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What are liberals so afraid of?
Enter Stage Right ^ | January 17, 2011 | Daniel M. Ryan

Posted on 01/16/2011 6:40:31 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

The outpouring of hatred triggered by the Arizona shooting is different from the usual animosity from liberal ranks. This time, there's a definite admixture of fear. There are some liberals who have tried to take the high road; in so doing, they ignored "excesses" on their own side. But the ones who are belting out do show they're scared of something. Which leads to the question, what are they so afraid of? Rush Limbaugh, the "harmless little fuzzball?" Glenn Beck? The Tea Party, home of the protests where the protesters pick up their own trash? Sarah Palin, at her nastiest when she kidded with her kids about Michelle Obama's no-junk-food campaign?

The obvious answer, given which party won last year's Congressional elections, is "they're afraid of losing power." That answer doesn't fit the way they act when they are out of power. Back when the Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, liberals weren't afraid; their hatreds were admixed with anger. President Bush was called all sorts of bad names. There was even a teenager who outright threatened to kill George W. Bush back in 2004. Did liberals tone it down in consequence, or did they keep on doing their thing? Obviously, the latter. Did they turn the doctrine of collective guilt on themselves? No; they just kept on with their own vitriol. Threats, even of his life, continued all through the rest of Bush's Presidency - including threats that were not part of protests. Liberals did not tone it down as a result, and that climate hasn't changed. Death threats against Sarah Plain have spiked.

I could point to the partiality, which is having definitely uncivil consequences, but I want to point to the lack of fear.

They could have been made afraid by the violence perpetrated by the psychotic Jared Lee Loughner. Six dead and fourteen wounded in a quiet meeting-place is going to strike fear in any normal person. A Safeway is far from being an urban trouble zone. The random character of the bloodshed – whose cause was Loughner's mental illness – does add to the fear. This cause is plausible, but not accurate. Had liberals feared the insane going postal, they would have clamoured for a "less insane" (stricter, better-funded) commitment policy in the state of Arizona like this mental-health professional is hinting at.They could have even blamed the Arizona Republicans for being too lenient on violent psychotics, or the authorities for not using the commitment tools in place. In the wake of the massacre, they didn't.

Their fear could be latent guilt about their own vitriolic flourishes. That's dubious, because guilt-ridden liberal tend to moralize – i.e., pass the buck. There's been little guilt-mongering in their hysterical outbursts. The poor nine-year-old girl who got killed has not been turned into a bloody shirt.

No, none of these fit. Below are some possibilities that do:

Fear of a Newfound Populism. Back in the days when most conservatives frowned on populism, the term meant "demanding something from the government." Back then, it was fairly easy to be a liberal. Throw the demanders some government money, or a new law, or a combination of both. Like a stockbroker with a well-oiled sales pitch, a liberal politician knew what to do when tempers rose amongst ordinary people. Theirs was the system that managed, and it usually managed to work. Liberal pundits found it easy to egg on the process.

But look at how the rules have changed since the Tea Party got rolling. There is now a large populist movement that is aimed at the government itself. More and more people are seeing the government as just another interest group. Liberals are hearing that their well-oiled management technique doesn't solve problems, it is the problem. The rules of the game that they mastered are changing right out from under them; what used to be a sandy beach for them is now quicksand. That's why the first reaction to the Tea Party was to dismiss it as a front group for large corporations. Myths like that are resorted when reality doesn't make sense anymore. Now that the "corporate front" myth is largely threadbare, there's a lot of latent fear that merely needed a spark to burst into the open. The Arizona bloodbath is that spark.

Needless to say, Sarah Palin has become the face of the new populism – hence, the fear and loathing directed at her.

Fear that Conservatives Are Right About President Obama. I'm not referring to conservatives contending that Obama's a hardcore socialist, or some conservatives' suspicion that he wasn't born in the United States, or other claims that are easy to peg as partisan. I mean the claim, aired back in '08, that Obama was little more than an empty suit. A magician of rhetoric, falling to pieces when something needed to be done. A snake-oil salesman, who used slick rhetoric to gain power. Someone whose goal was merely to win the Presidency.

