Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dennis Prager: Liberals hate conservatives

National Review's Dennis Prager departs from dispensing invaluable marriage advice to offer similarly valuable insight into human nature. Liberals, he says, hate conservatives.

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.

I'll grant that there are lots and lots of liberals who feel this way. But Prager's blithe dismissal of similar phenomena on the right suggests he's not dealing with the issue honestly. Because there's lots of conservatives who think that liberals are evil. For example: I was attending a conservative evangelical Mennonite college in 1992 when Bill Clinton was elected president. I was one of the few students to openly support Clinton for president that year; many of my fellow students and faculty warned of literally Biblical, literally Apocalyptic consequences if he attained office. (The night of the election, a student in my dormitory openly wished for Clinton's assassination; I chalk that up more to immaturity than any actual desire.) This was not -- and is not, I think -- a narrowly held view. The whole existence of the "religious right" -- which a not-insignificant part of the conservative coalition -- is predicated on a Manichean view of the world: There's not really a distinction to be made in these circles (Prager's opinions aside) between "wrong" and "evil."

Prager might respond by saying that he's speaking only of "elite liberal journalists," and that "elite conservative journalists" don't demonstrate this behavior. But, uh, Andy McCarthy is making a career right now out of his belief that liberals and terrorist Muslims "are working together to sabotage America." Dinesh D'Souza took a different route, writing a whole (widely panned) book about how the 9/11 attacks were a response to American decadence unleashed by the left. The whole Tea Party movement is predicated on the idea that Barack Obama is a budding tyrant -- a belief promoted by, um, the conservative media. These are not the words and ideas of people who think the left is merely wrong; they're born out of a clear belief that liberals, if not inherently evil, at least act in evil ways.

More Prager:

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.

This analogy makes. no. sense. People LOVE the guys who stand up to the bullies -- in almost every case, almost without exception. That's why liberals and conservatives alike are fans of "Star Wars" "Karate Kid" "My Bodyguard" and virtually every great movie that features a confrontation between powerful evil and underdog good guys. It's the ultimate bully versus the standup guy scenario.

Where liberals might differ from conservatives is discerning who is a bully and how to deal with them. Liberals haven't always been right on this score, but neither have conservatives. And I'll go ahead and say this: Almost all of populist politics -- whether practiced by the left or the right -- can be boiled down to a powerful cultural desire to stand up to bullies.

In any case, Prager's argument is silly. It suggests that he doesn't actually know that many people on the left -- and, weirdly, maybe not that many people on the right.


namefromthepast said...

I agree with you on this column. "Hate" is an emotion that is too simple.

I agree with you that some on both sides feel this way but probably the simpletons.

But sparks a question for me.

Don't know the answer but at what point does something go from simply wrong to evil?

If you do something-even inadvertantly-that opens the door for evil...

I contend that concentrating too much power in the hands of a few is wrong.

Centralization is a bi-product of the progressive lib and wimp Republican agenda.

History teaches us that centralization of power has repeatedly lead to real evil...

Not even to pick on current administration's aspirations, but do you believe in next president's agenda?

Anonymous said...

No one hates like the fascist Judeo-Christian right. Yes, "Judeo-Christian" because Conservatives are fascists who believe that we live in a society in which progress has been allowed due to our god-given rights that the Bible/Torah allow!

Nonsense. Our rights come from outgrowth of ideas from Greek, Islamic, Atheist/Rationalist, Christian and other philosophies. Yet, the Judeo-Christian fascist supremacists believe that they are only responsible for our growth.

As their opposition to the mosque, illegals, their black President, science, Liberals and other things shows, the Conservatives are the most hate-filled and racist beings on this planet. They love war and get excited by the prospect of the world blowing up in Armageddon but think one abortion is 'horrible'. That says all that you should know about these people!!!