Why Do They Hate Us?

A new study by the Washington Times shows that 90% of the broadcast coverage of President Trump remains negative, even after the accomplishments of his first 500 days.  Certainly, the so-called intelligentsia hate Donald Trump, but they hate Trump not just as an individual – they hate him because he sides with us.

They've hated us – those heartland Americans clinging to our guns and religion – long before Trump came along and will do so long after he is gone.  The Justice Department's I.G. report has confirmed widespread prejudice among top Justice and FBI officials, but it's a mistake to think this bias is directed against Trump per se.  Officials like Peter Strzok were intent on "stopping" Trump, but stopping him from doing what?  Stopping him from restoring the right of ordinary Americans to govern their country?

There exists among progressives a widespread culture of intolerance and hatred directed at the middle class.  I'm not the only one, I'm sure, who finds the behavior of Robert De Niro, Jimmy Kimmell, Joy Behar, and the rest of them repellant.

With the Trump presidency, everyday citizens have gained a voice in Washington.  At exactly the same time, media attacks on these Americans have exploded.  The inference is clear: Hollywood, the mainstream media, and academe believe that ordinary Americans must be silenced.  Only the "smart" ones, as leftists consider themselves, have a right to be heard.  The left is attempting to silence the opposition and has been doing so for a long time.

The problem is that, in the end, silencing the opposition involves the use of force.  It's bad enough to "censor" one's opponent, as the fake news does every minute with lies and omissions and outrageous claims.

The media were hoping Trump would fail at the Singapore summit.  Now that he has succeeded, that success is not being reported.  All that CNN could say of the historic success is that Trump's achievement "appeared to upend decades of US policy in Asia."  The suggestion that the U.S. may "eventually" remove troops from the DMZ "will likely spark concern in Tokyo and Seoul," CNN opined.  That's it?  It's better to stick with the status quo and allow North Korea to assemble a large nuclear arsenal and the ICBMs to deliver it than to change U.S. policy?  (This wisdom, by the way, was the work of Joshua Berlinger, a 2012 graduate of Tufts University and "video editor," among other titles, at CNN.  Not exactly Walter Cronkite.)

There are many ways of silencing the opposition, including the covert activities of the FBI and DOJ.  If they hate us that much, they feel justified in using any means necessary, no matter how improper or illegal.  All of this is driven by the contempt progressives feel for "lesser" Americans.

It's ironic that progressives think they are smarter because the progressive agenda has a nasty track record.  In every case – as in Venezuela today or under Obama in the U.S. – it has led to impoverishment and repression.  If progressives are so smart, why do their policies fail when those of conservatives succeed, as they have been doing under President Trump?  And why don't progressives seem to care whether they succeed or fail?

The success of free-market policies has been documented time and again.  The contrast between Carter's liberal policies and Reagan's pro-business stance was obvious in the 1980s.  Now that scenario is being played out again.  The Atlanta Fed has just projected 4.8% growth for the second quarter, better than anything achieved over the entire eight years of Obama's presidency.  The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom for 2018 shows a "significant improvement in financial freedom" following a decade-long decline, most of it under Obama.  According to the report, "There are signs of renewed labor market dynamism and increased growth, and major regulatory and tax reforms are spurring business confidence and investment."

Americans feel freer under President Trump.  The latest Cato Institute's Human Freedom Index (2017) showed the U.S. with a score of 8.39 out of 10 (17th in the world).  In 2016 the U.S. was 27th with a score of 8.27, so there has been a significant improvement in just one year under President Trump.  It will be fascinating to see the 2018 report, which comes out in January.

By every objective measure, the U.S. is becoming freer and more prosperous, and liberals hate it.  They are rooting for a recession in advance of the 2020 presidential election, even if ordinary Americans are harmed.  They care about their own power, not about us – not about our freedom, our happiness, even our lives.

It's important for conservatives to understand just how extreme the left's position has become.  Americans have always lived under the fiction that "it can't happen here."  Our constitution and democratic traditions are supposed to protect us from totalitarianism.  But progressives don't care about democracy.  In 2012, Ruth Bader Ginsburg famously told Egyptian revolutionaries she "would not look to the U. S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012."  "I might look at the constitution of South Africa," she added.  The year after she spoke, there were 17,068 murders in South Africa.  For the same year, there were 12,253 murders in the entire U.S. – a country more than six times as populous as South Africa.

The most fundamental responsibility of a constitution is to protect the security and freedom of a people.  Which is doing the better job: the U.S. or South Africa?  And why don't progressives like Justice Ginsburg seem to understand that freedom matters?

It is, I believe, because to the extent that they think about ordinary people at all, they don't care if they are harmed.

For a long time, the conservative response to liberal hate has been something akin to Reagan's "there you go again."  Reagan was the greatest president of the 20th century, perhaps of all time, but he was too nice.  He made it sound as if progressives were little children being naughty again.  Even in his day, they were a lot worse than that, and today the left has hardened into something closer to the Baader Meinhof Gang.  Leftists have no intention of just "disagreeing" with conservatives over the course of Trump's two terms.  They are trying everything that might lead to his impeachment, and they are attacking and intimidating conservatives everywhere from Trump on down.  The goal is to restore Obama's small circle of academics and intellectuals to power.  In the long run, there is only one way to impose the will of a political elite on the masses: through force and violence.

Fortunately, conservatives have not succumbed to this sort of extremism.  No matter how much we disagree with the left, we still believe that all Americans are entitled to the same protections under the Constitution, chief among them freedom of speech.  While he may have strong disagreements, a true conservative does not respond by denying his adversary's right to speak.

I fear that if they ever gain full control, progressives will go much farther than Obama did.  It won't just be the use of powerful government agencies to attempt to steal a presidential election, as appears to have happened in 2016.  It will be a much broader theft of our freedom, including our personal freedoms and our right to own property.

Conservatives must resist, but even then, we will not descend into the level of hatred that denies the humanity of our opponents.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).

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