A professor who admits that she hates Republicans

Hate is what Leftists do so there is no great surprise in that.  Whether such a person should be leading an academic department is however open to question.  And it is unsurprising that Leftists should hate conservatives.  Conservatives are always bringing up the realities which make  Leftist dreams impossible of fulfilment.  They are the messengers of bad news.  And being infantile, Leftists are inclined to shoot the messenger.

Amusing that she has to go all the way back to Spiro Agnew to find examples of conservatives mocking Leftists.  I remember Spiro but I am an old guy.  Conservatives, by contrast, would have no such difficulties.  The obsessional attacks on the Koch Brothers by Harry Reid are very recent, for instance.  And the Tyrrell has other very recent examples here. Leftist media surge to the attack at the slightest opportunity

Susan J. Douglas is a professor of communications at the University of Michigan.  Since she endeavors to "psychologize" conservatives below, let me give her some of that back.  Leftists are people who hate the world they live in.  There are a variety of reasons why they might feel that way.  Being a rough-looking broad would be one reason for it

I hate Republicans. I can’t stand the thought of having to spend the next two years watching Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Darrell Issa or any of the legions of other blowhards denying climate change, thwarting immigration reform or championing fetal “personhood.”

This loathing is a relatively recent phenomenon. Back in the 1970s, I worked for a Republican, Fred Lippitt, the senate minority leader in Rhode Island, and I loved him. He was a brand of Republican now extinct—a “moderate” who was fiscally conservative but progressive about women’s rights, racial justice and environmental preservation. Had he been closer to my age, I could have contemplated marrying someone like Fred. Today, marrying a Republican is unimaginable to me. And I’m not alone. Back in 1960, only 5 percent of Republicans and 4 percent of Democrats said they’d be “displeased” if their child married someone from the opposite party. Today? Forty-nine percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats would be pissed.

According to a recent study by Stanford professor Shanto Iyengar and Princeton researcher Sean Westwood, such polarization has increased dramatically in recent years. What’s noteworthy is how entrenched this mutual animus is. It’s fine for me to use the word “hate” when referring to Republicans and for them to use the same word about me, but you would never use the word “hate” when referring to people of color, or women, or gays and lesbians.

And now party identification and hatred shape a whole host of non-political decisions. Iyengar and Westwood asked participants in their study to review the resumés of graduating high school seniors to decide which ones should receive scholarships. Some resumés had cues about party affiliation (say, member of the Young Republicans Club) and some about racial identity (also through extracurricular activities, or via a stereotypical name). Race mattered, but not nearly as much as partisanship. An overwhelming 80 percent of partisans chose the student of their own party. And this held true even if the candidate from the opposite party had better credentials.

How did we come to this pass? Obviously, my tendency is to blame the Republicans more than the Democrats, which may seem biased. But history and psychological research bear me out.

Let’s start with the history. This isn’t like a fight between siblings, where the parent says, “It doesn’t matter who started it.” Yes, it does.

A brief review of Republican rhetoric and strategies since the 1980s shows an escalation of determined vilification (which has been amplified relentlessly on Fox News since 1996). From Spiro Agnew’s attack on intellectuals as an “effete corps of impudent snobs”; to Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech; to the GOP’s endless campaign to smear the Clintons over Whitewater, then bludgeon Bill over Monica Lewinsky; to the ceaseless denigration of President Obama (“socialist,” “Muslim”), the Republicans have crafted a political identity that rests on a complete repudiation of the idea that the opposing party and its followers have any legitimacy at all.

From here on, she regurgitates conventional Leftist psychology about conservatives.  Leftist psychologists have been trying to find psychological defects in conservatives since at least 1950.  They have never been able to convince anyone but fellow Leftists, however.  And the reason for that is the very poor quality of the studies concerned. They fail to prove what they purport to prove.  See here and here for a couple of demolitions of the nonsense concerned

Why does this work? A series of studies has found that political conservatives tend toward certain psychological characteristics. What are they? Dogmatism, rigidity and intolerance  of ambiguity; a need to avoid uncertainty; support for authoritarianism; a heightened sense of threat from others; and a personal need for structure. How do these qualities influence political thinking?

According to researchers, the two core dimensions of conservative thought are resistance to change and support for inequality. These, in turn, are core elements of social intolerance. The need for certainty, the need to manage fear of social change, lead to black-and-white thinking and an embrace of stereotypes. Which could certainly lead to a desire to deride those not like you—whether people of color, LGBT people or Democrats. And, especially since the early 1990s, Republican politicians and pundits have been feeding these needs with a single-minded, uncomplicated, good-vs.-evil worldview that vilifies Democrats.

So now we hate them back. And for good reason. Which is too bad. I miss the Fred Lippitts of yore and the civilized discourse and political accomplishments they made possible. And so do millions of totally fed-up Americans.


Pulchritude exemplified

A girl who is sometimes seen in my environment

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