There’s bigots and there’s stong characters

Posted on November 5, 2010


Professor Wiggly: ” One way of distinguishing between them is in terms of flexibility. I define a bigot as someone who’s beliefs are so strongly emotionally anchored that they will tolerate no disagreement, entertain no alternative viewpoints. Whereas, a strong character also has  a set of emotionally anchored beliefs but is able to consider alternatives, accept some, and agree to disagree on others. The bigot’s network is fragile consisting of ‘yes men’, whereas a strong character’s network can include other strong characters with different talents so his or her network is more robust and adaptable.”

Jenny: ” So bigots attract those with weak or unstable self-images, who become more or less blind followers. I guess in uncertain times many of us lose our confidence – our emotionally anchored beliefs wobble – we’re vulnerable and  likely to follow bigots, people trumpeting simple solutions… like some of the Tea Party leaders. In such times extremists on the right and left attract followers whose fear or anger make them gullible to simplistic party lines.”

Peter: “Hey Jen, at uncertain times like this which exteme party line are you blindly following?”

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