Our dynamically changing world continually forces us to reshape the definition of political tolerance and what it means for democracy.
Originally, the Latin root of the verb “tolerance” comes from the word “tolero,” which means to put up with, accept or bear a burden. As we all might suspect, this definition does no longer apply to modern standards of society.
These days, political tolerance stands not only for acknowledging other perspectives that differ from one’s point of view – it also means taking an active approach to understanding, empathizing, and creating new paths for minorities to express themselves.
But why has political tolerance earned such a vital part in shaping modern democracy? Let’s find out more!
Freedom of expression
Every person has a voice, and every person has a right to express it. As an ideal concept, democracy holds every member of society as equal, ensuring acceptance and respect for each other. That includes freedom of speech, which plays the leading role in redefining political tolerance in democratic standards within the era of digitalization.
Political representatives not only face the challenge of advocating for what’s most beneficial for both the country and society, but they are also partially obliged to dilute their values and interests due to what’s best for the majority while respecting the rights of the minorities.. So, does freedom of expression have its limits, and how do politicians handle it?
Living in a complex multicultural world, being surrounded by a variety of religions, redefining gender and sexual orientation… Every day, we’re facing new challenges, trying to set a line between tolerance and animosity. In order to build a truly stable, democratic society, it’s necessary to acknowledge all individual voices trying to get noticed in the crowd.If we are to be truly equal, free expression is a must – and some of the previously “insignificant” voices might steer us towards real, meaningful change in the future.
Balancing the media
One of the most contagious viruses spreading through society is hate speech, commonly seen on social media platforms and within many online sources. Political influence in this matter refers to keeping the balance between ensuring the existence of free media and protecting those who are being repressed and harassed.
Political intolerance is powered by a willingness to restrict the rights of a disliked group based on differing views and interests. This inherently presents a threat to democracy since it discriminates against and may even silence certain parts of the population.
One of the essential tasks for politicians and their approach to tolerance in media is assuring objectivity and avoidance of extremes in the information they create, shape, and share. Embracing diversity of perspectives among different groups in society, especially when it comes to handling media messages, is crucial to establish a hatred-free democratic society in which no citizen is afraid to speak up.
A big part of raising the younger generation is creating an open-minded environment, ensuring diversity in exploring the world as it is. Education and political participation are the factors that can easily help cultivate tolerance toward minorities. Politicians can help to eliminate discrimination and hatred by promoting dialogue throughout the educational system with minority and vulnerable groups.
Students, young and bright minds of the country, having more opportunities to practice and observe tolerance, are more likely to be appreciative and committed to values highlighting the respect for others. States can contribute to the overall democratic learning and stability by involving citizens in the democratic process and upholding the civil liberties of all groups.
What’s worth noticing is that a culture of intolerance is highly contagious. It leads towards discrimination creating conformist behaviors that tend to grow strong roots among society members and are not easy to weed out.
As a society, we normalize and accept those behaviors that are adopted by the vast majority. What’s important is to stay aware of minority rights and show respect to repressed groups. It’s the embracing of the diversity in public life that allows members of society to explore and implement new rules, taking further steps to cement the grounds of US democracy.
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