safe space” with my dissenting viewpoint. (Or so a left-leaning Unitarian minister who didn’t like my bumper sticker suggested, although he didn’t use exactly those words. He viewed my bumper sticker as rather oppressive and uncompassionate.).

The city hated what progressives there called “tax-cut terrorists,” people who wanted to limit government spending. Progressives there were still bitter about a statewide ballot initiative passed in 1980 known as Proposition 2½, authored by the libertarian-leaning Barbara Anderson, which limited taxes, and transformed Massachusetts from “Taxachusetts” (with some of the highest taxes in the country) into a state that today has middling levels of taxation. They felt that tax limits could result in an insufficient safety net for the needy. They were also angry about a failed 1990 ballot initiative promoted by Anderson that would have imposed additional limits on taxation. (Supporters of that initiative were commonly referred to as “tax cut terrorists” by progressives in the media and elsewhere.).

The vandalism I experienced is apparently not an uncommon phenomenon in progressive enclaves. At Instapundit, Ed Driscoll notes:

SEATTLE MAN OF TOLERANCE AND DIVERSITY CONFESSES TO VANDALIZING CARS  WITH TRUMP BUMPER STICKERS: “KING 5 News in Seattle reports today that a man has admitted to vandalizing a car because of the ‘hate symbol’ displayed on it — a Donald Trump bumper sticker. However, Riley Siva pleaded not guilty this morning to a charge of malicious mischief, despite confessing to police at the scene of the crime.” The ponytailed Siva ‘told police he considered the Trump sticker on the bumper of a Ford Focus in Gig Harbor a hate symbol, and he was ‘improving the community’ by slashing the car’s tires and pouring yogurt into the sunroof, causing an estimated $5,000 in damage.”

Some things never change; in 2012, there were multiple reports of cars with Romney bumper stickers being keyed. In 2004, Glenn reported from the bullet-riddled Bush-Cheney headquarters, amidst reports of Bush-Cheney-adorned cars being keyed and causing road rage in leftists who espouse an ideology that preaches tolerance and diversity. Speaking of which, back then, a T-shirt manufacturer sold a Shirt with the image of a scratched-out Bush-Cheney 2004 bumper sticker and the words “A person of tolerance and diversity keyed my car.” Someone with a Café Press account should update the design for 2016.

Hans Bader

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law. Hans also writes for CNS News and has appeared on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”


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