Why is the Left so Vicious?

David Gelernter offers up one explanation:

…Where does the asymmetry come from? American conservatives tend to be Christians or Jews. Liberals tend to be atheists or agnostics. (Yes, there are exceptions—to nearly everything, always; but that doesn’t mean we can stop thinking.) Almost all human beings need religion, as subway-riders need overhead grab bars. The religious impulse strikes conservatives and liberals alike. But conservatives usually practice the religion of their parents and ancestors; liberals have mostly shed their Judaism or Christianity, and politics fills the obvious spiritual gap. You might make football, rock music, or hard science your chosen faith. Some people do. But politics, with its underlying principles and striking public ceremonies, is the obvious religion substitute.

Hence the gross asymmetry of modern politics. For most conservatives, politics is just politics. For most liberals, politics is their faith, in default of any other; it is the basis of their moral life…

Makes sense – so, when we attack their idea of government, we are attacking what they hold to be sacred…and they will come after us heretics.

11 thoughts on “Why is the Left so Vicious?

  1. Retired Spook January 11, 2016 / 8:23 am

    I agree with him except for his lumping of Jews and Christians together. Three and a half times as many Jews identify as Liberals than Conservatives, while, in the general population 50% more people identify as Conservatives than Liberals. And the number of Jews identifying as Liberals has been increasing in recent years.

    • Amazona January 11, 2016 / 12:29 pm

      This is one of the conundrums of the era. Judaism is both a religion and an ethnic heritage, so we now have large numbers of “secular Jews” but they still self-identify as Jews, and they still support a political movement that has been anti-Jewish for the last 60 years or so.

      For some reason, the Left has been able to convince people that it is the political movement for intellectuals, perhaps because all that is required to qualify as an intellectual is to have ideas, whether they are right or not, and Leftism has the same criterion

      Fascism was a very attractive waypoint on the Leftist spectrum, loved and supported by many Jews who held high positions in fascist governments. It was not until Hitler folded fascism into his National Socialist Party and took over the name that it became associated with anti-Semitism and then not until Stalin had to invent a difference between Germany’s Leftist movement and that of Russia to explain why two Leftist nations were at war with each other that the fiction of fascism as a right-wing construct appeared.

      I think the self-identification of so many Jews with Liberalism comes back to the same superficial impression of so many non-Jews—–that to be LIBERAL means to be open-minded, free-thinking, and therefore intellectually superior. Liberalism has succeeded in establishing itself in the minds of many as not only the shortcut to the Higher Moral Ground but to the Higher Intellectual Ground as well. Of course this fantasy depends on not understanding the political philosophy of the movement, and inventing all sorts of imaginary differences between American Liberalism and the anti-Jewish pogroms of Russia and the Holocaust of Germany.

  2. Bob Eisenhower January 11, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    I’m not sure I understand Galertner’s math.

    If 50% of the nation is liberal and 90% of the nation is Christian, how can most liberals be agnostic?

    Statistically it would seem most liberals are Christians, right?

    • Retired Spook January 11, 2016 / 9:25 pm

      The number of Americans who identify as Liberals has been increasing in recent years, but it’s still less than 25%. Even with those numbers, his math still doesn’t add up.

  3. Cluster January 12, 2016 / 8:58 am

    Watching Morning Joe this morning the panel was saying how they believe that Obama will go for broke in his last year in office because, wait for it …….. he is tired of being restrained and polite with Republicans. Restrained and polite are not adjectives I would use to describe the last 7 years. Conservatives have nothing in common with progressives anymore and I am not sure we even share the same reality.

  4. Cluster January 12, 2016 / 9:09 am

    And proving once again how extreme progressives have become, Fusion held a “Brown and Black Forum” wherein Democratic candidates were asked to prove that black lives matter, and to denounce white privilege. No kidding.Here’s one question to the candidates:

    The danger of ISIS is clearly a major threat to American safety, but personally, I know many minorities who are much more concerned with racist attacks at the local level than radical Islamists, so just — question to put it plainly since often, issues of race are tiptoed, do you believe that white terrorism and extremism is as much a threat to some in this country as something like ISIS?

    And yet another:

    White privilege is a term that more people are talking openly these days. Certainly, people like me have long understood what it means. Secretary Clinton, can you tell us what the term white privilege means to you and can you give me an example from your life or career when you think you have benefitted from it?

    As I sit hear and watch boy child Josh Earnest talk about “common sense safety” measures I am in a little disbelief just how childish this country has become.


  5. Amazona January 12, 2016 / 10:27 am

    Racism won the last two presidential elections but it was easier when the Dems had a black candidate. Now that they are looking at a choice between two old white candidates, with the vague possibility of dragging in a third (Biden) they are frantically scurrying around trying to make racism the foundation of this election as well.

    OK, not real racism, because that is pretty much dead in this country, or at least it was until the Left dragged it out of its grave, updated old plantation fears of slave uprisings by pumping up black hatreds and making sure they get maximum air time with things like Black Lives Matter, and in general done a Frankenstein on it, trying desperately to create a new monster they can use to scare races into basing their decisions on skin color.

