Politics & Policy

Why the Left Hates Conservatives

Liberals don't just hate conservatism as an ideology; they hate conservatives as individuals.

Of all the recent revelations to come out of JournoList, an e-mail list consisting of about 400 liberal/left journalists, perhaps the most telling is the depth of their hatred for conservatives. That these journalists would consult with one another in order to protect candidate and then President Obama and in order to hurt Republicans is unfortunate and ugly. What is jolting is the hatred of conservatives on display, as exemplified by the e-mail from a public-radio reporter expressing her wish to personally see Rush Limbaugh die a painful death — and the apparent absence of any objection from her fellow liberal journalists.

#ad#Every one of us on the right has seen this hatred. I am not referring to leftist bloggers or to anonymous comments by angry leftists on conservative blogs — such things exist on the right as well — but to mainstream, elite liberal journalists. There is simply nothing analogous among elite conservative journalists. Yes, nearly all conservatives believe that the Left is leading America to ruin. But while there is plenty of conservative anger over this fact, there is little or nothing on the right to match the Left’s hatred of conservative individuals. Would mainstream conservative journalists e-mail one another wishes that they could be present while Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi or Michael Moore died slowly and painfully of a heart attack?

From Karl Marx to today, the Left has always hated people of the Right, not merely differed or been angry with them. The question is, why?

Here are three possible answers.

First, the Left thinks the Right is evil. Granting the exceptions that all generalizations allow for, conservatives believe that those on the left are wrong, while those on the left believe that those on the right are bad. Examples are innumerable. Howard Dean, the former head of the Democratic party, said, “In contradistinction to the Republicans, Democrats don’t believe kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.” Rep. Alan Grayson (D., Fla.), among many similar comments, said, “I want to say a few words about what it means to be a Democrat. It’s very simple: We have a conscience.”

Has any spokesman of the Republican party ever said anything analogous about Democrats’ not caring about the suffering of children or not having a conscience?

Second, when you don’t confront real evil, you hate those who do. You can see this on almost any school playground. The kid who confronts the school bully is often resented more than the bully. Whether out of guilt over their own cowardice or out of fear that the one who confronted the bully will provoke the bully to lash out more, those who refuse to confront the bully often resent the one who does. During the 1980s, the Left expressed far more hatred for Ronald Reagan than for Soviet Communist dictator Leonid Brezhnev. When Reagan labeled the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” the liberal world was enraged . . . at Reagan.

Those (usually on the left) who refused to confront Communism hated those (usually on the right) who did. They called the latter “warmongers” and “cold warriors” and charged them with having “missile envy” and with loving war.

Today, the Left has similar contempt for those who take a hard line on Islamic terror. The liberal and leftist media routinely place quote marks around the words “War on Terror.” To the Left, such a war is manufactured by rightists for nefarious reasons — oil, self-enrichment, imperialism, etc. Indeed, the Obama administration declines to use the term “Islamic terror.” America is at war with a nameless enemy. The enemies this administration is prepared to name are the Republican party, the tea parties, Fox News, and talk radio.

Third, the Left’s utopian vision is prevented only by the Right.

From its inception, leftism has been a secular utopian religion. As Ted Kennedy, paraphrasing his brother Robert F. Kennedy, said, “Some men see things as they are and say, Why? I dream things that never were and say, Why not?” That exemplifies left-wing idealism — imagining a utopian future. There will be no poor, no war, no conflict, no inequality. That future is only a few more government programs away from reality. And who stands in the way of such perfection? Conservatives. How could a utopian not hate a conservative?

This hatred will only increase if the Left feels its programs to greatly increase the size of government are in any way threatened in the forthcoming elections. The problem is that this hatred does not decrease when the Left is in power.

Hatred of conservatives is so much a part of the Left that the day the Left stops hating conservatives will mark the beginning of the end of the Left as we know it.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. He may be contacted through his website, dennisprager.com.

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