Do you believe "liberal" and "open-minded" always go hand in hand?

Why or why not?

The two are often equated.


I’m going to have to get picky and demand the definition you’re referring to, as the word seems to be reinvented every decade or so.

So I voted #4. I do know some self-proclaimed liberals who wouldn’t entertain another point of view any more than some self-proclaimed conservatives would.

By liberal I mean the modern definition - folks with what are considered “progressive” views (strongly favoring gay rights, defending racial minorities, standing up for women’s reproductive rights, believing in censorship of offensive views/hate speech, favoring restrictions on gun ownership, etc.).

Does supporting these things require being open-minded?

Of course not. Anything who thinks so needs to spend six minutes in San Francisco.

I think there is a weak correlation. Liberalness and open-mindedness go together … a little. Just as conservatism and open-mindedness are weakly negatively correlated. There are many open-minded conservatives…but…in these days, it isn’t as commonplace as it ought to be.

Hell, I’ve even met open-minded racists. People are weird.

Nope. I have met liberals who harbor racist attitudes. I’ve met liberals who don’t like poor people. I’ve met liberals who have very black and white, intolerant perceptions of people who disagree with them. Being open-minded is not something that is exclusive to any one political view. There are conservative people out there who are open minded and willing to listen to people who disagree with them.

I’d say that closed-mindedness is a common human trait, not something that you can blame on any particular group of people.

Yes, for moderate liberals. There are a couple of things that can add precedence to that.

Openness to experience (which is one of the traits of the big 5 personality traits) is correlated with liberalism. So people who are open to new things tend to also be more liberal.

That study also found childhood trauma and insecurity are correlated with liberalism too fwiw.

Also a study from 1984 in Britain found moderate liberals had the highest integrative complexity

So yeah, there is evidence that moderate liberalism (which in the US is the progressive party) is tied to openness to new ideas.

I think once you get into the communist or anarchist level of liberalism that that goes away though. Several of the ones I have known can be pretty closed minded.

I’m with Wesley. I would have said the same thing but didn’t have the technical terms to search on.

Now I want to see some red-state idiot stand up in Congress and warn the nation of the dangers of integrative complexity. Perhaps e’ll propose a bill to ban the teaching of it in school.

Ah, you mean the modern definition in the United States. Its relation to what “liberal” means, or has ever meant,in other parts of the world is tenuous at best.

(Well, I don’t have first-hand experience of open minded racists, but I believe you.)

By the time you get there, all the meaningfulness of language has already gone away.

Based only on my own experiences with people, not on any studies, I’d say that middle-of-the-roadness correlates with open-mindedness*, and either extreme of liberal or conservative correlates positively with closed-mindedness. It’s why the polarity of liberal/conservative and the equating of liberal with Left and conservative with Right makes me twitchy. I know lots of “liberals” who are so liberal that they’re conservative, only the things they’re conservative about are different than the things “conservatives” are conservative about. If that makes any sense at all…

Case in point: hard core alternative medicine people. All the ones I know (and trained with) are hippies and new agey folks, very “liberal” and “far Left” kinds of people. But they’re incredibly closed minded about even considering that vaccines might not be death in a vial, and very conservative in their medical choices, firmly believing that it’s not the job of Big Government or Big Pharma to tell them what they should do for themselves or their children and refusing to even consider any evidence to the contrary of what they already believe. They’ll accept “studies” from Kevin Trudeau, but not from Mayo Clinic.
*Or, possibly, middle of the roadness correlates with not talking about politics and remaining non-committal when people talk at them about politics, so they *appear *to be at least considering all options while never being open to new ideas really. That’s possible, too.

The poll answers are… um, not well conceived.

Anyways, of course there are closed-minded liberals. I know more than a few people who are simply pig-headed on every part of the political spectrum.

By liberals.


One’s socio-political leanings have nothing to do inherently with how open/close-minded they are. But the more extremist they are to either side, the more close-minded they are. And frankly I think this easily describes the majority of people by far. The other side is always wrong and evil, their side is always right, blah blah blah. Asinine is too kind of a word for it.

Liberal, yes.

Left-wing, no.

I find it hard to believe that one could read more than five threads in GD and still think liberals are always open-minded.


True that, though “that” (“liberals are always open-minded”) is just a bit more extreme than the most extreme option, which is “To be open-minded, you need to be liberal.”

IOW, Shodan has managed to straw-man this poll in only 5. Not a record, nor even a Personal Best, but impressive nonetheless. Let’s give him a polite hand, people.

I would think that assigning a tag to yourself - liberal, conservative, open minded, etc - is already putting yourself in a bracket that probably is not completely accurate.

There’s close-minded people of any political persuasion including centrist.

Not only are liberals not always open-minded, some of them don’t even read titles.


Speaking as a progressive liberal, I know many liberals who are hateful and close-minded toward people that don’t fit into their specific little world (Christians, union members/blue collar workers, just as an example).

I clicked on the wrong one apparently. my vote s/b

There is no inherent relation between being a self-proclaimed ‘liberal’ and being open-minded.