Why Do People Hate Liberals?

Alex Pareene thinks, “Aaron Sorkin is why people hate liberals.”

He’s a smug, condescending know-it-all who isn’t as smart as he thinks he is. His feints toward open-mindedness are transparently phony, he mistakes his opinion for common sense, and he’s preachy. Sorkin has spent years fueling the delusional self-regard of well-educated liberals. He might be more responsible than anyone else for the anti-democratic “everyone would agree with us if they weren’t all so stupid” attitude of the contemporary progressive movement. And age is not improving him.

First of all, people don’t hate liberals. A lot of people hate “liberals” — the stigmatized word and the absurd commie pinko caricature painted by the right-wing media. But in single-issue poll after single-issue poll, a majority or plurality of Americans are liberal. Americans are pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-green energy, pro-taxing the rich, pro-same sex marriage, and on down the line.

And, secondly, people who do hate liberals might hate them less if they/we were more like Sorkin and his characters: forceful, self-confident, lightning fast with a brutally salient point and occasionally gregarious (see President Bartlet). Instead of standing our ground and seizing the initiative by constructing killer frames and message discipline, we navel-gaze and wonder why people hate liberals. We worry that being Sorkin-ish might be too over-the-top or unfair or smug instead of just selling what we believe with laser precision and without letting up no matter how much the opposition screeches and pees their big-boy pants.

Print Friendly
This entry was posted in Liberalism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://twitter.com/Zirgar Zirgar

    They hate us for our freedom!

    • RoadtoFreedom

      Buzzz. Wrong answer. Leftists are hated because they think they know better and their every answer is to take away other people’s freedoms.

      Now you know. Pass it on.

  • Lazarus Durden

    I disagree slightly Bob. People do hate liberals. They hate liberals because we’re truth tellers. Like you pointed out there’s a disconnect between what people think they are, and what they really are. This rugged, independent, free, self-made individual is at odds with our everyday existence that smashes that notion. That we depend on each other, and although we can do some things on our own we also need help more often then we’d care to admit.

    No one likes a truth teller.

    “I don’t understand why I’m having all these health problems.”
    “Because you eat fast food fourteen times a week, drink Mt. Dew instead of water, and you don’t exercise which is why you’re grossly overweight.”
    “Fuck you! I can eat whatever I want! You can’t tell me what to do! America! Freedom!”

    Truth tellers suck. We point out things people don’t like to hear, and we give them solutions that aren’t easy. Ones that require work and sacrifice. So we’re hated… until they become Liberal too. Because part of being Liberal is accepting reality on reality’s terms, and then doing the hard work to make things better.

    • http://twitter.com/Zirgar Zirgar

      Exactly. Collectively, we’re that person from Plato’s Cave Allegory, who broke the bonds and escaped the cave to experience the surface world lit by the true light of the sun, and who’s come back down into the dimly lit cave to tell the cave dwellers still chained there, facing the shadows on the cave wall, that reality is not just nebulous images, but something better–something real–only to have them respond with violence because what they hear frightens or angers them.

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        Zirgar, but don’t you think that belief is part of the problem? Any time someone tells me they’ve cornered the market on truth, regardless of what side of the spectrum they are on, I gotta call BS. A liberal shouldn’t rely on appeals to authority and that’s what you’re doing by saying you’re one of the “enlightened ones”–you’re setting yourself up as the authority, who has the right to look down on those who don’t see the truth like you do.

        I’m not sure what the real answer is, but I don’t think the answer is to set ourselves up as more righteous people. One of the reasons that FDR was so successful is that he played hard ball with the leaders of the opposition (after he realized compromise wouldn’t get him anywhere) and he promised a chicken in every pot. Maybe the answer is that we say we’re going to deliver practical and helpful things to the voters and then we do that by playing hard ball with the leaders of the right. All politics is local and to get local, we have got to pay attention to what’s going on in our communities. We have to get involved and stay involved. We have decades of lost influence to make up for.