Look at how many Obama bumper stickers have been scratched off by now-disappointed former supporters. Their disgruntlement may abate in the wake of President Obama's widely-acclaimed speech at the victims' memorial, but it won't disappear.

This point doesn't really explain the fear, but it does explain some of the anger. To an extent, liberals are displacing their own frustration with President Obama onto conservatives.

Fear of Losing Influence. Losing power is easy to take if there's a safe haven in some other arena to dust oneself off and get back into the fray. For liberals, this arena's been dominance of the culture including the mainstream media. It's no secret that these areas have been dominated by liberals for a long time. This dominance has proven to be a confidence-booster for liberals, which explains their relatively fearless anger when out of power. Observe that when these havens are shaken, like during the McCarthy years, they act afraid. As a side note, the plain fear of McCarthy's crusade makes for a noteworthy contrast to their anger over so-called "private power." Only the "public power" of Tail-Gunner Joe has truly scared them.

No successor to the Tail-Gunner is in sight. Sarah Palin shows no inclination at all to start such a crusade; nor do her Republican rivals. The likelihood of another McCarthy episode is not the cause of liberal fear; the new populism is. The mainstream media is not just liberal, it's also widely discredited. One of the liberals' well-used pull horses is going out to pasture. Consequently, they can't count on what they used to see as a safe retreat.

Especially since conservatism has grown a genuine counter-culture, once that acts more as shield then sword. The most obvious theme is "liberals can't be trusted," which is defensive in character. The old conservative Achilles heels are becoming armoured. To take a single example, look at the debunking of the global-warming myth: gone are the days when conservative would meekly defer to what's called "science" or seek refuge by becoming genuinely anti-scientific.

Those old killer punches aren't working like they used to. No wonder liberals are feeling so vulnerable.

Fear of Jared Lee Loughner As A Symbol. Needless to say, the murder of Judge Roll does not fit their narrative. Nor, despite natural sympathy, does the murder of nine-year-old Christina Taylor Green. On the other hand, a bullet through Rep. Giffords' brain does fit their format. The insistence of the Tea Party movement that government is part of the problem – and lots of evidence that they mean it – means liberals are now vulnerable to a lot of buck they can't pass. To put it bluntly, the Tea Party is well on its way to nailing them. Hence the hysterical contention that Laughner is a Tea Party sympathizer. Their fears substitute for facts, which tell a completely different story. Note that if their real fears squared with what they say, they would have greeted the news of his proven insanity with relief. Of all these fears, I say the first and third are most potent. Once the Laughner-caused bloodbath fades into mourning and executed justice, expect the older scare stories to resurface: the ones that claim, say, that conservative Republicans will bring "creationism" to the classroom, or a "theocracy," or chaos through "right wing insurgency." The root of these scare stories is the fear amongst liberals that conservatives from a conservatism truly dominant would be as opportunistic as they themselves have been when they were on top.

By outlining those fears, I don't mean to ridicule them. The fear in liberals' hearts is a human fear, exhibited by a formerly dominant subculture that's clearly on the way to losing its dominance. A threatened ruling class, to put it another way.

In closing, a parenthetical note. In The Collapse of Complex Societies, Joseph Tainter pointed out that a reliable sign of a collapsing government is coercion – not in the formal sense, but in the tyrant's sense. The same rule applies to dominant groups that are losing their dominance. Threatened ruling classes, once pushed beyond fear, do become vicious. Thankfully, though, the real "ruling class" in America is the sovereign people. Any potent viciousness from liberals may not surface.

TOPICS: Politics; TV/Movies
KEYWORDS: commiesnotliberals; giffords; leftist; libertarians; notliberty; palin; sarahpalin; talkradio; teaparty
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1 posted on 01/16/2011 6:40:33 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
What are liberals so afraid of?

The truth.

Could also add in there, they're afraid of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

2 posted on 01/16/2011 6:43:58 PM PST by Jim 0216
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Not being able to take over the world!

3 posted on 01/16/2011 6:45:39 PM PST by TribalPrincess2U (demonicRATS= Obama's Mosque, taxes, painful death. Is this what you want?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They are afraid of losing their dominance they have had for quite a long time. As they see their power slip they will take more and more desperate measures to hold on to what little they have left.

