Politics

Mutual Hatred Is All Democrats and Republicans Have to Offer

The partisan factions aren't fighting for anything more than the power to destroy each other.

|

What defines a Republican, these days? How about a Democrat? That's a difficult question to answer. After years of shifting priorities and ideologies, the beliefs of Republicans of today bear little resemblance to those of somebody of that affiliation from a decade ago, and the modern Democrat is just as far removed from recent predecessors. But one thing is clear: Republicans aren't Democrats and hate anybody who is, and Democrats feel the same about Republicans.

Identity established by mutual loathing is pretty much all there is to go on when partisans of the two factions so rapidly change positions, sometimes despising one another for holding fast to beliefs they themselves once supported. In their struggle for control of the government, it's all about loyalty and power, without any deeper meaning.

"Six in 10 Republicans say they would rather have a president who agrees with their political views but does not set a good moral example for the country, as opposed to one who sets a good moral example but does not agree with them politically. In contrast, 75% of Democrats prefer a president who sets a good moral example over one who agrees with their issue positions," Gallup reported last week. "In 1999, Republicans' and Democrats' opinions were reversed, with Republicans favoring a president who sets a good moral example and Democrats preferring one who agrees with them politically."

Of course, Republicans downplay moral issues at a time when the president from their party shows every sign of being morally crippled, just as Democrats deemphasized morals when their own occupant of the White House had his sleaziness on display. Then as now, tribal affiliation overcame any supposed principles.

The primacy of tribal affiliation has also been obvious in the course of semi-regular media pranks when partisans have been deliberately presented with misattributed quotes about public policy issues. Interviewees inevitably become befuddled when they learn that the "bad" opinion they dutifully denounced belonged, not so long ago, to the "good" side.

More broadly, the recent changes in party positions have involved "the transformation of the GOP into the party of Patrick J. Buchanan and Donald J. Trump—defined by cultural resentments, crude populism, and ethnic nationalism," as Peter Wehner puts it in The Atlantic. At the same time, "the Democratic Party is embracing a form of identity politics in which gender, race, and ethnicity become definitional" along with progressive/socialist economics that are "fiscally ruinous, invest massive and unwarranted trust in central planners, and weaken America's security."

Such rapid shifts on issues and ideology have left little time for developing a strong basis of enthusiasm for what political partisans are supposedly for, but that's left people plenty of energy left to expend on what they're against.

"We find that while partisan animus began to rise in the 1980s, it has grown dramatically over the past two decades," Shanto Iyengar and Masha Krupenkin, political scientists at Stanford, reported in a paper published last year. "As animosity toward the opposing party has intensified, it has taken on a new role as the prime motivator in partisans' political lives. … today it is outgroup animus rather than ingroup favoritism that drives political behavior."

That means politically partisan Americans are defining themselves not by what they have in common with allies, but by how much they hate their enemies. They may not have a good handle on what they're fighting about but, damnit, they're gonna fight.

Fifty-five percent of Republicans said Democrats are "more immoral" than other Americans, and 47 percent of Democrats said likewise about Republicans, as Pew Research noted last month. "The level of division and animosity—including negative sentiments among partisans toward the members of the opposing party—has only deepened" since the last survey three years ago.

Fifty-five percent of Republicans and 44 percent of Democrats say the party opposing their own is "not just worse for politics—they are downright evil," according to a YouGov survey. Thirty-four percent of Republicans and 27 percent of Democrats say the other party "lack the traits to be considered fully human—they behave like animals."

Factions that aren't really firm about what they believe, shift positions, but are dead-set in their hatred for one another to the point of dehumanization? In a weird way, such partisan animus for its own sake sounds an awful lot like the ancient rivalry between the Blues and the Greens—the chariot teams turned political parties that played such a prominent role in sixth-century Byzantine political life. As with modern Republicans and Democrats it was never entirely clear what they stood for beyond opposition to one another, but rioting between the two factions ultimately burned half of Constantinople to the ground.

When the Blues and Greens set about burning down their city, they were encouraged by senators who hoped to seize the imperial throne for themselves. They sought to take advantage of the chaos.

Nothing much has changed over the centuries.

