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Thread: Why do so many Americans hate liberals?

  1. #1
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    Default Why do so many Americans hate liberals?

    I see it time and time again, on American news, the internet, articles, etc..Americans cannot stand 'the left'. I like to know why this is. Surely the US was founded on liberal ideals, otherwise they wouldn't have left the old world for the new one!? What's with all these hissy fits against liberals?

    I thought I'd post here and pose the question as so many users here are American.

    (For the record, I'm a liberal. I like being an open-minded individual, and I'd vote Obama as president if I was a yank! )

  2. #2

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    Actually, Americans hate anti-Individualism.

    It's a theme throughout our history. Look at our earliest real and fictional heroes. Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and James Fenimore Cooper's Hawkeye. Rugged frontiersmen - in the case of Boone and Crockett, enhanced.

    This even translates overseas. At one time, German cinema was infatuated with the American Cowboy.

    It's mostly a myth. Americans are just as much herd animals as other nationalities.

  3. #3
    European Import KenNYC's Avatar
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    Probably going to piss someone off, but anyway... I think it is related to the idea of the 'American Dream', people are ok with a society where ridiculous amounts of people are losers as long as they have this one in a million chance that they can make it to the top, it's more important to have a remote shot at ridiculous success than coming together as a team and getting the result that is best for everyone. Anti-individualism is certainly not a bad word for it. I think it's the one thing I will not be able to get used to *(nor do I want to, mind you). Anyway, with the recent "market correction" I guess Anti-individualism is going to take one in the gobber...

    Tad bit surprised to see this coming from a UKer though, after all you guys are pretty much America Jr.

  4. #4
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    The American Dream = home ownership.

    See - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_dream
    Last edited by stache; October 10th, 2008 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Further information

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenNYC View Post
    people are ok with a society where ridiculous amounts of people are losers as long as they have this one in a million chance that they can make it to the top, it's more important to have a remote shot at ridiculous success than coming together as a team and getting the result that is best for everyone.
    A recent and localized phenomenon.

    Stache has it right.

    It was the America of my grandfather, more so of my father, to a lesser degree of me. Don't know about my children.

    The pursuit of happiness.

    I think we wrote it down somewhere.

  6. #6

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    Re: home ownership: Interesting to note that home ownership is higher in most European countries (including mine) than in the US.

  7. #7

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    I think only a few countries in Europe, Spain and Italy come to mind, have appreciably higher home ownership than the US.

    US average is about 70% - I read somewhere the same as the UK and higher than France.

    CA and NY rank 49th and last in state ranking, about 50%.

  8. #8

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    This article does not mention every Euro country (and the figures are from 2002) but it shows Belgium, Ireland, Norway and Spain higher than the US. I believe in Europe, Italy is second only to Spain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeown..._United_States

  9. #9

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    Portugal, France, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands lower.

    It's not on the list, but I think Germany is even lower.
    http://www.photius.com/rankings/home...hip_rates.html

    India has one of the highest home ownership rates in the world.

  10. #10

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    Yes, it is not related to the wealth of the country. But much, I think, has to do with a mindset and trust of where you put your money.

  11. #11

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    I'm not sure where this stands lately, but in the past...

    For the majority of Americans who invest money at all beyond retirement annuities etc, the most important investment is their home.

    I remember mortgage-burning parties when I was young.

  12. #12

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    as i recall, 'liberalism' became a 4 letter word during the Reagan administration when the country was coming off a 4 year Carter malaise characterised by a USA whose world status suffered as a result of the Vietman war, and the Iranian hostage situation. The Reagan administration successfully associated liberalism with diminished US geopolitical status and promised a new beginning or a new "Morning in America" The associaton of Liberal = bad was furthered during the '84 presidential campaign where Mondale was depicted as a far left liberal throwback and all but slaughtered.

    The rest is as we say, history.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by RockstarJizzy View Post
    I see it time and time again, on American news, the internet, articles, etc..Americans cannot stand 'the left'. I like to know why this is. Surely the US was founded on liberal ideals, otherwise they wouldn't have left the old world for the new one!? What's with all these hissy fits against liberals?

    I thought I'd post here and pose the question as so many users here are American.
    The long answer is erudite and exceeds my mental capacity.

    The short answer --based on my personal observation living in a hotbed of the phenomenon you describe-- is: indoctrination, ignorance and conformity.