        • http://twitter.com/Zirgar Zirgar

          I never said we need to be righteous or self-righteous, but if you believe you’ve seen the truth and that you’re right and by extension that what you believe is the best for people, shouldn’t you try to persuade people to see the truth of it? “Enlightened one” is only an appeal to authority if you base what you’re debating on THAT and not on what it is that enlightened you. I didn’t make an appeal to authority, I made a descriptive statement; if I wasn’t sure that what I believe is right and proper, I wouldn’t share it with the people I believe need to hear it.

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            But thats the definition of self-righteous to say you know the truth and everyone else doesn’t. I don’t mean to offend but I have heard many on the right justify their political stances by saying basically the same thing you did with the cave allegory. Haven’t you?

            I don’t disagree that liberals are a lot closer to the truth than others but my whole philosophy is that no human ever gets to see reality in its purist form. Try as we might we always see shadows…some of us with fewer illusions in our way but no one ever perfect. I also agree with Durden above….everyone hates truth tellers ,particularly when your shoving the truth in their face. Remember the multiple scenes in Newsroom when Daniels’ character gets drinks thrown in his face? I think that was meant to be symbolic. resent the truth in a personal, not so nice way and you will be hated. Present the truth in a professional way without conclusions and you will sway more people. Like the Socratic method. Socrates didn’t stand up and shout I know the truth bitches! He asked questions, found logical flaws in his students answers and presented facts to refute their arguments and then he asked the next set of questions. He did this until they came to an answer all on their own, which was always where he intended them to end up at…at the truth. It is an incredibly difficult way to teach but it works a whole lot better in the end because people think they got their on their own, and in a way they did.

          • http://twitter.com/Zirgar Zirgar

            You’re conflating confidence with being holier-than-thou and they aren’t the same thing. Yes, the Socratic Method is a great way to approach a subject, but how often do you really have a chance to use 20 questions to expose a position’s flaws or strengths? Possibly in an academic setting or maybe among a group of friends, but when you’re out on a picket line or simply getting caught off guard by an unforseen debate where maybe not everyone knows the strict rules of logic, you have to assume that your position is right–it’s simply being parsimonious or pragmatic, not illogical or arrogant. Like right now, neither of us is using the Socratic Method; we’re both working from a confident position and trying to convince the other person of its truth. Sure, test your position occasionally to make sure it still holds up under further scrutiny, but don’t be afraid to have confidence in it.

        • Lazarus Durden

          But Irish you’re setting yourself up for a relativist position. You’re correct that no one has a monopoly on capital T Truth however there are some ideas that are better then others. The essence of Liberalism is based on reason, and fact based evidence.

          Politics however is rarely based on reason, and fact based evidence. It’s based on fallacies, rhetoric, and hyperbole. However instead of campaigning with that, and then using reason and facts in policy the Right is using only politics and ideology in order to bamboozle their base. You’re in AZ and I’m in TN. We can see what the GOP policies have actually done, but the GOP base refuses to believe their own policies have hurt them.

          “It’s Democrats! It’s Illegals! It’s non-Christains! It’s Regulations!” It’s all the groups who have no power, not the people in power. So they’re the people chained to the floor by ideology staring at the shadows of propaganda. And if you tell them that they’ll hate you for it, until they finally accept reality.

          • RoadtoFreedom

            I disagree (surprise!).

            The welfare state has bankrupted our country and the policies have not worked. They are continued for emotional reasons… not based on fact. Social Security IS mathematically like a ponzi scheme and demographically it is unsustainable, which matches what conservatives warned about from the beginning. Same with welfare, etc.

            BTW, I’m not a Republican, and my criticism of Bush’s time in office would center around the big spending jive he did with the Dems on Medicare Part D and so forth.

            The GOP congress was horrible on spending and the Dems that followed worse. The latest bunch won’t even bother to pass a budget.

            History shows that society thrives when taxes are low across the board. The welfare state is crumbling in Europe and hard core socialism or communism has literally never worked and leads to totalitarianism.

            Capitalism is imperfect, but it’s better than any extant alternative.

            The only thing that has made the welfare state last this long has been economic growth from our industry and capitalism and then debt spending.