"Partisan negativity is self-reinforcing, that is, political elites are motivated to stoke negativity to boost their chances of reelection," Iyengar and Krupenkin wrote in their 2018 paper.

Fundamentally, then, what defines Republicans and Democrats isn't programs or beliefs or ideology—it's achieving power and destroying the enemy in the process. What's done once power is achieved—beyond grinding "evil" and "immoral" enemies into dust—is secondary at best.

Since platforms and ideas don't really matter, there's no room for finding common ground or cutting deals. Opposing political factions can compromise, for good or ill, on health care bills and defense schemes. But how do you split the difference when what separates you isn't a matter of firm values or principles, but a mutual desire to seize total control and to smash all who don't wear your gang colors?

Ultimately, the only way to keep the peace is to make sure there's no prize to be won. So long as there's a powerful government over which hateful partisans fight for dominance, we're all in danger from the battling factions.

Advertisement

NEXT: An Off-Duty Indiana Police Officer Was Fired After Needlessly Harassing Black Shoppers

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Does anyone really vote for someone as much as voting against someone?

    Seriously.

    1. Sadly, no.

      Last time I voted for someone, it was a libertarian friend I know personally who was running for city council. I can’t even bring myself to vote for anyone from the Libertarian Party anymore because their candidates are so consistently embarrassments.

      1. Being a fictitious sockpuppet of a Canadian retard makes voting in American elections untenable anyway.

    2. 2020 presidential election may be the biggest hate vote in US history.

      1. I hate liberals. If I saw one dying, I’d keep walking.

    3. Once upon a time, I did. I haven’t felt inspired by a candidate of either party at any level in a very long time, though.

      1. Don’t you ever see a local candidate who’s a friend of the family or of friends?

    4. I voted for Trump.
      You don’t like it? Too bad

      1. Fuckin’ A bubba!

      2. You had someone to vote for. I’m glad someone did.

        1. Just to clarify, that was a general “you” and not specifically directed

    5. In this thread, Chipper makes a fool of himself pointing out that the account I use is me, because he’s so fucking stupid that he didn’t realize I CHANGED IT AND TOLD EVERYONE

    6. Nope….I have not voted affirmatively FOR someone since 1984. That was the last vote I cast for a Team R POTUS. No Team D POTUS ever made the cut. So sad that we have been reduced to voting for the lesser of two plain evils.

      I would think having more political parties, coupled with no federal subsidies of any kind to Team D and Team R or any political organizations or candidates, and repeal of the 17th amendment would go a long way toward solving this particular problem.

      1. Aye on 17th

    7. I see those people who vote for someone as being crazy cultists who shouldn’t have a vote at all.

    8. Actually, I have. Frequently. I understand the logic of voting against someone you despise but have still voted for the candidate I thought was the best choice.

      That said, I tend to think the author has the DemonCRAPS right. They simply hate the opposite side. Republitards are a little different. I don’t think they feel hatred towards DemonCRAPS so much as loathing and disgust.

      As for morality – if we’ve learned nothing else over the past three years, we have had proven, repeatedly, that there is no limit to the dishonesty of DemonCRAPS attacking Trump. Every failed attack, every meritless claim, every lie told to justify corruption of process only makes that more clear.

      1. I’ve seen what I would characterize as outright hatred from democrats from some of the more conservative commenters here at Reason. Of course, it’s an internet message board.

        I don’t talk politics in depth with my family, but my perception is that my conservative family members feel a certain fear of progressives and their policies, and my progressive family members feel a very Bernie-esque sense of class animosity for conservatives when they associate the term with the rich and a smugness when they associate the term with working-class whites.

    9. The Democrats have a great deal to offer. They have an endless amount of treason, oppression, slavery, scarcity, hopelessness, starvation, racism, division, war, collectivism, and outright evil to inflict on us all.

      Aren’t they wonderful?

      1. You’re making the article’s point. My camp good. Other camp irredeemably evil.

        1. Ok Lester. Now follow that up and point out where I am in any way wrong.

      2. ……… guilt, grievance, victim hood, resentment……

    10. there are 200+ bill sitting in mcconnels in-box , each and every one makes we want to vote D.

