What Cory Booker Gets Wrong About Tolerance and Love

'We are not called to be a nation of tolerance,' said Booker. 'We are called to be a nation of love.'



The crowd at the Democratic National Convention loved New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker's primetime speech on Monday night: his remarks earned a standing ovation and drew immediate comparison's to then-Sen. Barack Obama's 2004 convention speech, which catapulted him to political celebrity status.

Booker's speech was well-liked, but it wasn't very good. It was filled with contradictory platitudes, and misstated the legal and moral obligations of people who live in a free society such as ours.

Booker condemned tolerance, of all things.

"We are not called to be a nation of tolerance," he said. "We are called to be a nation of love."

This is exactly backwards. The American project is not about forcing everyone to love each other. Such a thing would be impossible. The United States is a melting pot of different ethnic and religious groups—many of whom actually hate each other. Trying to force everyone to get along is a recipe for disaster.

Thankfully, our Constitution does not require us to love everyone. It requires us to extend tolerance—and equal rights—to everyone, even people we despise. It means that Jewish people, Muslims, and Christians all have the right to criticize each other. It means a Trump-supporting white southerner and a Black Lives Matter activist both get to open-carry, if they want to. It means a gay-hating baker doesn't have to bake a cake for a gay wedding, and a gay-loving baker doesn't have to bake a cake for an anti-gay rally (or, at least, it should mean that).

Citizens being compelled to love one another is an idea straight out of 1984—quite literally. As O'Brien tells Winston, "You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him."

It's fine to urge people to be more loving, of course. But that's a moral issue, not a legal or political one.

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  1. In Gary Johnson’s America, you’ll bake cakes at the point of a gun.

    1. And in Cory Booker’s America, you better fucking love it too.

  2. I was hearing a lot of Dems praise his speech. I didn’t see it. I just assumed it was full of inane babble if the same people who thought Bernie and Hillary had substantive debates praised it.

    1. We are getting close to where these speeches can be delivered by AI robots, freeing up politicians to be more productive in their (plundering) labors.

    2. People who like politics aren’t critical thinking by nature. They live for empty canards to facilitate their moral masturbation. Anything of substance is a distraction.

    3. I recall a study that produced a paper using randomly generated phrases. The paper made it through peer review and was published in a low-tier journal. I find it hard to believe, but it happened: nonsense math paper

      It seems like it would be a simple task to write a piece of software that could generate random political speeches that people would just eat up.

  3. He meant love of guns, right?

  4. “We are called to be a nation of love.”

    Now here is a list of things that have been approved for you to love.

    1. Strangely loving your enemies is no longer required….

      1. But they’re the enemies of love, so to love them would be like loving hatred.

    1. All government has is force.

      1. Cory Booker making a speech is not force.

  5. Booker also doesn’t realize that the Dems already checked off the black guy box. Unless he wants to pretend to be gay, there’s no room for him in 2020/2024.

    1. Would he be pretending?

  6. I love hookers, cocaine, and driving twice the posted speed limit on deserted roads. I LOVE AMERICA.

    1. Waffles…all those things…all those things are illegal!

      1. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Well what was the point of his speech then?

      2. Only if your one of them. Remember, there are two standards.

        1. Their hypocrisy gives me angina!

      3. Don’t be a hater. He’s just an undocumented sex therapist, pharmacist and race car driver.

  7. Cory Booker single-handedly revitalized Newark, New Jersey.

    1. is that what it’s called?

    2. Which hand did he use? Felt like a stranger.

    3. Really? It’s always been corrupt, so he didn’t really need his administration’s corruption to revitalize it.

  8. Robby, you said “Melting Pot”. That outs you as an intolerant cis hetero shitlord. True “tolerance” is keeping ethnic groups well separated because getting their votes is the most important thing.

  9. The United States is a melting pot of different ethnic and religious groups?many of whom actually hate each other.

    Then it’s not a melting pot.

    The concept of the “melting pot” is an early progressive justification for the expansion of immigration to southern Europe. The new immigrants’ native cultural would be destroyed–melted–and they would become the new progressive man.

    Or something. The early 20th century was full of lunatics.

    1. So is the early 21st.

      1. I think 1900-1945 is way worse than the modern era in terms of batshit-crazy ideology. I mean, we’re talking about a period in which the two worst wars in human history took place, two horrible ideologies emerged, multiple industrialized genocides based on ideology and even in North America things like eugenics were actual law. I’ll take a couple thousand mad Islamists, an utterly incompetent political system and people complaining about bathrooms over that any day.

        1. Yeah, I was just being flip.

        2. The two wars rose as a consequence of the unlimited capacity for government to borrow and nationalize as a result of central banking. Yeah some crazy ideologies existed, such things exist now actually, but when those ideologies flow into the mainstream of a society, that’s a symptom of discord not the cause. The early progressive and descendants of the Hamiltonian tradition unleashed the horrors of the isms that characterized the lion-share of the 20th century.

  10. our Constitution does not require us to love everyone.

