Once or twice a week I read a blog from the Left. One would hope this would give me perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments, but mostly it provides insight into their psychology. The most vile and judgmental statements I've ever come across are repeatedly on left wing websites. And no, I'm not just talking about the ones that mention Sarah Palin.
If you oppose a conservative policy, I'm unaware of any examples where you are labeled as a bigot or a racist or your compassion is called into question. Not so if you oppose a liberal policy. Your heart, your intentions, and your tolerance are always on trial. This was clarified for me when I was having dinner with a liberal friend recently who said, "I can't stand religious people. They are all so judgmental." Apparently, he hadn't considered questioning the prejudices in his own heart, unbothered by his willingness to paint others with a broader stroke than even the people he claimed judged him so harshly.
It is said we live in a marketplace of ideas with the right to free speech, but more and more people on the Left don't want to debate. They want to shut the other side up. While the Left doesn't have a monopoly on this un-American behavior, they have certainly taken the lead. Al Gore comes to mind along with most of the global warming crowd. A scientific hypothesis by its very definition should always be open for debate. Instead, the AGW alarmist crowd has taken to fixing data, skewing computer models, deleting emails, and demonizing or intimidating those who disagree with their theory. That's not science. That's a cult.
But it's not just global warming. Based on the psychology of the Left, every statist policy is a divine truth that only those with impure motives would dare oppose. If you disagree with President Obama, you must be racist. If you oppose ObamaCare, you must want people to die in the street. If you are for state's rights or adamantly pro-Life, you must be a religious extremist whose activities should be investigated. If you support the traditional definition of marriage, you must be an intolerant homophobe. If you support the idea that the individual owns the fruits of his labor and that government should be limited in its ability to confiscate your personal property, you must be selfish and hate the poor.
Notice that the Left never judges compassion based on how much you give, only how much you are willing to let the state take by force. I would argue it's quite easy to give away that which is not yours. It's certainly much easier to buy your fellow man dinner with other people's money. Not surprisingly, studies show liberals are often the stingiest with their charitable giving. One only need look at recent presidential candidate's tax records to acknowledge this double standard.
Conservative ideas don't merit debate by the leftist, because they consider them morally inferior. I was watching Book TV on C-Span (yes, I know I'm lame, but at least I saved you the trouble) and a young progressive author was discussing his new book, Republican Gomorrah. The basic premise of the book is, in fact, that Republican voters are backwards white, radical neanderthals who are often homophobic, racist, greedy, superstitious (i.e. religious), unintelligent, and bent on stopping progress and harmony for all of humanity.
The Washington, D.C. book store audience ate up every word of course, applauding the author as they tried to grasp an understanding of "those backwards conservatives." Some asked questions as if they were discussing a tribe of cannibals in a far-off country whose customs failed to meet civility. In progressive circles, this is often referred to as tolerance.
The problem is by painting the intentions of conservatives as immoral or anti-progress, no argument a conservative makes, no matter how strongly or well documented, ever has to be considered by the progressive. The debate is over before it ever starts. They can instead resume attacking conservative motives and questioning our compassion, even as their biggest policy achievements fail miserably, driving the economy into recession and our nation into insolvency.
A conservative is interested in protecting freedom and liberty for the individual. For the progressive, this love of individual liberty only gets in the way of their agenda for "the greater good." If liberty stands in the way of "progress", then let liberty be the first casualty. And so the Left Wing Hate is directed at the individual who won't conform, who won't walk in lockstep with the statist agenda.
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that it's the most dangerous hate of all, sadly now on display in the leftist circles of American politics.