    But really—“white terrorism”?? Now there really ARE “two Americas”. There is the scary, violent, gun-toting white terrorist rogue cop racist America the Left has invented on one side, and on the other is just plain folks, not really all that worried about skin color and trying to figure out what the other side is screeching about.

    The other night there was a show about Bill Cosby. My takeaway from that didn’t have a thing to do with his sexual predation, ugly as it was, but about the fact that his career took off and he became a much-loved American celebrity back in the 60s. And you know what? He was black even back then. As the show went on about his fame, his success, his TV shows and his comic recordings and his sold-out shows, I didn’t see a hint of hatred of black people in any aspect of his relationship with America.

    On TV I see shows featuring black families, though the funniest and probably most popular, “blackish”, is about a successful black couple in which the husband is concerned that his children are “not black enough” because they are just like all the other kids in school. I see black people in ads, some of which show black/white couples. In my daily life, I see black bank officers, black policemen, black doctors, inter-racial couples. Out here in Flyover Country I see a pretty well-integrated America.

    All this just makes the Left’s job harder, as they have to put bogey men behind doors and under beds, they have to pound into black minds the fantasy that white people hate them and are just out to get them. What is sad/funny/sick is that it is white people doing the pounding.

    The only black slaves in this country are black morons who are eagerly putting themselves back into service to a few white people who are quite willing to use them and sacrifice them to gain and hold power.

    • Cluster January 12, 2016 / 11:26 am

      ….the husband is concerned that his children are “not black enough” because they are just like all the other kids in school.

      Of all the “racial” mindsets, this is the most repugnant and dangerous.

    • Bob Eisenhower January 12, 2016 / 4:16 pm

      Not to be “that guy” but:

      1. Cosby, like Hank Aaron and other black public figures of the time, dealt with non-stop death threats.

      2. “Blackish” is a play off the prejudice in the black community about black men who date white women or the better treatment lighter-skinned blacks have. The father has that prejudice and feels his kids are not black enough. The joke is not about white racism, it is about black racism towards other blacks.

      • Amazona January 12, 2016 / 7:28 pm

        I didn’t say there was NO racism in the 60s, just that the immense popularity of Cosby indicated a radical shift in racial attitude.

        As for “blackish” you merely amplify the point I was making. The parents of the husband, Andre, were black activists, who seem to have adapted pretty well to middle class/upper middle class life, but who do make occasional references to the bad old days. The parents of Andre’s half-white wife were hippies (her name is Rainbow, shortened to Bow, pronounced “Bo”.) She grew up in pretty much every radical Lefty environment imaginable, and is now a doctor. Andre, sometimes called “Dre” is upset in one show because his son, Andre Jr., is being called Andy by his schoolmates—it just doesn’t sound black enough. The show very deftly skewers black prejudices, but my main point is that it is about black people today, the actors are nearly all black, and it is extremely popular. It also touches on things like black racism and black stereotypes.

        I watch the show every week and I have to admit, I have never identified any aspect of it as “… a play off the prejudice in the black community about black men who date white women or the better treatment lighter-skinned blacks have..” and I most definitely have not sensed a prejudice from the father that his children are not DARK enough—it is always about culture, about the sense that there is a black culture and a white culture and a sense that black children somehow have an obligation to “act black”. The children don’t look biracial and even the half-white mother has predominately black features. The civil rights activist grandparents have never, in any of the shows I have seen, even hinted at anything about black men with white wives or girlfriends, or light-skinned grandchildren. There have been a couple of comments about Bow’s hippie background, nothing about her race. I wonder if you watch the show or just quoted some racist take on it, because I have yet to see anything like what you describe.

        If this country is really so poisoned against black people, it doesn’t show in daily life, unless you live in a Democrat-dominated city with huge gang problems. To me, racism has ceased to be a big deal if no one even notices that a banker, doctor, teacher, cop, construction guy, store clerk is any other race than white. Oh, I notice, but in the same way I notice if someone is tall or blonde or has a nose ring—it’s a feature, just not a defining feature.

        When I am in Colorado Springs or Denver, two largish cities, black people meet my eye when we pass on the street or in a grocery store aisle, and we are equally likely to say hi or just smile and nod. Mixed-race couples don’t attract attention, on the street or in movies and TV or in ad campaigns. That is where I really see a lack of racism, because money is where the rubber meets the road, and advertisers don’t seem worried about offending anyone of ANY race, showing all sorts of races in the actors in their ads.

      • M. Noonan January 12, 2016 / 7:37 pm

        My family is more racially integrated than Obama’s – all he’s got is a dash of white…meanwhile, we’ve got Jewish, Latino, black and Native American getting into the family mix…

        Sure, there are racists out there – heck, in my Twitter account I’ve blocked scores – but race doesn’t play any sort of a central role in American life except among Progressive race-hustlers.

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