      When you vote against a party it is usually because the other party offers an alternative that you support.

      3M+ votes for Hillary were not all anti-trump votes. some , like me, liked most of her policies, if not her.

      the historic uptick in D women in 2018 were voting for something and they got it.

      1. Seriously?! Can you think of a single policy Hillary proposed in 2016? I sure as hell can’t!

    11. I am a gun enthusiast and so I am a single issue voter.
      I was a Republican until Trump directed the ATF to ban bump stocks.
      I had to turn in multiple bump stocks/bump triggers.
      I need not tell libertarians that I am outraged that I had to get rid of my legally acquired property that I had enjoyed for years.
      I would like to vote Libertarian, but the party is a complete joke.

    12. Does anyone really vote for someone as much as voting against someone?

      I can honestly say that I do. Sometimes I don’t have a great option and choose between the lesser of two evils (or just don’t vote), but I’ve never voted for one person just to prevent another from winning.

  2. maybe in the media’s mind but most people don’t hate members of the other party. The activist we see from time to time do not count as Average American people

    1. True. Most people are fairly apolitical and busy living their private lives, and not caught up in the culture war that the Red and Blue teams would like to suck everyone into.

      1. Not only that, but I don’t believe much of this war filters down to municipal races, except in a municipality like New York City.

        1. A friend of mine, whom I mentioned above, won the mayorship of one of the most progressive cities in the country, despite being a Libertarian. What mattered more to the people who voted for him was that he was a sensible dude with integrity who had a long record of volunteering on city committees.

          1. A “friend” of yours winning an election in a progressive city is no surprise

            1. And I’m sure his friend was REALLY libertarian. Probably a real staunch libertarian because he considered possibly, maybe ,eating the little people pump their own gas.

          2. Bro, you showed up 7 minutes after a known sockpuppet posted to reply to an hours old poat. You’re either him or you’re the saddest f5ing motherfucker anyone has ever seen.

          3. Yup in locals it is fix the traffic problem on Rt. 8.

    2. I hope this is true but I think it may only be partially true. I do think the Nam era boomers have spent their entire lives replaying over and over and over and over the cultural divides from their youth which has since just morphed into predictable partisan divides. And since they have very much been in power for the last few decades and are still hanging on, those divides of theirs infect everything.

      I don’t think X’s and younger have the same divides except among activists. But OTOH, they also were very slow to gain positions of power. Early 80’s average age was 49 for Reps and 53 for Sens. Which was a teeny bit lower than the previous 100 years but not much. Just before 2018, it had risen to 58 for Reps and 62 for Sens (oldest ever for both). 2018 brought in highly partisan millennials and dropped the Reps average age back down to the early 80’s average (biggest one year change ever) but didn’t change Senate age much at all.

      Still up in the air – probably another couple election cycles – whether X’s are gonna be late entrants (smaller generation anyway so they won’t have the influence of those surrounding them) or whether millennials get less partisan representation as more of them enter and the earlier (always more partisan) ones either leave, go up or lose.

      1. I do agree that my generation, boomers, have had a strong influence on the partisan divide. Hopefully as we die off the divide with lessen.

  3. How “enlightened.” “Hitler came about and then the other side turned against them and now no one likes each other.”

    There’s at least huge reasons to not like Republicans who are against even playing in the same ballfield and by the rules who flagrantly disregard laws, rules, ethics, and norms. Dems aren’t great but at least they generally follow the laws.

    1. Dems aren’t great but at least they generally follow the laws

      Except when they have to flagrantly disregard laws, rules, ethics, and norms because the Republicans made them by electing Literally Hitler.

      1. Or wanting guns. Or free speech. Or free association.

        1. Or attacking a country without Congressional approval. Or creating a massive surveillance state.

          1. Or ignoring the electoral college.

    2. “they generally follow the laws.”

      Apart from the Constitution you mean.

    3. People ,who simply follow the law without question as you imply are simply appealing to authority to decide their actions.

      What happens if the law says it is OK to kill jews or Muslims ?

    4. THIS IS WHAT TONY ACTUALLY BELIEVES!

    5. If there is one thing I’ve learned in my life it is generally all criminals are Republicans, because liberals would never break the law.