            But we’re at the end of the line on our national credit card and states like California are collapsing from within, despite liberalism gone wild.

            What we need is to cut spending, devolve power to the states (and responsibility) and pursue pro-growth policies AND not spend like drunken sailors. So far the GOP has not been serious about this and the Dem’s don’t even pretend to be.

          • Lazarus Durden

            LOL you’re so full of shit man. Can you not spew every single GOP talking point they’ve trained you to say? Did you learn that at the College Republicans meeting?

            “I’m not a Republican. I hated Bush.” Man if I had a nickel for every time I saw that on Huffington Post I’d have a shit load of nickels.

            You’ve expressed support for Romney and he advocates the same fucking policies as Bush! How can you hate Bush and support Romney? It’s Cognitive Dissonance. Seriously man just go away you fucking GOP douche nozzle.

          • http://twitter.com/moogoo123 Moogoo

            You demonstrate exactly why I don’t like liberals. the moment you descended into name calling and vulgarity you completely lost me…. You imply that the GOP gives us all talking points and insult our intelligence. Tried having a civil conversation so many times and it always ends the same way… you can resort to calling me a racist now.

          • Lazarus Durden

            To Moogoo:

            Who are you? And why would I call you a racist? When did you try having a civil discussion? This is the first time I’ve seen your name on this board.

    • RoadtoFreedom

      What part of liberalism is reality based? Seriously?

      Your arguments are primarily emotion based and when your programs don’t work, you want to throw more money at them and blame anything and anyone else or when cornered, call your opponents ‘haterz’.

      Social Security? Medicare? Medicaid? Obamacare? ALL budget busting failures to date (premiums went up after Pelosi brandished her infamous gavel).

      Welfare? Unmitigated disaster that destroyed generations with a dependency cancer… and that all got better when the GOP reformed it and Clinton had the stones to sign it (but poor Obama felt the need to gut the work requirement, so we’re back on track to loserville).

      Oh, and your first, next, and last explanation for any conservative opposition to Obama is… wait for it… racism. Right.. because NOT wanting to bust the budget and engage in failed Keynesian merry-go-ground policies is inherently about lynching minorities. Riiiight. That’s the ticket.

      Meanwhile, the real world results from Obama’s astounding spending spree has been… higher unemployment, lower labor force participation, and a debt that will NEVER be paid off unless somehow the Fed manages to defy all of economic history and print our way out of this mess.

      Sorry… but you’re wrong on every issue and you only listen to your fellow echo chamber pals – which is why you were so gut punched to discover that no, Obamacare was NOT constitutional under the Commerce Clause.

      You all thought the Tea Party were domestic terrorists and would take down the GOP in the November 2010 mid terms… instead, epic beat down that wiped out a generation of DEMOCRATS.

      You should expect more of the same in November.

      You can rail at me for being a ‘rethug’ or ‘regressive’ or ‘racist’ or whatever tired old knee jerk reaction you can come up with… but the fact is, I was a liberal and I know you, but you don’t know conservatives. You think you do… but you don’t.

      You guys are like the nerds at a dance bitching with each other about why the girls won’t dance with you… it’s because you’re dorks. Not because you are superior and the girls are somehow oblivious to that.

      Sorry… and I’d be nicer to you too if you weren’t so self righteous and dense and condescending at the same time.

      • Lazarus Durden

        Man I’ve never seen a post so full of Projection as this one.

        “Your arguments are primarily emotion based and when your programs don’t work, you want to throw more money at them and blame anything and anyone else or when cornered, call your opponents ‘haterz’.” Nope that would be Conservatives.

        Tell you what RoadtoFreedom name me one program in the modern era that addressed society’s social ills like poverty, anything that was purely conservative that didn’t involve a tax cut. Name just one.

        “You can rail at me for being a ‘rethug’ or ‘regressive’ or ‘racist’ or whatever tired old knee jerk reaction you can come up with… but the fact is, I was a liberal and I know you, but you don’t know conservatives. You think you do… but you don’t.”

