The contented versus the discontented people
I have been looking at the differences between the Left and the Right of politics since 1968, when I submitted my Master's dissertation on that subject. And my aim has been to understand WHY Leftists behave like SoBs so much of the time. How is it that implementing Leftist policies always results in harm and destruction of some sort?
So my interest has been not only in Leftist claims and policies but also in their underlying psychology. I think, in fact, that it is only at the psychological level that Leftism can be understood. And, in that, I find myself in a degree of agreement with Leftist psychologists. Leftists never stop offering accounts of the psychology of conservatives, adverse accounts, of course. It is one of the more popular fields of research in psychology. So Leftists are most emphatic that you need to delve into the psychological realm to understand politics. In any argument on the facts they will be defeated by conservatives so impugning the motives of their opponent is essentially all that they have left.
I am VERY familiar with the Leftist claims in that regard. Most of my 200+ academic journal articles were devoted to showing that the research they relied on in support of their claims was flawed, often hilariously so.
But there was one redeeming feature in their research. In purporting to decribe conservatives they usually were quite clearly describing themselves! An accusation that they never seem able to let go of, despite much contrary evidence, is that conservatives are "authoritarian". Yet what could be more authoritarian than wanting to "fundamentally transform" America? (In Mr Obama's words -- words which elicited an enormous cheer from his Leftist audience). So to find out what is true of Leftists, a good first approximation is to look at what they say about conservatives. They do Freudian projection on a grand scale. Real self-insight is beyond them.
But before you study a thing you have to define it and that can be tricky. Conservatives themselves offer many different accounts of what is meant by conservatism and its opposite. The different accounts usually have a lot in common but none seem to me to strike at the heart of the Right/Left divide.
So I want to offer what is my simplest yet definition of the difference between the two camps. I propose that the Left/Right divide consists of the discontented versus the contented people. But the difference is a difference between characteristic mood rather than an invariable divide. All the surveys show that conservatives are happier than Leftists but that does not mean that they are ALWAYS happy. That would be absurd. And Trump supporters are clearly not content with the present Left-dominated state of politics, with its pervasive strictures of political correctness greatly limiting what everyone can say and do.
So conservatives have a DISPOSITION, presumably with genetic roots, to be happy and contented, whereas Leftists can't help finding things to be discontented about. One must rather pity them.
Exactly WHAT Leftists get discontented about will obviously vary. There seem to be few things they are contented with and some of their discontents are quite amazing. At the moment, for instance, they want to tear down most of America's electricity infrastructure in the name of the absurd global warming theory, a theory that is in constant divergence from reality.
So, basically, Leftists are discontented with EVERYTHING and, in consequence, want to tear down as much of the existing state of affairs as they can. The harm and destruction that flows from their policies is INTENDED.
One of the more nauseous discontents among Leftists is discontent with their personal fame and prestige. They have a very high opinion of themselves and are greatly grieved that the world at large does not have a similar opinion of them. So they lash out in all sorts of ways. Academics are particularly prone to that. They have in fact by their employment reached a small degree of personal distinction but are quite burned up that many business people get paid far more than they do.
So they lash out at society by promulgating fanciful theories about the evils of the world that will get them taken seriously at least by other Leftists. They gain distinction by being seen by some as heroic critics of a world in vast need of reform and reorientation.
The global warming theory is a good example of that. It's intellectual underpinnings are pure speculation but it has succeeded in creating great disruption. And it continues to be taken seriously because a relatively small clique of scientists continue to proclaim it energetically. The famous "97%" paper by John Cook in fact shows, if you read it carefully, that only one third of climate scientists voice support for the theory.
So, because of their miserable psychological state, Leftists have great potential to do harm and we should never forget that, regardless of what face they put on it, their AIM is to do harm, harm that will usually affect us all in one way or another. Their claims of "compassion" are no more than necessary camouflage for their destructive intentions.