    6. You know who else was against Republicans playing on a ballfield?

      1. Hitler (re: Jesse Owens)?

      2. Unicorn, it literally amazes me that the attempted assassination of 40+ congressmen/senators was not a galvanizing moment for the entire country, let alone Team R partisans. Never in our 240-year history did anyone else even come close to even attempting to bump off nearly 10% of the entire House in one attempt. Didn’t happen during WW2, or even the Civil War.

        1. And many in the left secretly, and not so secretly wished it had been successful.

          Make no mistake, America is at war with progressives, and de Croats in particular.

          1. Hey –
            Leave the Croats out it!
            But Democrats are definitely at war with any who would stand in the way of their totalitarian vision

            1. The squirrels are quite powerful today.

    7. “Dems generally follow the laws”?
      Dude! You’re out of your ever-loving mind.

    8. “”Dems aren’t great but at least they generally follow the laws.””

      That’s pretty funny. Dems are good at ignoring other dems that don’t follow the law.

    9. Huh? Are you not aware of the fact that the democratic party admitted in court that they do not honor the democratic process and they are not legally bound it? I guess they follow the laws if by that you mean they think different laws apply to them. They call themselves the democratic party but do not adhere to a democratic process in their primary elections. You are right, they do play in a different ballfield, an undemocratic one. The republican party, because trump won despite being despised by his party leaders, at least does play in the democratic ballpark. Dunno why democrats still believe in their dear leaders after the 2016 shenanigans.

  4. “Six in 10 Republicans say they would rather have a president who agrees with their political views but does not set a good moral example for the country, as opposed to one who sets a good moral example but does not agree with them politically.”

    The problem here is that “moral” applies to things outside the realm of politics.
    I might vote the same way.

    1. I’d vote for an adulterer who agreed with all my politics against someone who was faithful but disagreed with me every time. I think the writer needs to spend some time examining their own assumptions and why they couldn’t immediately see these answers were reasonable.

      1. Without the example of moral decency in our betters, how can we possibly expect the peasants to behave morally?

        1. Reverend Kirklebunny will show us the way.

          1. Where is that goddamn piece of shit anyway? Did he die?

            1. He won the culture war and retired. All the clingers have been replaced. Haven’t you noticed?

              Haha.

      2. I think the point was not about that opinion in isolation but that the trend of support for that position switched from when the morally-challenged D leader and morally-challenged the R leader were in power.

      3. That’s part of the whole “What’s the Matter with Kansas” narrative that’s infected political punditry for the last decade and a half.

    2. “have a president who agrees with their political views but does not set a good moral example for the country,”
      Far more than 6 in 10 Democrats thought that about Bill Clinton.

    3. This was the stupidest possible contrast to make: The reason that, ” 75% of Democrats prefer a president who sets a good moral example over one who agrees with their issue positions,” is that Democrats no longer acknowledge any difference between morality and their issue positions. So an immoral President who agrees with them on policy is an incoherent concept so far as they’re concerned.

      Do they historically care if their candidates are adulterers, or liars? Not particularly. Policy differences are the only reason they care about Trump’s moral shortcomings. It’s a talking point, nothing more.

      1. This is the thread winner. Best take on the divide. Dems have made politics their religion so they view virtue signalling as moral and all opposition to their goals as evil. Reps got tired of RINOs constantly throwing them under the bus and are finally dropping some of the unreciprocated politeness in dealing with Dems. Aside from Trump, their elected officials are slow to embrace the change in tactics

    4. ***The problem here is that “moral” applies to things outside the realm of politics.

      Adherents of the major parties don’t often stop to ask about the proper role of government, so there’s no “outside politics”. I think that’s the core of many problems. It’s old hat for the Ds, but kind of new for Rs (maybe it’s not coincidence that more Rs are less educated in recent times).

  5. This has not been my experience. All the partisan people I know are defined by their hate of the other side. Sure, such partisans are a minority, maybe 20% of the population on each side. But they drive the hate-filled discourse to which the rest of us have to listen.

