The Left/Right divide

I have taken the time to transcribe a call made to The Dennis Prager Show because it sheds light on what I am most fascinated by: the basis of the Left/Right divide.

From The Dennis Prager Show, 2010.07.22, starting at 23:10 of Hour 1:

DP: Alright, let’s go to West Hollywood, California. Richard, hello Richard, Dennis Prager.

Richard: Hi Dennis.

DP: Hi.

Richard: It’s funny that you just mentioned about the religiously held beliefs because I was just telling your screener that I was a formerly very liberal person, about as liberal as you could get. And I changed beginning in the late 1980s when I started to listen to talk radio. And when I was liberal, very liberal, I really did feel hatred for conservatives. And I remember very much hating Ronald Reagan, despising him. And you’ve pretty much, I think, hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that the core difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals strongly, religiously even, believe in the goodness of individuals, the inherent goodness. And I as a liberal—I mean I can’t speak for all liberals, but I think it’s pretty universal would be my guess—my reasoning for why people went bad was because society impinged on them in some way…

DP: Right, but I need to know—I’m keeping you on—I still want to know, why did you hate us when you were like that?

[commercial break]

DP: Dennis Prager here, and I have a huge question. It’s meant utterly seriously. The JournoList issue of these 400—and prominent, I mean the names that I’ve seen, they’re big on the Left—400 exchanging emails on strategy on how to destroy the Republicans. And some of the emails that have been released just evince hatred, I mean the most visceral hatred: this conservative should die, I wish I could watch him die, and so on. And the question is—because I’ve said this for years: they hate us. There’s no match in the hatred. I’m not talking about some people at any given rally or on any given blog site who write stuff—you get that on both sides. I’m talking the elite. The elite conservative doesn’t hate these people, want to watch them die. Why do they want to watch us die, as it were? Why this hatred coming from the Left?

Now we have a bonafide former liberal, West Hollywood, California which is almost redundant: West Hollywood and liberal are almost synonymous. So my question, and everything you said was right to the point but—and maybe you can’t answer it, and if you can’t that’s okay—but when you hated us, why did you hate us?

Richard: Okay, I actually can answer that. So, I as a liberal person previously, when I was liberal, believed in the inherent goodness of people. And I thought the reason why people went bad, so to speak, was because society…

DP: Right, right, poverty causes crime. That sort of thing.

Richard: Well, yes that’s part of it. I mean basically…

DP: Alright, but again what does that have to do with hating us. Let’s say we just differ on that point.

Richard: Okay, so here’s the reason. In believing that people we’re inherently good and that the world had gone very bad in so many ways, I felt the answer was for good people to love other people, to love one another. And if we loved and supported one another, the inherent goodness that is in each one of us would kind of just expand. And people that had been acting bad would become good and wonderful. And ultimately, if we all did that, we would live in a sort of paradise.

Now conservatives—or I as a conservative now believing in the flawed, imperfect, selfish nature of man—I support what conservatives generally support now which is making demands on people and which liberals misinterpret as being mean to others and not supporting them in their goodness. So conservatives, in fact, are doing the very opposite of what they should do if we want to live in a sort of paradise.

DP: Very good Richard. Send me an email and identify yourself to me.

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