        Until today I had no idea you even existed. Your preconceptions say a lot more about you then they do me. And your last statement especially proves what a jack ass you are. I’ve lived in North East TN for 23 years. It’s the buckle of the bible belt. I was raised in the Baptist Church and have seen fundamentalist Christianity up close and personal. I’ve served this country in the US Marine Corps. Don’t for one second think you know anything about me. You haven’t the faintest fucking idea of who I am and where I’ve been. Don’t know conservatives? Dude I used to BE a conservative. Then I got an education and started giving a shit about truth and reality.

        “Sorry… and I’d be nicer to you too if you weren’t so self righteous and dense and condescending at the same time.”

        No you wouldn’t. You’re an internet Conservative. There is absolutely nothing nice, or polite about you. It would be one thing if you stood out from your pack but you don’t. You’re a fucking stereotype, a cliche, an ignorant, ill-informed asinine child who comes into someone’s home and wipes his ass with the curtains. Your sole existence is predicated on the number of people you can annoy by spewing invective. You have no interest in advancing a discourse, or even having a fair argument and believe me we’d sure welcome one that was an actual civil discussion. So fuck off with your fake ass platitudes. They’re completely disingenuous.

  • mattpd

    as they say, A liberal starts off the conversation saying ‘I might be wrong, but…’ and a conservative starts off the conversation by saying ‘You might be wrong, but…’

  • roxsteady

    You’re spot on Bob! And, as someone who LOVES THE NEWSROOM, I was taken aback by all of the bad reviews of this show. After 3 episodes, I’m convinced that this show hits way too close to home for many of the beltway idiots who, in the name of access refuse to call out the bullshit that regularly spews from the mouths of the morons on the right. I think that Sorkin has hit a nerve. As for Pareene, I’m not sure what his or her problem is and frankly don’t really care. I’m very much looking forward to the episode where Louie Gohmert is lambasted for his ridiculous comments on the shootings in Colorado and the episode that will come right after Obama wins re-election and all of the wingnuts are screeching over at fox.
    By the way, as someone who still hasn’t seen the movie Rudy, last nights episode had me in tears at the end the same way the Gabby Giffords episode did last week. Well Done Mr. Sorkin! Well Done!

    • RoadtoFreedom

      You’ve inadvertently made my point. You are astounded that the reviews for Newsroom are poor. But the fact is that the show is a bunch of leftist talking points stuffed in cardboard cut out characters that ONLY a leftist could like.

      I’ll agree with you on this. The beltway idiots don’t like truth or being called on their bullshit. The problem is, the ‘beltway’ is liberal. So is the mainstream media.

      The network that claims to be most ‘Newsroom’ like is CNN… and their ratings just dropped to a 20 year low below MSNBC(!).

      The reality is that most Americans don’t trust the media and turn to the web and Fox and talk radio because they can tell that Wolf Blitzer and crew only tell one side of the story with any fairness, with rare exceptions.

      The latest bias to peek through was Brian Ross on ABC presuming that any mass murderer had to be a Tea Party member (when NONE have been).

      Take a hint from reality. The reason people don’t like your shows and your ideas is because you’re not speaking for them, you’re talking down to them and think you know better.

      Liberty is about giving people choice. You think you are the political philosophy of choice, but you’re really the left, which is all about telling other people what they should do.

      That’s why ‘we’ don’t like you much. or at all.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    First of all, who the hell is Alex Pareene anyway, some writer for Salon who thinks he knows it all?! Second, holding up Sorkin as THE example of a liberal is silly. Third, the term liberal has been so stigmatized by the right that for the last few decades very few people were willing to admit they’re liberals. I think that’s why Americans will say they are conservative but actually hold liberal ideas on most issues. It’s up to the liberals who are proud of it to educate people that their beliefs are actually liberal and that there is nothing wrong with that. Fourth, as we all know the more education that a person has, the more likely they are to be liberal. And that’s where the condescension comes in. Fifth and final, liberals are the real free thinkers and since that is the case, we don’t do that whole “unity thing” so well. So our messaging ability sucks. That is probably never going to change. In the end, I agree with you Bob. In the end we can’t cave and try to be less-Sorkin like. We need to be loud, proud and focused.

