Party of hatred

I have trouble even thinking of what to say when liberals admonish the Right to be more civil to our opponents, and that to strongly express disagreement with them is to be fostering a “climate of hate”.  I’m just struck dumb.  Have they been living in America the past decade?  Have they forgotten already their eight years of “Bush=Hitler” shrieking?  The thuggery they’ve unleashed on defenders of heterosexual marriage?  Their demonization of Roman Catholics and Evangelicals in the entertainment media.  I haven’t.  In case you have, here‘s a collection–a small slice really–of how American Leftists talk about their enemies.  (Gathered by Michell Malkin.  I found it through a link at Mangan’s.)

A couple things jump out at me.

  1. It seems impossible to believe that the Left could be so hypocritical, but we should try to see things from their point of view (a courtesy they never extend to us).  All of us remember insults we have endured far more vividly than insults directed at our enemies.  And we must never forget that, in the Leftist understanding, expressions of Leftism are compassionate, and expressions of conservatism are hateful, almost by definition.  When they hear a fellow Leftist say that he wishes all “homophobes” would die in terrible agony, he thinks to himself, “Oh, he’s just blowing off steam.  Harmless, really.  And his passion for social justice is really admirable.”  On the other hand, the Leftist has no understanding of the goods that traditionalists wish to defend (because they refuse to consider there may even be such things), and so they imagine conservatism to be purely negative–a malice-driven enterprise of thwarting the self-evident goods of liberalism.  When they hear somebody say that he wishes all Democrats would drop dead, he doesn’t think “just somebody blowing off steam” or “just an unrepresentative kook”.  No, he sees confirmation of his world view.  Here is the essence of conservatism unmasked!
  2. It is odd that Leftists are so personal in their hatred.  Yes, they hate all conservatives, but they seem to feel a need to have one or two special demon figures at any given time (today’s Hitler, if you will).  I suppose I could understand them having some focus on G. W. Bush when he was president, although given that Bush was by no conceivable definition on the far Right, even this seemed a bit strange (at least to those of us who actually are on the far Right–why is no one burning me in effigy?)  Their current fixation on Sarah Palin, though, is just insane.  Here we have a woman who not only is not a serious conservative (she accepts most of the evil beliefs of feminism) but who also holds not government office whatsoever.  The whole thing is just absurdly disproportionate.  We can only speculate that Palin-hatred is satisfying some powerful psychological need for liberals.  It could just as well have been focused on any other Republican office-holder, past office-holder, or voter.
  3. Hatred on the Right seems to me rather different.  We do have it, of course, but it seems to be less personalized.  Our hatred is directed at ideologies:  communism, utilitarianism, etc.  Of course, we sometimes (perhaps often) dismiss or despise our opponents by the excuse of associating them with one of these “isms”, but it’s the objectionable ideology on which we focus.  For example, about the worst acts of “incivility” that the Left has been able to pin on Rightists are the accusations from some of us that President Obama is a socialist.  This, of course, is nothing compared to the Left’s calling President Bush a moron and a genocidal madman.  “Socialist” is not even particularly inflammatory, like “communist” would be.  And while comparisons of Bush to Hitler were routine, I’ve never heard anyone compare Obama to Stalin.  As a matter of fact, I don’t like these “Obama is a socialist” claims, but only because I don’t think they’re true.  That’s an oversimplification of the President’s beliefs.  Really it’s an example of what I was talking about above–the Right’s habit of dismissing someone by affixing a label to him.  It’s a bad habit, but there are worse ones.  (See Makin’s list for examples.)

4 Responses

  1. One reason why leftists tend to hate conservatives for personal reasons, is because they tend to believe that rightists (or those that they see as rightists) are either motivated by self interest (this is especially true in the case of well off people such as George W. Bush and David Cameron) or simple bigotry (especially common when talking about groups like the Tea Party etc.). For them, conservatism is not principled or ideological, but simply the propaganda of the ruling classes.

  2. Hi Donald,

    Working in academia, I see this all the time: a narrowness of imaginative sympathy and an associated lack of curiosity. I wonder if they ever really wonder what their ideological opponents think? The “theories” they use to explain us are obviously nothing but name-calling.

  3. I’ve suspected that one possible reason for this is the number of those on the Right who used to share beliefs with the Left. For example, I used to be a moderate Republican before veering so far Right I sometimes have difficulty sitting properly. Many on the Right that I’ve met have difficulty personally hating the other side because there but for the grace of God go they.

  4. That’s a good point. I’ve none lots of Leftists (all my coworkers, for example), and I strongly suspect that they’ve held such views all their lives, as has everyone else they know.

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