Though tolerance is not the highest virtue and hypocrisy is not the lowest sin, liberals have a dearth of the former while demanding it and an abundance of the latter while forbidding it.
Washington University's withdrawn speaking invitation to Bristol Palin is a textbook example both of liberal intolerance and hypocrisy.
The university invited Palin to share her views on abstinence during its "Student Sexual Responsibility Week" in February. But when it was disclosed that the school had offered Palin $20,000 to speak, open-minded liberal students objected and the university withdrew the invitation.
Let's look at some of the reasons the university offered for reneging on its invitation to Palin — reasons that are much more diverse than the university's acceptable range of speaker choices.
The first objection was over the size of the honorarium. While $20,000 is a good chunk of change, it's not like it was a gift. Speakers are routinely paid more on campuses throughout the United States, many of whom couldn't possibly draw the kind of crowds necessary to pay their fees. With Palin's high profile, she doubtlessly could have generated an audience sufficient to cover her honorarium. If that's the case, this objection is unreasonable, especially when schools subsidize other speaker payments. And what does it say about a public institution that it would renege on what we must assume was its legally binding commitment to pay Palin for her appearance?
Of course, the amount of money was probably not the main reason for the student outrage, but just an added irritant to their revulsion that anyone related to Sarah Palin would set foot on their campus, much less at the university's paid invitation.
Soon, other reasons surfaced. One was that Palin is too controversial, a frequent complaint leftists selectively make against conservatives in a variety of venues. But no such student objections were leveled against the appearance at the university of Obama's disgraced "Green Jobs Czar" Van Jones, who resigned from his post when it was learned that he had been an avowed Marxist and had publicly denounced Republicans with expletives. And if Palin is controversial for her objectively innocuous views supporting abstinence, how about the Planned Parenthood contingency that will remain on the panel, militantly pushing the pro-abortion position?
Another objection was that Palin couldn't possibly relate to single mothers because she is not a single mother herself — because she makes too much money. Apart from the fact that you don't have to be a single mother to lecture on abstinence in the first place, it speaks volumes about liberals that they disqualify people from categories based on their unacceptable (conservative) political views — e.g., conservative blacks are not black. With all deference to liberals' distorted lexicons, Bristol Palin is unmarried and a mother, and is therefore a single mother.
Other liberals, on and off campus, objected that Palin isn't college educated and thus lacks the credentials to speak on a vaunted university campus. This is disgraceful sophism. Are leftists so arrogant that they believe they can't learn from anyone on any subject — regardless of her experience — who hasn't acquired knowledge through their approved method? Are reformed drug addicts or alcoholics forbidden to speak on the dangers of drugs and alcohol unless they're able to present their college diplomas?
Another equally lame excuse reared its head when liberals asserted that Palin had no business speaking on the subject of abstinence because she had a child out of wedlock, which disqualified her on the grounds of the mortal sin of hypocrisy.
What's most maddening about this is liberals' habitual misuse of the term hypocrisy. It is not hypocritical for someone to preach against a practice they committed in the past, have sought redemption for and are not presently committing — especially if the purpose of the preaching is to help others avoid mistakes she made, rather than to condemn them. Common sense and experience tell us that the most effective teachers are often those who have learned from and can steer people away from their past misbehaviors.
The students' outrage was much more likely based on their personal angst that their school would invite someone as detestable as they find Sarah Palin's offspring to be, even if the school would have profited from the event.
Washington University student liberals showed their ugly side in this sordid episode — displaying their intolerance for certain people and ideas in the name of tolerance, and their rank hypocrisy in the name of banning hypocrisy.
Sadly, they're too eaten up with their own self-righteousness to see through their mirrors clearly.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His new book, "Crimes Against Liberty," was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction for its first two weeks. To find out more about David Limbaugh, please visit his website at www.DavidLimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.