"America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within."
--Joseph Stalin

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Why Liberals (and some Conservatives) Hate: A Matter of Faith

Will Malven

For the first time, in a long time, America is witnessing an unusual phenomenon; widespread, politically motivated hatred.  Not since the Nixon Administration have I witnessed so much puerile hatred.

The novel thing that I have noticed, particularly since the Clinton administration, is hatred of the Left by some Conservatives. 

Now you Liberals might need to be told why this is a novelty, being that hatred of ones political opponents comes naturally to you. 

I have always maintained, and still do to this day, that Liberals see the world through their emotions, and Conservatives see the world through logic.  Of course there are exceptions, but by and large, that is way of things.  Because of this, Liberals have a habit of projecting their reactions, motivations, and consequent actions on the Conservatives they routinely campaign against. 

Conservatives conversely rarely project, because they analyze a situation logically before they make a response. Liberals and Conservatives may end up doing the same thing, but their motives are invariably different. 

Example:  Liberals love to attribute real power to words; hence they use them as weapons intended to do actual harm to their opponents.  This results in the typical ad hominem attack one encounters in arguing with a Liberal.  The fact that they do this repeatedly with very little effect, rarely dampens their enthusiasm for the ploy, they are always seeking to “score points” with the words they choose. 

This belief in the mystical power of words manifests itself in other ways.  Liberals are always coming up with “neologisms” in an effort to describe some situation or fact without causing “harm.”  “Miss” and “Mrs.” become “Ms.” in Liberal speak, because to Liberals, there is power in the fact that men are referred to by the single, two-letter abbreviation, “Mr.”  “Crippled” becomes “handicapped” which then becomes “disabled” which finally becomes “physically” or “mentally challenged.”  “Negro” was changed to “colored” which then became “Afro-American” then it was changed to “Black” and finally it appears a mix of either “black” or “African-American.” 

Liberals do this because of a concern over perceived injury to a person by being referred to by one of these earlier “politically incorrect” terms. 

The same holds true for a lot of the special interest groups which routinely attach themselves to the Liberal banner. For Liberals, facts carry relatively less power than do emotionally charged words.  This perceived injury is very real to a Liberal.  Personal insults can cause them pain.  Liberals seem to believe that hidden somewhere in the Constitution, there is a right of every citizen not to be offended.

Hint:  It’s not there.  Never has been.  Get over it.

Now for Conservatives, this concept seems patently silly, and can tend to irritate them.  Conservatives, looking at the world through logic’s eyes, hear words and understand them simply as tools which convey meaning in the pursuit of communication and common understanding.  They find no mystical power in words other than the thoughts they are used to convey.  For Conservatives the message is the thought, not the word. 

Because of this, one (used to) rarely hear a Conservative use personal invective against a Liberal opponent.  They are much more interested in the effect that an argument of fact will have on said opponent.  As a result of this disbelief in the power of words, Conservatives can habitually use the “wrong” or “politically incorrect” word in casual or formal discourse when referring to one of these “protected special interest groups” thereby causing great insult or hurt feelings in the Liberal, resulting in the desire on the Liberals part to lash out in response.  Conservatives rarely feel pain from being called names. 

The important thing to remember here is that neither way is wrong, it’s just the way it is. 

Evidence for this argument is readily available in this very blog. 

I was the recipient of a “slam” attack a couple of weeks ago when I wrote an editorial critical of Cindy Sheehan (mother of slain soldier Casey Sheehan).  In addition to the drastic increase in “hits” on my webpage, I received well over one-hundred comments, virtually all of them negative and well over half of which were personal insults. 

The reason I mention this is although they didn’t particularly bother me, comments on the referring websites were focused on how wonderful this attack was and how it was going to send me home with my tail between my legs.  Now as a Conservative, it had the opposite effect, it only encouraged me to goad these “fans” even more to elicit even greater response out of them. 

Thus we have the disconnect.  They believed that they were reeking havoc on me in there attacks, whereas in truth, I was more amused than hurt by their attacks (incidentally, I am still receiving the odd attack e-mail even now).