4 posted on 01/16/2011 6:49:41 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Great piece. I think he's right on the money.

To put it bluntly, the Tea Party is well on its way to nailing them.

Yep, it's the fear of this that's got them riled.

5 posted on 01/16/2011 6:55:07 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Pretty good write up. Now, BOTOX. People who use botox to take out wrinkles in the middle of their forehead (the "third eye" in ancient Eastern belief) end up disabling their ability to detect anger in others (one of the things the "third eye" could reliably detect even if you couldn't really see it.)

Consequently heavy botox users wander around imagining that the world actually has improved coincident with their use of the substance.

Combining botox with modern liberalism vomits up a sort of mental illness.

This is why we have to give up botox ourselves, and simultaneously get the Leftwingtards handed over to the experts for the purpose of "DE TOX".

This may take years!

6 posted on 01/16/2011 6:56:38 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Whew, Ryan is a little wordy here, isn’t he? He’s got it partly right, but is doing too much thinking, imo. Here’s why liberals are in a panic:

They thought Obama would quickly drag America out of Iraq and ‘Stan, close Gitmo, install single-payer healthcare, punish the rich and lead the populace into utopia. Instead, Obama is still in Iraq, escalated in ‘Stan, Gitmo is open, healthcare to libs was a mixed bag, he bailed out the ultra-rich and his prospects are worse than ever after the defeat at the polls. There’s more but you get the picture.

Liberals were taken to soaring heights, and even contemplating the fall is horrific for them. It’s all slipping away. It’s the classic loser’s worst nightmare, they finally believed, celebrated and then cruely lost it all.

Of course libs were happier under Bush, that’s classic loser behavior. Griping is their strength, responsibility their weakness.

Hey, I’m wordy too, but not as wordy as Ryan.

7 posted on 01/16/2011 7:02:16 PM PST by SaxxonWoods (Gone Galt and loving it)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It has always been a puzzle to me that communism is so hostile to Christianity since the Bible has so many instructions to be obedient to government, satisfied with wages, and to pay taxes.

8 posted on 01/16/2011 7:10:08 PM PST by killermosquito (Buffalo (and eventually France) is what you get when liberalism runs its course.)
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To: SaxxonWoods

“Liberals were taken to soaring heights, and even contemplating the fall is horrific for them. It’s all slipping away. It’s the classic loser’s worst nightmare, they finally believed, celebrated and then cruely lost it all.”

You mean they have been smoking too much Hope Dope?

9 posted on 01/16/2011 7:10:26 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

“What are liberals so afraid of?”

The truth!

10 posted on 01/16/2011 7:16:11 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz ( Happy Freeping New Year)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The local news here just reported a “peace march” was held in Tucson. How about a “lock up the obviously insane” march?

11 posted on 01/16/2011 7:17:10 PM PST by OCC
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Liberals seems to be comprised of those folks who Scott Peck wrote about in People of the Lie, a nice little compendium on the subject of human and demonic evil.

One of the commenters has paraphrased what the author says about evil people...

For the most part, Peck believes that the hallmark of human evil is narcissism. Funny that the leader of the Liberal movement is at present someone who his fellow classmates at Harvard Law said was the most arrogant/narcissistic person they had ever encountered. Keep in mind that this was said about Obama by fellow narcissists at the most narcissistic school in the world.

12 posted on 01/16/2011 7:23:59 PM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (Obama in Tucson: A campaign speech given while standing on six coffins.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Excellent article, and thanks for posting. I am inclined to agree with most of the points in it.

There is, on the Left, a perception of ground once won that is never to be given away, I think, specifically with respect to academia and the media - here the Long March Through The Institutions has resulted in a liberal dominance so heavy it is nearly unrecognizable (hence deniable) to its very participants. With respect to the media the fear - and it is so intense it's palpable - that the new media may negate all that lovely dominance impels the current enthusiasm for controlling and disempowering those media, whether they be the Internet or talk radio, bringing them at least under control if not silencing them altogether.

