I was listening to National Public Radio (NPR) on the way into work this morning(1). It was their morning fake news program, “Morning Edition.” The hostette, one Renée Montaingne told of how NPR had conducted a year-end interview of President Obama. The interview covered various topics, one of which was: “Does Obama now have a better understanding of those who despise him?” Rough quote.
“Despise him?” “Despise?” Really?
Wow! Not a namby-pamby word there! Not a milquetoastian word at all, that!
I don’t know of anyone in my political camp who “despises” Obama at all. Not a single, solitary soul among all the many thousands of my political, intellectual and philosophical confrères with whom I’m acquainted. A bunch of whom disagree vehemently with Obama’s policies and vision.
Furthermore, I’ve never heard, seen, or even heard of, anyone in any position of political prominence whatsoever say or write that he “despises” (or: hates, loathes, can’t stand, abhors, detests, or even strongly dislikes) Obama.
But, I disagree — quite stridently — with a lot of people whom I don’t remotely despise. Or even dislike.
Those who think as I do, and I, despise certain aspects of Obama’s program, of his vision, and have nothing but contempt for much of it. But despise him? Nope. Not at all.
Now, I’m pretty sure that Renée Montaigne was referring to people of my political tendency — political Conservatives — and not, presumably, to people like ISIS, and Putin, and other foreign leaders, who understand and have to deal directly or indirectly with Obama’s wimpiness. These people show utter contempt for Obama, but I don’t think Montaigne was talking about them. I could be wrong, but it’s unlikely that I am.
That right there is one huge difference between the left and the right — and likely the reason Montaigne used the word she did: projection.
The left do, absolutely, despise (and: hate, loathe, can’t stand, abhor, detest, and strongly dislike) political Conservatives. The left think that the political right-wing is awash in dumb hicks, racist rubes, reactionary, mono-toothed hayseeds, just hyuck-hyuckin’ brainlessly along in life, with not a thought in their big, dumb skulls. (Which is probably projection by itself! 🙂 )
You see, we on the right — according to Obama himself! — are all “bitterly clinging to our guns, our religion and our antipathy to people who aren’t like us.” Those are Obama’s own words.
And NPR thinks we “despise” Obama?!? It’s clear that Obama has nothing but contempt for those who disagree with him! Projection is powerful on the left. Leftists hate us, you see, therefore we must — must — hate them… and everyone they believe belongs in their camp!
Does anyone remember how vitriolic the left were toward George W. Bush when he was in office? Bush was “Bushitler,” and many on the left openly fantasized about Bush’s assassination. Remember how much the left hated Ronald Reagan? How much they hated Newt Gingrich? How much they hate and continue to hate any prominent Conservative figure?
The left, in the immortal words of Jim Carrey as The Grinch, “hate, hate, hate…looooathe” those who disagree with them, so they figure we all on the right must be the same way.
We’re not. We’re grown-ups. Mostly. It’s why we lose lots of political battles: because we’re much less willing to fight dirty, to be corrupt, to lie, to cheat, steal, bribe, embezzle or thieve our way to rhetorical or electoral success.
And that as much as anything else, sums up the differences between the American political right and the political left.
So, NPR asks President Obama whether he understands better those who despise him, when the question ought to be: “Why do you, President Obama, and the rest of your political allies, despise more than half the American population?” But, you wouldn’t get that question from NPR.
Remember: You always come out of a so-called NPR “news” program less informed than you go in.
(1) – My standard introduction to an NPR Watch piece. Currently, in the third world hellhole where I’m endeavoring to make the world safe for democracy, I don’t have what you and I would consider a traditional “commute” to work.