    1. This was meant as a response to Ron.

      1. It was retarded in any context just like every other thing you’ve ever posted here, don’t worry.

        1. Fuck off, Tulpa.

          1. You’re bad at that.

      1. Chipper can’t get these homosexuals to stop sucking his cock.

        1. You thoght you were kidding, but he says if they’re friends or family…

          Also, he stupidly didn’t know I was publicly Tulpa. Like, he’s so fucking dumb and out of touch that he thought his becoming aware of my public name change was some sort of revelation lolololol.

          The best Chipper fuck ups are the self inflicted ones lolololoo

      2. I do have to listen, if it’s family members or friends.

        1. Yeah, we knew you were a pussy.

    2. I really love that you went so out far out of your way to contort yourself into avoiding a preposition at the end of that sentence and yet couldn’t avoid beginning the sentence with the word but.

      1. This is another Tulpa sock. Fuck off, Tulpa.

        1. No fuck stick, it’s JUST TULPA God do you feel proud outing my main account that ive been clear was me since I changed it?

          Jfc boy, I wasn’t trying to hide it dummy lololol

          1. And, on top of stupidly pointing out something I made clear myself weeks ago, the idiot is super butthurt because I pointed out how dumb his sentence was lolollool

    3. All the partisan people I know are defined by their hate of the other side.

      What percentage of Reason articles oppose something stupid others do? If we define Reps and Dems this way shouldn’t we apply that to Reason writers?

      1. No, no, no
        When you sit in the corner and make fun of the cool kids for doing the exact same thing you’re doing, it’s totes different

  6. Ultimately, the only way to keep the peace is to make sure there’s no prize to be won.

    And both sides appear to be working as hard as they can to bring this about. 8-(

    1. Ultimately, the only way to keep the peace is to make sure there’s no prize to be won.

      That’s a pretty libertarian statement for Reason.

    2. Actually no. From the point of view of the two sides, the prize to be won is power. Success of the country is barely even a consideration. The author’s point is that the way to keep the peace is to take away the ability to abuse government to gain power – to constrain and limit it so that those wanting power will go somewhere else.

    3. The premise being that keeping the peace is necessarily a good outcome. So far, ‘keeping the peace’ Has lead to ongoing incremental advances in progressivism. With corresponding erosions of our natural rights.

      Sometimes the opposite of war isn’t peace, but instead slavery.

  7. The moral issues sentiment is better broken down into long-term principles vs short-term wants.

    Democrats want other people’s money.

    Republicans want … not Hillary.

    Of course, both want to control everybody else. Neither has any principles of any kind. The Republicans have a principal at the moment, but that won’t last past 2024 at the latest, perhaps 2020. The Democrats have either no or many principals right now, probably won’t have any after 2020, and even settling on one by 2024 is doubtful.

    Most libertarians have one basic principle, couched in different language — liberty, property rights, self-ownership. Thus they have no principals, and any attempt to choose one are bound to fail.

    1. Because if life doesn’t offer you a perfect choice, all other choices are equally bad. And principles answer all moral questions and there is never any such thing as a moral dilemma or a choice between competing virtues.

      Got it.

      1. No, I don’t think you got it at all. You are reading way too much into what I said.

        1. If I did I apologize for that. But, both parties can be lousy and one still a better choice than the other. And if one party is bad enough, voting for even a flawed party could be the only moral option.

          Every time fascists and communists have taken over a western nation it has been because either a foreign power used force to put them in or because the opposition to them refused to unite to stop them.

          There is no danger of the former in the US. So, the question is whether it is the latter. Have the left gotten so bad and taken over the Democratic party to such a degree that it has become a moral imperative for everyone of good conscience to unite against them and vote for the alternative. I will admit that that is a tough question. It is likely not the case but it is getting close to that, if for no other reason than the Democrats fanatical commitment to disarm the public and restrict the 1st Amendment. If they ever succeed in doing either of those, we will well and truly be at the mercy of the government.

          1. Almost always one choice is better than another. Woodchipper: feet first or head first?

            I was commenting on the narrowness of this paragraph:

            Of course, Republicans downplay moral issues at a time when the president from their party shows every sign of being morally crippled, just as Democrats deemphasized morals when their own occupant of the White House had his sleaziness on display.