In a broader perspective, it's that liberals consider that they own populism, that they are so completely identified with The People and opposed to corporate interests (while taking the latter's coin like starving animals) that any manifestation of it other than their own must be illegitimate. That explains the animus toward the two principal standard-bearers of conservative populism, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin.

Thirdly, there is the truly pitiable insistence on the part of third-rate intellects that anyone with a differing opinion must either be stupid or evil or both. It's a Manichaean little world out there for those who refuse to think, and having laid claim to the mantle of morality, their opponents must hence be immoral, having laid claim to the mantle of science, their opponents must hence be unscientific, of virtue, vice. It is comfortably tribal and extremely easy for the cynical to exploit, and the real pain comes when that exploitation begins to lose its effectiveness and the more or less uncommitted onlookers begin to suspect that just maybe the Emperor really is naked after all. People in that state tend to be prone to violence, and to blaming it all on others. We haven't seen the last of the hysteria, or the hatred. We've seen its bare beginning.

13 posted on 01/16/2011 7:27:48 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Bottom line: LOSING POWER!!! That is all you need to know.

14 posted on 01/16/2011 7:30:29 PM PST by fish hawk (reporter to old Indian: you lived here on the reservation all your life? Old Indian, "not yet".)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

A) They are due for a party split begun in the 2008 election. The principled liberals -vs- the corporate owned leftists. The thing about conservatives in America is that the days of yore to which they hearken center around our founders who were throwing off the bonds of oppression and were, yes, quite liberal in the classical sense. There is a surprising amount of common ground for principled people of all stripes.

B) We are very screwed with respect to debt, our faltering reserve status, etc., and they know that both sides will need to work together to get through this.

C) They suspect something of their own side that Republicans don’t.

D) They are genuinely making an effort to cut down on the vitrol and are a bit disoriented as a result.

15 posted on 01/16/2011 7:34:26 PM PST by BlackAdderess
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To: Yardstick

That is why they are trying to blend in with the Republicans at the Speech on State of the Union. For cover.

16 posted on 01/16/2011 7:35:07 PM PST by screaminsunshine (Surfers Rule)
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To: TribalPrincess2U; 2ndDivisionVet

They are desperately afraid because they can’t DO anything.

They are academics, “journalists,” social scientists, lawyers, bureaucrats, on and on-—people with no practical skills other than prescribing and “commentating” on other peoples’ values and behaviors.

They can’t design, build, weld, fix farm, mine, log, drill, shoot, fight, defend themselves or fend for themselves at all in any meaningful way.

They are really afraid right now as the financial markets seem to tilt and totter and most of the legal and social norms are deteriorating, maybe disintegrating, in such a rapid fashion that even they are able to notice.

They are especially afraid because it will not be the Tea Partiers or the conservatives who “come for them” in the case of great financial and social upheaval-—we will only ignore them and tend to our own.

The ones who come for them early and mercilessly will be those they have pretended to champion, and have really only been temporarily buying off-—the poor, the criminal, the mobs of the cities, the gangs of losers and thugs roaming the countryside.

They fear the Tea Party and other conservatives because they think our values and policies will more quickly remove from them their ability to pander to and fool and bribe their eventual victimizers.

17 posted on 01/16/2011 7:36:04 PM PST by dblup
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Thanks for posting it; much appreciated. I meant what I said about the American people ruling when the chips fall down all the way. Too much belief in the liberal ruling class gets depressing. Take it from a Canadian: Canada's Liberal Party used to have the nickname "The Natural Governing Party." It hasn't gotten Canadian conservative down.
18 posted on 01/16/2011 7:36:58 PM PST by danielmryan
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To: TribalPrincess2U

Here they are in action! ; ~ )

19 posted on 01/16/2011 7:37:35 PM PST by antceecee (Bless us Father.. have mercy on us and protect us from evil.)
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To: Billthedrill

I predicted two years ago they will end up begging for us to need them. They are like a needy girl you keep trying to give the brush off. Their biggest fear? People discover they do not need them.

20 posted on 01/16/2011 7:37:37 PM PST by screaminsunshine (Surfers Rule)
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