If you’ve read the book 1984 by George Orwell (not his real name, but the one under which he penned a number of works), you’re familiar with the idea of the “Two Minutes Hate.”
This was a time in which people who were “enemies of the state” were to be vilified. One was to hate not that in which they believed (though I suppose that was acceptable as well), but quite literally, the person him or her self.
I’ve heard folks considered Conservative or “right-leaning,” talk about the idea that, “We need a national divorce, because we hate each other so very much.”
I’m intent on breaking that statement, not necessarily with the idea of causing some sort of healing, so much as pointing something out I believe needs to be seen and heard.
I want to make it plain, I do not hate left leaning folks out there—no matter how far in that direction they lean. Their ideas, I often abhor. As to the people themselves? Not so much.
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I highly doubt it. I would bet a large number of the more Conservative folks I know, agree with that way of looking at things.
This is, in fact, a primary difference between people like me—ostensibly on the political right—and what appears to be true for those on the left.
Why do I say this?
If you ask a person on the supposed right, why they think a particular left leaning individual is problematic, they’ll almost invariably say things like, “I don’t like his position on the economy. He thinks the government can spend its way to prosperity. I disagree.”
Pose the same inquiry to many I’ve seen deal with it on the left, and you’re more likely to get a response like, “He’s evil! He cheats people. That’s wrong.”
You may see little difference, but allow me to elaborate a bit.
That right leaning person, if you continue the conversation, will say things like, “He supported that bill last month, that increases government spending by 10 percent. I don’t think that will be helpful in keeping the private economy (where things get done) healthy.”
You may have already spotted, that the leftist was not specific in his response (by the way, I’m using him, his, et cetera, strictly as a matter of convenience). Believe it or not, this is the common type of response I get from such folks.
Nonetheless, if you press his feet to the fire—and not for the sake of exposing hypocrisy, or necessarily even to get him to think why he supports what he does, but just to know from where he’s coming—in the best case he’ll come up with something that can be proven to be errant.
In a slightly less reasonable scenario, he won’t be able to name anything of substance for you to research.
The worst case, will have him hurling insults—or even fists—at you for questioning his reasoning and knowledge.
In the latter case, it can be argued that he’s identified you as someone with a differing ideology to his own.
That said, rather than trying to “convince you of your error,” or educate you to the truth, the person will seek to vilify you for holding a position he’s unable to “defend against.”
To be clear, I’m not saying all left leaning folks are intolerant bigots. Being fair though, there are a large number of folks on the left in precisely that camp in my experience.
Of course, you can rightly argue there are some on the right who are likewise bigoted. About these individuals, I would say two things.
I find the quantity of Conservative folks who share that way of looking at things, to be a much smaller one, than what I note to exist on the left.
You can, of course, disagree. After all, it’s hard to speak from more than one’s personal experience.
The second thing I would put out there is an interesting one to me, though. When I meet a person on the right who tends to be what they are as a result of bigotry, or be rabid in their perspective, my tendency is to try to educate them both on the policies and leanings of those on the left, so they understand the things they might or might not support, as presented by such folks.
I will also work to determine if there’s underlying reason in their minds for their position.
At least if I don’t agree with their position (of disdain or unfounded hatred for their “opponents”), I want to confirm there’s something underlying their dislike.
Even if they seem to have well founded ideas though, I’m not likely to cite the words or ideas from the perspective of that person. I may incorporate the rational things they’ve said into my “set.”
Even so, I flatly refuse to approach others from a position of unfounded or unwarranted hatred.
In fact, I pretty much refuse to hate people whose ideas I oppose at all, not finding it helpful so to do.
This is something I find to be foundationally different for a large number of folks on the left.
Again to be crystal clear, I’m not trying to say this is universally true.
There are folks I consider to be either somewhat or even largely liberal, who I believe have just not come to a place of wisdom on certain things.
One individual of whom I’m aware, who tends to be right leaning, still supports silly ideas like “universal health care,” and “universal basic income.”
I’m relatively certain, there’s a degree of the “folly of youth” in his perspective.
Put simply, he wants to help others and doesn’t see the inherent harm in either position.
If he were to sit down with certain financial (and frankly social) experts like Dr Thomas Sowell. I believe he’d be swayed to oppose such things.
In general, I frankly respect that individual, even though we disagree on certain things.
And again, this would be where I see folks on the left and right being different much of the time.
If you’re a rightist, you’ll challenge folks with whom you disagree on the basis of at least perceived facts and ideas. This does not tend to be true for folks on the left.
As usual, I covet the thoughts and ideas of others where my assertions are concerned.
If you feel I’m mistaken, by all means, comment to let me know how that’s the case.