    But it requires us to serve everyone just bc we operate a business, and be conscripted into the national military even tho it says otherwise. (See: 13A)

  11. You must love each other as Booker loves T-Bone, his imaginary drug dealer buddy who cried on his shoulder.


    I’m going to throw my goddamn computer out the window if I read one more person jerking off over this (generally the same people saying how awful Hillary was just 4 weeks ago)

  13. Day one appeared to be Wizard of Oz night at the Democratic National Convention! Complete with the Tin Man (Cory Booker) who implored America to grow a heart, the Scarecrow (Elizabeth Warren) who never fails to demonstrate her unique cerebral shortcomings, the Lion (Bernie Sanders, for obvious reasons), and, of course, Dorothy (Michelle Obama) who has enjoyed the adventure, but now she just can’t wait to get the hell out of this whole political nightmare!

  14. Was this essay written by a child? It seems like so much feel-good horseshit.

    Tolerance isn’t always a good thing. Here are some things you should never tolerate: welfare states, nanny states, crime, corruption, whiny college students, whiny college faculty, anyone who thinks their class or status merits them special treatment, and Canadians.

    1. and Canadians

      … with the exception of Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush.

    2. “and Canadians.”

      Hey, they aren’t all brain damaged fools like Cytotoxic.

  15. “…Booker’s speech was well-liked, but it wasn’t very good. It was filled with contradictory platitudes, and misstated the legal and moral obligations of people who live in a free society such as ours….”

    So a whole lot like Obo’s whinery?

  16. Reminds me of “California Uber Alles”. Or would it be New Jersey Uber Alles.

  17. The United States is a melting pot, and you’d better have 1 drop of non-white blood.

  18. “We are not called to be a nation of tolerance,” he said. “We are called to be a nation of love.”

    Mommy values. Progressives believe that love comes out of the barrel of a gun. By that standard, they are loving indeed.

    1. Progressives believe that love comes out of the barrel of a government owned gun

  19. Love is so important, it should have its own cabinet department, or ministry as it’s called in the UK.

  20. From the speech:

    “Our founding documents were genius. But not because they were perfect. They were saddled with the imperfections and even the bigotry of the past. Native Americans were referred to as savages, black Americans were referred to as fractions of human beings, and women were not mentioned at all.”

    Yes, women, were mentioned, or did you forget one of the very passages you just cited from the Declaration of Independence?

    “[King George] has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, *sexes* and conditions.”

    I would think that “all sexes” would include women.

    And in fact the Brits’ Indian allies *did* commit atrocities on frontier inhabitants, just as alleged.

    And of course the slaves would have been worse off if they had counted as whole persons for purposes of calculating the slave states’ voting power, since it would would have made the slaveholding interest even more powerful than it became. It would have been better not to count the slaves at all.

    1. (in the fifth paragraph there should have been ellipses between “all” and “sexes”)

    2. Here’s how he describes Clinton’s achievements:

      “Long before she ever ran for office, in Massachusetts, she went door-to-door collecting stories of children with disabilities. In South Carolina, she fought to reform juvenile justice so children wouldn’t be thrown into adult prisons. In Alabama, she helped expose remnants of segregation in schools. In Arkansas, she started a legal aid clinic to make sure poor folks could get their day in court. She’s always fought for people, and she’s always delivered. That’s why we trust her to fight, and deliver, for us as President.”

      Wait, didn’t she do some stuff *after* that legal-aid clinic in Arkansas? Booker doesn’t go into that.

      I suppose that after doing that legal aid stuff in Arkansas, she fell asleep like Rip van Winkle and woke up just in time to run for office this year.

      1. Sounds like a movie…zealous progressive falls asleep in the 1970s, wakes up in the modern era and continues her campaign to implement all the wonderful reforms which worked so well in the seventies.

  21. ,I would believe Soave, if Reason’s writers, including him, did not oppose or be annoyed by every practical attempt to contain the worldview put forward by Booker’s speech.

  22. I am so sick to death of the cult of “love”. The Judeo-Christian concept of love the stranger, love thy enemy etc. There are literally a handful of people that I love. And a handful of people that given the right circumstances, I would have no problem destroying. The vast majority of people fall into the category of “meh”. If you “love” everyone, than you love no one. I choose to give my love to a few people. That doesn’t mean I am going to be an asshole to everyone else. But that isn’t love. If I hold the door for a stranger, I don’t do it because I love them. I do it because I like the feeling of simply being polite.

    Miyamoto Musashi: “Bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask them to stop. If they do not stop, destroy them.”

    1. That’s a good way to put it. Among the practices of Balder Rising is “defensive hate”. Not to say we should be defensive as a rule or hate a lot of people, but it’s normal to hate those who would do you harm, against whom you should defend yourself. But in general if you put out the love vibrations, you’ll get them back from some people, and that’ll help replenish your power of love so the dilution factor doesn’t become significant. Just don’t keep pouring out love indiscriminately, probe for the returns to your benefit.

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