Pilot Letter: Inexplicable tolerance


The writer asks nine rhetorical questions, all in support of the notion that intolerance is acceptable.

There’s no mystery as to why President Trump has supporters. The explanation is that every public figure has supporters, as well as detractors.

No, what the writer plainly wants to know is why everyone doesn’t share his opinion of the man.

But again there is no mystery: Everyone is under no obligation at all to share the writer’s opinion. It is unrealistic, unreasonable, in fact, to expect they should.

Which is the reason I picked this letter to comment on: The Pilot performs no service to its audience by publishing it, especially without dissent.

No doubt there are those who agree with this thing such that it is representative of some part of the public, but notice how undemocratic the letter really is in substance. The writer doesn’t just assert or even support a point of view, he argues for burning witches.

On purely technical grounds of rhetoric, the Pilot could — and I think should — have rejected the letter for publication.

9 thoughts on “Pilot Letter: Inexplicable tolerance

    1. Gaslighting? Do you know what that means? As a follower and admirer of the greatest political gas-lighter of all time you should. For the record, it is an attempt to make “alternative facts” seem real by constant repetition.

      So, in the V-P LTE what do find to be gaslighting? I have read it and re-read it and find very little that is not fully evidenced by Trump’s own words and actions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gaslighting is more than just getting people tp believe misinformation.

        It is a form of abusive manipulation in which the target is pressured to question their own perception and reason.

        In this case, we see daily repetition of baseless charges against the President and those who support him seeking to make them question their support in spite of the success of the country and the economy.

        In spite of a strong economy, we are being manipulated to believe the country is in a shambles,


        1. “It is a form of abusive manipulation in which the target is pressured to question their own perception and reason.”
          Seems to me you just described Trump more than an LTE. His “enemy of the people” rhetoric concerning the media is proof enough of that for me. He’s even turned on Fox News because he doesn’t like the polling data or some of the comments by those who have been his biggest supporters. Heck, even Marc Thiessen, one of Trump’s most vociferous supporters has come to realize that Trump and his admin continue to shoot themselves in the foot.

          “In spite of a strong economy, we are being manipulated to believe the country is in a shambles,”

          While ignoring the several signs of a weakening economy, caused by Trump’s own policies. And if the economy is so good under Trump, why doesn’t he campaign on that?
          And the country may not be in shambles, but it definitely more divided now than prior to 2017 – IMHO.


    2. RE: “Gaslighting”

      Bingo. The tell is in the title the editor crafted for the letter. It virtually screams, “Intolerance is good.”


    1. RE: “The product of tolerating intolerance is what, exactly?”

      One that I mentioned is burning witches.

      I find that public discourse these days reminds me more and more of Shirley Jackson’s famous short story, “The Lottery.” Copy here:

      Click to access jackson_lottery.pdf

      I wish people and newspapers would try a little harder to do better.


  1. “Intolerance is acceptable” is NOT the message of the LTE. I perceive the good old “conservative” victim card in that sort of spin. “Boohoo, I love me some Trump and people dislike me because of it.”

    The letter is essentially just an expression of incredulity along the lines of “How could people be so amoral and stupid to support this TV clown after everything he has done to prove they shouldn’t?”

    Besides, intolerance is not in and of itself a bad thing. It depends on what you are intolerant of and why. Intolerance directed against people for who they inherently are is a bad thing. Intolerance directed against people for who they choose to be is quite another. Openly supporting Trump is a choice that some people make. They are free to make that choice but have no right to expect that such a choice carries no consequences for their social life, courting or in their economic life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “They are free to make that choice but have no right to expect that such a choice carries no consequences…”

      It’s telling that you choose the word “right” instead of “reason” to describe the situation.

      You are alone here in making this a “rights” issue. I certainly don’t, and haven’t.

      On the other hand, when people, generally, have no reason anymore to expect to be treated fairly and with respect, then perhaps the “right” to be intolerant begins to make sense, at least to those who want the power that “rights” confer.


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