    The folks I deal with daily get their opinions prefabricated from their ministers, who get them from their ordained leaders, James Dobson and Pat Robertson. Other right wing opinion-makers include Rush Limbaugh and talk radio in general, Fox News, Lou Dobbs, and the Republican Party. (Google/Wiki the names, RockstarJizzy.)

    The basic ideas are Righteousness and Populism, which suggests that ignorance and bigotry are OK if approved by ordinary folks and spiritual leaders. And where ordinary folks are ignorant and culturally inclined to bigotry, populism finds fertile ground. And of course it’s seen by its proponents as informed and rational.

    The electorate’s stupidity is cynically exploited by the ruling class, which is regularly able to persuade the deluded and powerless to vote for the Republican Party, from whose policies they derive no benefit whatsoever --though they are kept in the dark about this by their masters. This is done with a potent and cynical brew of flattery, lies and spin.

    The flattery is that they –-the anointed of the churchgoing Right-- are morally superior to their villainous adversaries on the left, an obviously depraved grab-bag of hot-button abortionists, homosexuals, freeloaders, criminals, drug users, intellectuals, “elitists” and quiche-eaters, socialists, insider politicians and their lobbyist buddies –joined quite recently by investment bankers and now even terrorists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjxzmaXAg9E. Diversions all.

    The true elitists –folks like Rupert Murdoch, miscellaneous billionaires, the Bush family, Cheney, Karl Rove and the McCain campaign-- are delighted by half the electorate’s compliant gullibility, which they exploit to the hilt to win elections, and which they're able to whip up into flights of rage and indignation.

    When things go wrong: like Goebbels, they blame the left, confident of their target audience’s impressionability.

    But more than this: incredibly and most potently of all, they BLAME THE GOVERNMENT-- obviously a socialist conspiracy, as all government is –-and such is their constituency’s stupidity that spinmasters are able with only modest smoke and mirrors to get them to ignore the fact that they themselves --the ruling class-- ARE THE GOVERNMENT, and they were elected by their constituents, the churchgoing plain folk, the individualists, the anti-elitists!

    The cynical manipulators are able to do this by tapping into an American belief so vast and mythic that even liberal members of this board subscribe to it: that ALL GOVERNMENT IS INHERENTLY BAD (and obviously a leftist conspiracy, since right-thinking folks all wish it would wither away).

    Thus it is that every Republican administration is elected on the promise of shrinking government. Once elected, however, both Reagan and Bush grew the government to unprecedented size –-secure in the knowledge that they could conceal even this from their deluded supporters.

    Conformity works through peer pressure. Many Americans congratulate themselves on their individuality, while conforming rigidly to the opinions of their peers. The true individualists are the ones who don’t make a fetish of it --and of course, of these there are few.




    Blame Goebbels; the ideas are mostly his.

    (Though the deluded will tell you they're Jefferson's.)

    .
    Last edited by ablarc; October 11th, 2008 at 02:39 PM. Reason: typo; corrected Rev. Dobson's first name.

  14. #14
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    Americans don't hate liberals. Fox News and the right-wing nut jobs hate liberals. Mainstream media picked up the chant and broadcast an echo chamber.

    If people actually understood the definition of "liberal", I believe most would identify with it.
    Last edited by BrooklynRider; October 12th, 2008 at 12:36 AM. Reason: typo correction

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    as i recall, 'liberalism' became a 4 letter word during the Reagan administration ...
    Go back another decade to VP Spiro Agnew who, before he was compelled to resign as Vice President due to his personal corruption, made public and linguistic sport of skewering "Radical-Liberals" ...

    TOMORROW, October 11, is the 35th Anniversary of AGNEW's RESIGNATION!!

    Check this out from TIME Magazine 1970 (it might sound familiar):

    His [Agnew's] speeches continue to describe some of the real radicals bombers of campus buildings, assassins of police. Then he almost invariably establishes a link between Weathermen or their ilk and liberal Democrats. In Albuquerque, he said:
    "Make no mistake. This radicalism that infects our Congress and poisons our country is at best a bizarre mutation of Democratic liberalism."
    Essentially Agnew was a thug (Hello, Todd!) but he did have a way with language. (However the real credit for most of that must go to Nixon / Agnew speech writer William Safire.)

    *

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