Thursday, January 17, 2008

Projecting hate

Prof. Arthur C. Brooks writes in today's Wall Street Journal on academic research into politics and hatred. Before explaining the research, he starts with some illustrations of lack of self-awareness:
A politically progressive friend of mine always seemed to root against baseball teams from the South. The Braves, the Rangers, the Astros -- he hated them all. I asked him why, to which he replied, "Southerners are prejudiced."

The same logic is evident in the complaint the American political left has with conservative voters. According to the political analysis of filmmaker Michael Moore, whose perception of irony apparently does not extend to his own words, "The right wing, that is not where America's at . . . It's just a small minority of people who hate. They hate. They exist in the politics of hate . . . They are hate-triots."

The University of Michigan's American National Election Studies survey asks American adults to rate their warmth toward people or groups on a thermometer scale from 0 to 100.
  • 28% of people who called themselves "extremely conservative" gave Clinton a zero in 1998
  • 10% of the "extremely conservatives" rated Gore with a zero in 1998
  • 60% of people who called themselves "extremely liberal" gave Bush a zero score in 2004
  • 60% of people who called themselves "extremely liberal" gave Cheney a zero score in 2004
On this, Prof. Brooks writes:
To put this into perspective, note that even Saddam Hussein (when he was still among the living) got an average score of eight from Americans. The data tell us that, for six in ten on the hard left in America today, literally nobody in the entire world can be worse than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
So, the U of Michigan surveys are consistent with the idea that, when liberals talk about others being intolerant or filled with hate, it is projection.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

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