    • nellcote

      Third, the term liberal has been so stigmatized by the right
      ===
      The “progressive left” has done their part too.

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        Just for clarification do you mean firebaggers, greenwaldians, etc?

        • nellcote

          yes

        • villemar

          Hence this is why Salon is a great fit for Pareene. Home of Greenwald & various & sundry Concern Trolls (Joan Walsh, etc.)

    • RoadtoFreedom

      Liberal became a ‘stigmatized’ by reality around the time all the big government nanny state boondoggles blew up in Carter’s face and the nation escaped malaise when Reagan ushered in a boom that lasted until about 2007 when all the perversions of it by Dems and non-reagan GOP gummed up the works.

      You think it’s a messaging issue when in fact it’s a results issue. Americans are a people based on liberty and opportunity… something liberals don’t fully understand.

      Face it, the left’s ideas of class and capital and all that garbage come from Marx… and the Progressives at the turn of the century and Wilson codified it in our culture. It was new then, shiny, and by Carter, it was played out, the promises broken, and the results felt.

      Clinton was a ‘new democrat’ and tried to redefine the brand as business friendly, and he succeeded in large part and was almost a Republican-lite.

      But Obama and Pelosi and Reid have brought back the worst of the Progressive big government nanny crap and alternately sling socialist and fascist initiatives to either take over the private sector or control it to death.

      Sorry… you’re on the wrong continent. While about 40% of the nation is at least somewhat liberal (and about 16% hard core progressive), the fact is that about 60% self identify as ‘conservative’ to one degree or another.

      You want happiness? Go where you are appreciated… Europe. They’re all about the lefty big government nanny state crap… only thing is, it’s falling apart because it doesn’t work. But it’s there for you if you are into fixer-uppers.

      Just. Leave. Us. Alone.

  • http://twitter.com/kerryreid Kerry Reid

    One of the great things about being a liberal is my ability to multitask. So I can, for example, support a great many liberal causes AND think that “The Newsroom” is a sanctimonious pile of drivel laced with misogyny.

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Lol, duly noted

    • RoadtoFreedom

      Why do you attribute to liberalism the ability to hold opposing ideas at the same time? Hmmm?

      Probably because you think all ‘conservatives’ are knuckle dragging racist wife beaters… because that is what YOUR media has told you, what your professors told you, and what your favorite TV and movie characters have told you.

      I can be a conservative and criticize Bush (I and II) and debate about positive things that Clinton did. The typical leftist I encounter online can only fume that Bush was a war criminal and wad up their panties about the Patriot act and call anyone disagreeing with that a racist.

      I’m closer to a libertarian, actually, than a conservative, and I believe all Americans are protected by our rights as outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

      I despise the KKK and Nazis and abhor how the Indians were treated by our government, and admire MLK greatly and the civil rights movement to me is a great achievement for humanity.

      That’s why, when one of the Democrats calls Tea Partiers a bunch of racists who want to lynch black people, I take great offense. There is no evidence for that and the comments are driven by partisan motives, not the truth.

      If you want to hold more than one idea in your head at the same time, try considering that someone who believes in individual liberty and limited government could also believe those liberties apply to ALL Americans of all backgrounds, and that ‘liberal’ is a misnomer and the movement of the left is really about restriction and government control.

      The Newsroom is a sanctimonious pile of drivel, and so is just about every political commentary to come out of Hollywood or New York.

      The cause of liberty and modern liberalism and progressivsim are not the same thing. If you haven’t, look up ‘Classical Liberalism’ and you will find that is an ideology worth knowing about.

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    LD, I hear you and I agree they are trapped by their illusions. But how you tell someone the truth and how you describe the way in which you found that truth is equally important. Telling the self-defeating masses that vote against their own interests that we are enlightened and they aren’t, isn’t going to help and will actually only lead to confirming what they say about us. I think we can point to the evidence and how that affects them until they get it. The problem is that we, meaning the left. Have only the Internet and only a small part of that…conservatives have every other form of communication pushing their propaganda 24/7. We will never have any effect until we change that reality. All that’s not to say that I agree with Pareene, I don’t. dork in is just a guy who happens to be liberal who also happens to reach a lot of people because he is a tv writer. That doesn’t make him representative of the rest of us.

