The Anger Of The Left
joellerose | May 15, 2007 at 04:16 pmby
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The answer is probably that the poll is actually wrong – that Democrats, who are mostly liberals, harbor such hatred that their anger reacted to the poll question. Every conservative has come into contact with this anger – this onslaught of hatred because you don’t share their views and are interfering with their need to run everyone’s lives. What’s missing in their lives is any understanding of the fundamentals of American governance, and this is largely the result of so many public schools dropping the teaching of civics at all levels. Here are a few excerpts of thoughts on this matter:
“O’Connor: Schools Not Teaching Civics at Peril of Nation”
azcentral.com (Phoenix, AZ) - Nov 17, 2006
Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor spoke in support of civic education during a recent interview with the Associated Press. O’Connor praised the current focus on math, science, and reading, but warned that “we may not neglect government and civics and American history if we’re going to maintain ourselves as a nation.”
“What Supreme Court? Many Americans Lack Basic Supreme Court Knowledge”
U.S. News & World Report (Washington, D.C.) - Sep 29, 2006
A newly released study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania shows that Americans are ignorant of the basic structure of the U.S. government, but retain confidence in the judicial branch. The study revealed that one-third of Americans cannot name even one of the three branches of the U.S. government. Americans also believe that the president can ignore Supreme Court rulings. The study, presented by Kathleen Hall Jamieson at Georgetown University Law Center’s “State of the Judiciary” conference, supported a theme of the conference—that Americans are in dire need of civic education.
“Teach Reasons for Patriotism”
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan) - Jul 17, 2006
Americans are the most patriotic people in the world, but studies show that we do not understand American history, government, or civics, says Judge Michael Warren, board member of the Michigan Center for Civic Education. Americans are at risk of becoming “puppet patriots” because we focus on the outward signs of our success but are ignorant of the reason why we our successful—our freedom secured through our first principles—the rule of law, equality, consent of the governed, limited government, and unalienable rights.
“Have We Forgotten Civic Education?”
Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California) - Jul 02, 2006
Thomas Jefferson recognized the need for a “sound history and civic education,” says Marshall Croddy in this opinion piece, but California students get a low “D” for their knowledge of civics. Survey results show that California students do not trust government and do not think it is important for them to be involved in state and local issues. These facts point to the need for a “renewal of civic education in our nation’s schools.” Read the California Survey of Civic Education at http://www.cms-ca.org/civic_survey_final.pdf.
The Anger Of The Left
By Thomas Sowell, RealClearPolitics, May 15, 2007
That people on the political left have a certain set of opinions, just as people do in other parts of the ideological spectrum, is not surprising. What is surprising, however, is how often the opinions of those on the left are accompanied by hostility and even hatred.
Particular issues can arouse passions here and there for anyone with any political views. But, for many on the left, indignation is not a sometime thing. It is a way of life.
How often have you seen conservatives or libertarians take to the streets, shouting angry slogans? How often have conservative students on campus shouted down a visiting speaker or rioted to prevent the visitor from speaking at all?
The source of the anger of liberals, "progressives" or radicals is by no means readily apparent. The targets of their anger have included people who are non-confrontational or even genial, such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
It is hard to think of a time when Karl Rove or Dick Cheney has even raised his voice but they are hated like the devil incarnate.
There doesn't even have to be any identifiable individual to arouse the ire of the left. "Tax cuts for the rich" is more than a political slogan. It is incitement to anger.
All sorts of people can have all sorts of beliefs about what tax rates are best from various points of view. But how can people work themselves into a lather over the fact that some taxpayers are able to keep more of the money they earned, instead of turning it over to politicians to dispense in ways calculated to get themselves re-elected?
The angry left has no time to spend even considering the argument that what they call "tax cuts for the rich" are in fact tax cuts for the economy.
Nor is the idea new that tax cuts can sometimes spur economic growth, resulting in more jobs for workers and higher earnings for business, leading to more tax revenue for the government.
A highly regarded economist once observed that "taxation may be so high as to defeat its object," so that sometimes "a reduction of taxation will run a better chance, than an increase, of balancing the Budget."
Who said that? Milton Friedman? Arthur Laffer? No. It was said in 1933 by John Maynard Keynes, a liberal icon.
Lower tax rates have led to higher tax revenues many times, both before and since Keynes' statement -- the Kennedy tax cuts in the 1960s, the Reagan tax cuts in the 1980s, and the recent Bush tax cuts that have led to record high tax revenues this April.
Budget deficits have often resulted from runaway spending but seldom from reduced tax rates.
Those on the other side may have different arguments. However, the question here is not why the left has different arguments, but why there is such anger.
Often it is an exercise in futility even to seek to find a principle behind the anger. For example, the left's obsession with the high incomes of corporate executives never seems to extend to equally high -- or higher -- incomes of professional athletes, entertainers, or best-selling authors like Danielle Steel.
If the reason for the anger is a feeling that corporate CEOs are overpaid for their contributions, then there should be even more anger at people who get even more money for doing absolutely nothing, because they have inherited fortunes.
Yet how often has the left gotten worked up into high dudgeon over those who inherited the Rockefeller, Roosevelt or Kennedy fortunes? Even spoiled heirs like Paris Hilton don't really seem to set them off.
If it is hard to find a principle behind what angers the left, it is not equally hard to find an attitude.
Their greatest anger seems to be directed at people and things that thwart or undermine the social vision of the left, the political melodrama starring the left as saviors of the poor, the environment, and other busybody tasks that they have taken on.
It seems to be the threat to their egos that they hate. And nothing is more of a threat to their desire to run other people's lives than the free market and its defenders.
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