            That moral issues is way too broad. There are short-term (I’m glad Hillary lost) and long-term (both suck). There are personal (why can’t I choose my kids’ school) and social (it’s crazy to have government schools indoctrinate kids).

            1. It is an interesting question why Trump is any more “morally crippled” than any other politician, whatever that term is supposed to mean. No one ever bothers to explain that piece of virtue signaling.

              The bottom line is that you can disagree with Trump’s policies. But, there is no rational case to be made that Trump is anything more than a President some people disagree with. Disagreeing with him is a perfectly rational reason to vote against him. What is not rational is all of the histrionics and virtue signaling about his morality and the alleged threat to the Republic he poses. All of that stuff is just complete bullshit.

              It is especially ironic bullshit given that it usually comes from the media, which is far and away the most disgusting and immoral legal profession in the country. The same people who kill stories to protect Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein lecture the country about what a “moral cripple” their President is, when that President’s only real sin seems to be to have had the nerve to ask for the votes of unfashionable people.

              To the extent the country is divided and can’t come up with compromises that everyone can live with, the fact that the media is made up of some of the most immoral, dishonest and disgusting people on earth is a big part of the reason why.

              1. I very clearly remember the same histrionics going on in the Clinton years. I remember a lawyer I knew raving about “how can I explain this to my children, that this man, this adulterer, is in the White House!!!!”. (Said lawyer lady didn’t know her husband was cheating…)

              2. “Morally crippled” is intellectually lazy shorthand for “my kind just doesn’t like this guy.”

                Obama wasn’t morally crippled, his morality was quite strong, and he displayed it with alarming frequency. Alarming because it was just flat out wrong and grossly anti libertarian. He was a devout statist.

                Not that any author here seemed willing to get down to those brass tacks.

          2. Given that the de Croats will ultimately turn us into Venezuela, or even worse, it is necessary that their party be eliminated, and seeming be done about the real die hard progressives.

            Does anyone here seriously believe we can survive as a constitutional republic if the current situation is allowed to continue?

            1. Again the squirrels got me.

    2. Yes, any attempts to choose a principal will fail, especially when we have people wearing boots on their heads allowed to speak at conventions.

  8. Libertarians are ahead of the game because they hate BOTH SIDES doncha know.

    1. Is disgust a type of hate, because disgust and disappointment is a more appropriate sentiment to hold.

      1. Is disgust a type of hate, because disgust and disappointment is a more appropriate sentiment to hold.

        If you’re going to split hairs that your own opposition is disgust and not hate you also need to demonstrate their feeling is not disgust but actual hate. None of the evidence provided does this which means an accurate summary of the article is “I hate them all”.

  9. the blonde chick would look better w/the MAGA sign in her hands

    1. I would also slap a set of ‘D’ cups in her chest too. Can’t go wrong with that.

  10. “Six in 10 Republicans say they would rather have a president who agrees with their political views but does not set a good moral example for the country, as opposed to one who sets a good moral example but does not agree with them politically.”

    How can any Libertarian not agree with this. Whose moral example? And since when is it healthy for society to look to politicians for moral example?

    The President is hired help. His elected to do a job and is judged on how well he does that job. And how well he does that job depends on his policies. His moral example, whatever that is, is only relevant insofar as it affects his policies, which in this case are assumed to be something the person answering the question approves.

    The Republicans have nothing to offer except hatred as long as you consider keeping the Democrats from destroying the 2nd Amendment, reducing the administrative state, and preventing the Greens from destroying the economy. Good to know reason thinks all of those things are nothing. Everyone always assumed that that is what Reason thought. It is nice of them to come out and say so.

    1. “The President is hired help”

      Cannot be said enough.

    2. The GOP changed to the position everyone said they should take during the Clinton years when Bubba was the crass executive officeholder. The problem is I do not think that Democrats have actually changed position (see Gov Northam and Senator Menendez), they are just disapproving of Trump.

      1. The GOP has changed their position. You would have thought no one caring about the 1998 impeachment and it hurting them in the midterms would have done that. But they are as they always have been slow learners.

    3. “The President is hired help.”

      Totally agree, BUT … when a President or his base starts touting that person as being a moral paragon, it is fair game to look deeper at his moral status.

