There are those who disagree with you and consider it a duty to willfully ignore any point you might have.

And then there are those who disagree with you but are willing to listen, and on some issues, might even be open to changing their minds.  

Comedian Louis CK falls into this latter category. In a 2012 interview for ThinkProgress, he had this to say about his approach to politics:

“I don’t have any political opinions, I just am very curious. And it’s very interesting to listen to what people say. What’s the best way to run a country and the world? Those are really profound questions. I don’t have the confidence to say that I know one way or another. Some things I think are very conservative, or very liberal. I think when someone falls into one category for everything, I’m very suspicious. It doesn’t make sense to me that you’d have the same solution to every issue. I just like listening.”

As the interviewer clarifies, Louis CK has political opinions; it’s just that he doesn’t exalt them into necessary propositions.

Louis CK then gives a specific example of his open-mindedness:

“When I went to Afghanistan with the USO, I’m a pacifist, and I’m really against any violence, and I think there’s zero reason to ever do it. I learned so much from being around those folks, and I feel like I was enriched by it…This is what I saw, here, you guys can make your own opinions. I think it’s better to illuminate shit and learn about it than to opinionate about it…”

A famous maxim holds that you should not be so open-minded that your brains fall out, and G.K. Chesterton wrote that we only open the intellect “in order to shut it again on something solid.” That said, I think most of us can agree that we would appreciate experiencing more open-mindedness of the type exhibited by Louis CK. It’s a truer representation of what is meant by the terms “tolerant” and “liberal.”

Image: Jungleboy/Flickr