The Hostility of the Left

The day after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the Left’s favorite Hollywood screenwriter and crockumentarian, Michael Moore, commented on the atrocity and said, “Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes’ destination of California — these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!”

What is it that transforms what appears at first glance to be ordinary American citizens going about their daily business into blithering idiots at the mere mention of Bush, Cheney or Rove? What is it that drives a seemingly intelligent individual to start spluttering incoherently when a conservative principle is brought up for discussion? Is a certain segment of the population affected by some mutant gene that brings about this insanity?

Thomas Sowell, author, columnist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institute, presents in his May 15, 2007, column as good an explanation as I’ve heard. Sowell believes it is the threat to their egos that triggers the virulence.

“That people on the political Left have a certain set of opinions, just as people do in other parts of the ideological spectrum, is not surprising. What is surprising, however, is how often the opinions of those on the Left are accompanied by hostility and even hatred.Particular issues can arouse passions here and there for anyone with any political views. But, for many on the Left, indignation is not a sometime thing. It is a way of life.

How often have you seen conservatives or libertarians take to the streets, shouting angry slogans? How often have conservative students on campus shouted down a visiting speaker or rioted to prevent the visitor from speaking at all?

The source of the anger of liberals, ‘progressives,’ or radicals is by no means readily apparent. The targets of their anger have included people who are non-confrontational or even genial, such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

It is hard to think of a time when Karl Rove or Dick Cheney has even raised his voice, but they are hated like the devil incarnate.

There doesn’t even have to be any identifiable individual to arouse the ire of the Left. “Tax cuts for the rich” is more than a political slogan. It is incitement to anger.

If it is hard to find a principle behind what angers the Left, it is not equally hard to find an attitude.

Their greatest anger seems to be directed at people and things that thwart or undermine the social vision of the Left, the political melodrama starring the Left as saviors of the poor, the environment, and other busybody tasks that they have taken on.

It seems to be the threat to their egos that they hate. And nothing is more of a threat to their desire to run other people’s lives than the free market and its defenders.”

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