The Politics of Schadenfreude

What we have seen over the last ten years is a tendency to make loathing for liberals the thing that truly matters, and usually liberty becomes important to most conservatives only when it is useful to berate liberals. To the extent that liberals have defended constitutional liberties against anti-terrorist government intrusions, it is the latter that most conservatives have embraced. It is not just that loathing for liberals exceeds love of liberty, which might be true for members of all kinds of ideological movements, but that love of liberty becomes almost entirely contingent on whether or not it can be marshaled in opposition to liberals.

— Daniel Larison

I’ve long noticed a similar phenomenon.

See here.

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3 Responses to “The Politics of Schadenfreude”

  1. tokyotom Says:

    I’m with you and Dan Larison, but think it’s worse: GOP leaders deliberately gin-up partisan/tribal outrage about “freedom” (or rag-heads, gays, enviros or whatnot) in order to gain/maintain power, but that concern never affects their own policies and anti-liberty police-state agenda.

    BTW, here’s the link to Dan’s post:

    http://bit.ly/cbX5cz

  2. mfarmer Says:

    So, conservatives are more concerned with loathing liberals than with the constitution or actual liberty. In the Politics of Turn Around Is Fair Play, could it be said that liberals are more concerned with loathing conservatives than with actual liberty? Is a disagreement over the extent of government power used to fight terrorism enough to demonize the motives of conservatives? Can’t there be a legitmate disagreement rather than demonization? I’ve questioned the morality of drone attacks on people who may be Islamic sympathizers rather than combatants — does this make our liberal dominated government evil? Larison’s whining about liberal opposition is not convincing, especially in light of constant liberal attacks on conservatives. It’s a battle over ideas, get over it — both sides are rabid at times.

    • Sean Nelson Says:

      mfarmer,

      Please point me to all those leftists who demonize “conservatism” and use it as a slur. Show me the liberal leaders ignoring their own interest because such-and-such lefty policy doesn’t stick it to the conservatives enough. This isn’t to say that this never happens on the left, just that it isn’t a systemic problem on the left. Right now, objectively, this is a bigger problem on the right than the left. No amount of “both sides do it” changes that.

      “I’ve questioned the morality of drone attacks on people who may be Islamic sympathizers rather than combatants — does this make our liberal dominated government evil?”

      No. It makes our liberal dominated government inconsistent in its liberalism (to be far, far too polite).

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