    • Lazarus Durden

      Nah I try not to be condescending. Most of the time I don’t talk about politics or my religious beliefs, or lack of them, with most of the people where I live because there’s no point. It just upsets them.

  • Lazarus Durden

    I’ve never been a fan of Sorkin. He’s too preachy and up his own ass. I’m more of a David Simon of “The Wire” kind of guy. I like characters that are flawed, three dimensional, human beings because when they do something good it has much more impact then a caricature of a stereotype, and that’s what Sorkin writes. Simon presents a complicated, broken, but authentic slice of drama that mirrors reality. It grabs you by the throat, and forces you to think about things that make you feel uncomfortable. It’s just damn good.

    “Sorkin and his characters: forceful, self-confident, lightning fast with a brutally salient point and occasionally gregarious (see President Bartlet).” And that’s why I can’t stand them. They’re always sharp, always on point, and while they may be flawed by golly it’s for all the right reasons. Basically they aren’t real people. They’re idealized virtues made manifest. They lack any sort of depth that a real human being possesses. That’s why his drama is flat, and lacks impact for me because drama comes from tension, the struggle between our better or worse aspects.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YECcGWN5aY

    • RoadtoFreedom

      Well said. I agree with this assessment of Sorkin.

      • Lazarus Durden

        No you don’t. You have a completely shitastic standard for judging Sorkin. Mine isn’t based on his politics. It’s based on his writing, and characters. Totally different standard. Stop biting on my post.

  • RoadtoFreedom

    “Americans are pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-green energy, pro-taxing the rich, pro-same sex marriage, and on down the line.”

    Really? You believe that? Where do you get your poll data, Mother Jones? Facts are stubborn things and on every issue except the last (same sex marriage) the polls show the majority of Americans are Pro Life, Anti-gun control, pro- ‘all of the above’ energy, and against increasing taxes on ANYONE. I’ll grant you that gay marriage polls better, but at the ballot box… well, not so much (see North Carolina for most recent example).

    Your problem is that you live in an echo chamber and high five each other uncritically for the most part and you actually believe Rachel Maddow is ‘objective’… and Ed Schultz is not a bloviating idiot. We need not kick Keith O. while he’s down, but come on… that guy is off the rails to idiot-ville.

    Listen, polls of adults and registered voters skew Democrat… but likely voters don’t. So, while a lot of your liberal pals may sit on the couch and answer pollsters with their big fancy passion for your pet issues, they don’t actually vote in sufficient numbers to allow your wet dreams to come true.

    So, on down the line, America is NOT liberal and in fact that is why politicians who lean left LIE about their positions to get elected and then try to move left once in office (see Obama).

    Clinton got re-elected because he triangulated and worked WITH the GOP and ultimately balanced the budget and reformed welfare.

    I don’t hate liberals… most of you are harmless enough. You mean well, but like some of the comments here acknowledge, you’re pretty wussy.

    Far left progressives… them I hate. They’re bad people and their ideas and policies are toxic and require lying and fraud to pass (see Obamacare) because Americans don’t support them (see consistent majority in favor of repealing Obamacare and SC polls plummeting after Obamacare ruling).

    Let’s recap… Carter… loser. Clinton… only Dem in post war to be re-elected. Obama… can’t get above 47 approval rating unless he cuts taxes or kills a terrorist (extending Bush tax cuts in 2010 and killing OBL… vicariously), and NO post war president has been re-elected with sub 50 approval rating… so it’s not looking good for the lightbringer.

    If you really want to know why people mock and loathe liberals, it’s because you’re wrong and you think you’re right… and won’t shut up about it…. a la Sorkin.

    An inconvenient truth, for sure. But the electoral results don’t lie (see 2010 – after Obama came out as far left wing nut).

    Good luck!

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      Road, you’re on the wrong site. Go preach your glibertarian nonsense elsewhere.