There are many things that point to basic differences between liberals and conservatives but the most poignant is the ease with which liberals express their hatred of conservatives. Nothing on the right is comparable. Conservatives generally believe liberals are guided by emotion and uninformed opinions which lead them to support disastrous government policies, but few conservatives harbor personal animosity toward liberals. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to believe that conservative ideas and opinions stem from a deep-seated meanness, or an evil disposition in the conservative mind.
If you believe someone is well intentioned but wrong you can’t hate them. But if you believe the other guy has evil motives you can. Examples abound:
Keith Olbermann, August 18, 1998, on special prosecutor Kenneth Starr: “Facially, it finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler, including the glasses.”
NPR’s Nina Totenberg on Jesse Helms, July 8, 1995: “…I think he ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there is retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.”
USA Today columnist and Pacifica Radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on Justice Clarence Thomas, November 4, 1994: “The man is on the Court. You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease. Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person.”
Wanda Sykes speaking of Rush Limbaugh’s statement that he hopes Obama fails, May, 2009: “He’s not saying anything different than what Osama bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, [addressing the president] because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker, but he was so strung out on Oxycontin, he missed his flight.” After asking if she went too far, she barreled on: “Rush Limbaugh! ‘I hope the country fails’? I hope his kidneys fail!” [Rush never said he hoped the country fails, he equated a failure of Obama with success for the country, and vice versa.]
On March 9, 2005 the leftist rag The New York Press published The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of The Pope
Finally, the numerous books [e.g., The assassination of George W. Bush, A Love Story by Krandall Kraus] and articles from leftists depicting or even advocating the assassination of George W. Bush.
The latest liberal bloodlust for conservatives comes today from New Hampshire. In Local Democrats Wish Death Upon Sarah Palin, we find this:
There’s only one way the tragic airplane crash in Alaska that ended the life of former-U.S. Senator Ted Stevens could have been better, according to New Hampshire Democratic activist and State Rep. candidate Keith Halloran: If Sarah Palin had been on it.
In a Facebook post, Halloran, who describes himself as “an active local citizen and supporter of NH Governor John Lynch,” said of the plane crash, “Just wish Sarah and Levy were on board.”
Halloran serves on the Rindge, NH Planning Board and is a Democratic candidate for State Representative in Cheshire County. He is a prominent supporter of Democratic frontrunner Ann McLane Kuster, who is running for Congress in NH-02. His comment appeared in response to a post by another Facebook user on the tragedy.
It would be difficult if not impossible to find comparable behavior on the right. Even if some nut on the right were to engage in such rhetoric we would search in vain for other conservatives joining in or supporting it. We would easily find other conservatives dismissing and condemning such tactics. The left does not condemn its whack jobs when they express death wishes for conservatives and in fact cheers them on. That’s the difference between liberals and conservatives.
UPDATE: From 1994 through 2003 Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe wrote an end-of-the-year column collecting all the examples of liberal hate speech during the past year. All of those columns are available at Hate Speech of the Left.