Having established this emotional/logical disconnect, we can examine this phenomenon of hatred.  Anger and hatred have their origin in fear.  In my experience, I have found this always to be true.  It can be fear of injury, either perceived or real.  It can be fear of not getting ones way.  It can be fear of not winning an election (particularly one which is thought to be of life and death importance).  It can be fear of losing a right or freedom. 

Fear comes from a feeling of powerlessness and this is where the Conservatives have traditionally had an advantage.  

As people who generally have their religious beliefs as a higher priority in their lives, faith plays a larger role in the day to day lives of Conservatives.  As anyone with a strong faith-filled, spiritual life can tell you, fear has a much weaker impact on their lives, whether they are Liberal or Conservative.  Having that faith, that trust in God, results in a belief that whatever happens is a part of God’s plan and, having accepted that fact, it frees one from the grip of fear.

One becomes certain in the knowledge that all will work out, maybe not the way they want it to, but it will invariably work out and always for the ultimate good.  In the absence of fear, there is no need to hate those who oppose you.  You can always trust in the outcome of current events. 

With the advent of the “neo-con,” one who unlike a traditional Conservative does not carry his faith quite so highly, and the “Libertarian” who to a large extent eschews faith, there suddenly comes an opportunity for our old nemesis fear to intrude.  Thus now we have “Conservatives” who like their Liberal counterparts, exhibit feelings of anger and hatred and who indulge themselves in personal attacks as a routine part of any political debate.

Thus, on the one hand we have Liberals who fear that there utopian dreams of a paradise in which no one is allowed to go without, no poverty, no suffering, no discrimination, universal health care, economic justice (no one too rich, no one too poor), no social distinction, no one too successful, no one with low esteem, etc. may never come about. 

This perceived social injustice, causes them anger, so they hate those who don’t see the world in the same light as they because they believe them to be a threat to their lofty Socialist State.  They fear that they may experience lack, if the government isn’t in charge of distributing largesse.  They are risk averse. 

Liberals see the economic world as a “zero sum game.”  They believe that if one individual has “too much” wealth, then as a consequence, some one else must suffer lack. Therefore, society must be changed to ensure that everyone has “enough.”

Then, on the other hand, we have those on the Right who fear the very thing might occur which the Left desires.  They want no part of this social agenda.  They rightly perceive it as a threat to the triumph of the individual over the state.  They fear the loss of their freedom. 

These conservatives, as do all conservatives, believe that opportunity abounds due to this freedom, and that everyone who is willing to work for it, can accrue wealth. They see a society of unlimited possibilities in which work is rewarded with success.  They see a world in which those who risk the most can reap the greatest reward. They believe that people are responsible for their own situation and that, barring some extenuating circumstance such as infirmity or youth, they should be able to see to their own needs. 

They see a more powerful government as a direct threat to that freedom.  Further they perceive a gradual coarsening of our society.  They see the America of their youth slipping away and being replaced by a society with less courtesy, lower morals, less sensitivity to violence, and a cheapening of the value of life.

They see a society where there children are exposed to sex at an earlier and earlier age, in many cases by state controlled organizations.  They see a society in which their children are exposed to drugs and violence at progressively younger age, and a government hamstrung in its efforts to protect them by a seemingly oblivious judicial branch which appears, more and more, to take the side of the criminal.  They see a society in which the rights of the accused appear to trump those of the victims of crime. And they see a society which appears to be directly assaulting the very foundation of their sense of well being and security, their faith. 

They fear that this country they love so much and to which they owe their success and freedom, is gradually being destroyed from the inside by forces they cannot control.  They see an unelected judiciary which is usurping powers granted to the legislature by the Constitution, and feel powerless to stop it.  It is this feeling of powerlessness which engenders fear and thus hatred of those they feel are either directly or, by their actions or votes, indirectly responsible for this situation. 

If your life is filled with faith in the absolute beneficence of God, then this fear is transient, and the resultant anger cannot take hold.  If, however, ones faith is flagging, or non-existent, then anger and hatred can take hold and result in the atmosphere of hostility we witness today in our society. 

It is unfortunate that at a time in which faith would reap its greatest reward, our government and especially our judiciary is actively working to restrict its expression and practice.

Long Live Our American Republic!!!

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