Who hates the other more ... liberals or conservatives?
© 2006 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Here are three questions comparing liberals and conservatives:
During the 2004 elections, which car was more likely to be "keyed," i.e., deliberately scratched – a car with a "John Kerry" bumper sticker in an overwhelmingly conservative area, or a car with a "George W. Bush" sticker in an overwhelmingly liberal area?
When speaking at colleges, do right-wing or left-wing speakers need and receive police protection?
In a debate between a right-wing and a left-wing speaker before an audience equally divided between left and right, which audience group is more likely to boo and hiss at the speaker with whom it disagrees – the liberal or the conservative?
Here are the answers:
Where I live in liberal Los Angeles, drivers of most vehicles with Bush-Cheney bumper stickers have told me (and I have often seen) that their cars (and mine) were deliberately scratched. When I have asked about the fate of cars with Kerry-Edwards stickers in equally conservative areas in, for example, Orange County or even the Bible Belt, no Democrat has reported such intentional damage to his car. This does not mean it never happens, only that it is far more rare. I would bet a lot of money – and I am not a gambler – that cars displaying conservative messages in liberal areas are far more likely to be defaced than cars with liberal messages in conservative areas.
When Ann Coulter goes to college campuses, she is accompanied by a bodyguard. And colleges routinely bring in police to protect her and to guard against student violence. No bodyguard or police contingent is necessary for Al Franken. Another leftist, Noam Chomsky, a man who has devoted his life to attacking America, goes from campus to campus without worrying about having so much as a pie thrown at him, something regularly done to conservative David Horowitz.
Whenever I have debated representatives of the Left before politically mixed audiences, I have been hissed and booed far more than my opponent was. Others who debate leftists report identical experiences. Why? Because in general, conservative members of the audience are more civil and less angry.
There are a few reasons for this discrepancy. One is that the more left one goes, the more one is likely to encounter people who substitute "social justice" for personal morality. Another is that in the eyes of most leftists, people who oppose their "progressive" views on the environment, the war and taxes are such morally inferior people that they are not owed decent behavior.
But the biggest reason is the most obvious one: Liberals hate conservatives far more than conservatives hate liberals.
As Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic Party, said on national TV, "Our moral values, in contradiction to the Republicans', is we don't think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night." Republicans don't care about starving children. Liberals deem conservatives to be racist, homophobic, war mongering, money worshipping and sexist. It makes perfect sense to hate such people. I would, too.
The converse is not true. Conservatives tend to view liberals as immature and foolish. But childish adults and fools don't merit the hatred that racists do. And the liberal charge that conservatives generally label war critics "traitors" is pure fabrication.
Liberals may counter that conservatives hated President Bill Clinton. But that hatred has been more than matched by liberals' hatred for George W. Bush. And more to the point, Bill Clinton is one individual. Liberals hate virtually all conservatives with the same intensity that many conservatives hated one man named Bill Clinton.
There are conservative examples of such hatred. But they are much more rare. I am comparing the typical passionate liberal with the equally passionate conservative.
If you don't believe me, try my car test. And send the repair bill to the Democratic National Committee.
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