Today’s Daily Beast released a list of the most tolerant states, based on issues of fair housing and workplace laws, religious acceptance, legal rights for same-sex couples, and hate crime statutes. If we correlate this list with Wikipedia’s classification of states as Red, Blue, or Purple (achieved by using the average margins of victory in Presidential elections between 1992 and 2008) we discover the following:
The ten most tolerant states are all Democratic “Blue States,” although the most Democratic state, Massachusetts, is only 18th on this list of the most tolerant. Wisconsin, the most tolerant state, is the 19th most democratic state.
Of the ten least tolerant states, eight are Republican (red states) and two are purple. Utah, the most Republican state, is among these (number 44 out of 50). The two purple states among these least tolerant are Arkansas and Ohio.
Two Republican states qualify as more tolerant than Massachusetts (the most Democratic state), and these are North Carolina and Louisiana. Could this be attributed to the high level of quality colleges in the former and the recognized cosmopolitan influence of the latter’s major city, New Orleans?
The twenty least tolerant states are all either Republican or “Purple states.”
Of the twenty most tolerant states, fourteen are Democratic, three are “Purple states,” and three are Republican. The three Republican states (Virginia, North Carolina, and Louisiana) are among the five lowest Republican states in terms of (Republican) vote percentages.
What is disturbing about this data is a fairly clear relationship between being Republican and being less tolerant today. This negative association is supported by today’s Republican Party actions which clearly undermine social equality and, in fact, contradict the Republican Party’s purported desire to adhere to our Constitution.
After all, the Preamble to the Constitution makes it clear that its focus was to “promote the general Welfare.” Repealing the Health Care Law, as Republicans will attempt to do, does not “promote the general Welfare.” Extending the Bush tax cuts even to the very wealthiest Americans will only to increase the disparity between the rich and the poor of our nation, again doing the opposite of “promoting the general Welfare.”
No matter what today’s Republicans say, today’s Democrats are clearly the party most committed to “promoting the general Welfare” as called for in the Preamble of our Constitution. Meanwhile, the Republican Party is thriving most in those states that are shown to be the least tolerant. This is not a proud position for the party of Lincoln. Were I a Republican, I’d be red with embarrassment!