      1. Obama isn’t president anymore dumb ass. I don’t know why you keep acting like he is.

        1. He’s a prog, he justifies everything he does. It’s why it is so obvious that he’s Jeff.

          1. Pedo Jeffy must be massively delusional. It’s the only way I can see him not committing suicide, like he should. He is also a poster child for retroactive abortion twenty plus years after the fact.

      2. ” it is fair game to look deeper at his moral status.”

        No dumbass, you just tell them they’re wrong.

  11. Not quite certain the hatred is all that mutual. It is the Democrats, in my view, that have embraced a noxious brand of progressive activism as the mainstay of their politics – gun confiscation, the gradual evisceration of the First Amendment, antipathy toward religion, and an economic philosophy that inches closer and closer to complete government control over private industry.

    The Republican position, for the most part, is that the Democrats have shed all pretenses of moderation and are eager to shred the Constitution en route to a socialist utopia, brought about and sustained by force. Republicans are of the view that this shift by the Democrats is very dangerous. The Democrat position, as far as I see it, is that Republicans are bitter old clingers that need to be wiped out, along with their archaic “rights,” in order to make way for a more enlightened society; they have no right to speak and should be marginalized wherever possible.

    In short, I think the hatred is rather one-sided.

    1. The Republicans own the majority of elected offices in this country and of the federal judiciary. If they hate Democrats, what are they doing to express this hate and punish Democrats with this power? I can’t think of anything. Can you?

      Democrats in contrast have made it clear that they will use the power of government to coerce people who hold views they consider offensive. The Democrats went after the Little Sisters of the Poor for Christ’s sake. They have succeeded in suing small businesses into bankruptcy for the sin of refusing to bake a gay wedding cake. Where are the examples of Republicans trying to coerce and destroy people in the same way?

      1. Agreed. Well said.

      2. If they hate Democrats, what are they doing to express this hate and punish Democrats with this power?

        Recent abortion laws such as the one in Alabama come to mind, although that was obviously more of a reaction to the hyper-permissive laws that were passed/debated in New York and Virginia, the latter of which arguably crossed the line over into legalizing infanticide.

        1. How are restrictive abortion laws an expression of “hate and punishment of Democrats”? Republicans ran on restrictive abortion laws because large portions of the country consider abortion to be akin to murder. You may disagree with their views, but to say that they are doing this out of hatred for the Democrats is absurd.

          It’s Democrats who are utterly unwilling to compromise this. Probably a majority of Americans finds it reasonable to: (1) not force insurance to cover elective abortions, and (2) limit elective abortions to the first trimester. If you talk to Democrats, institution this would amount to a totalitarian theocracy.

          1. “Republicans ran on restrictive abortion laws because large portions of the country consider abortion to be akin to murder.”

            I don’t think this is true. Most Americans favor leaving Roe v Wade in place. Abortion is more common than most people realize with an estimated 1 in 4 women have had an abortion.

          2. Demo’s don’t trust abortion laws without strong working for health exceptions. Having “the life of the mother” necessarily at imminent risk before your can get a 2nd trimester abortion does not sound good to most women. Particularly since women have died in Catholic hospitals which refused to abort fetuses “with a beating heart” in order to reduce health risks to women. Pro-lifers think if you put health of the mother exception wording into abortion laws then you are allowing “abortion until birth” (a term which is nonsense because you can’t kill a viable-outside-the-womb infant without it legally being infanticide, which is against the law in all cases.)

    2. Not quite certain the hatred is all that mutual

      Whether it’s mutual or not, overall, I’d say the Democrats/Progressives are a lot more likely to cut out anyone who doesn’t share their political beliefs than Republicans/Conservatives, if the “I’ve stopped talking to my Republican friends and relatives” thinkpieces that have come up in the media over the last 2-3 years are any indication. I’ve read anecdotes of people who lost friends they’ve had since childhood, or aren’t speaking to their immediate family members anymore, simply because they voted for Trump and refuse to get caught up in impeachment hysteria.

      With that said, the Democrats that are in my life and I haven’t “cancelled” each other over political differences. At least not yet.

    3. This is why they have to go. I know most people here become VERY uncomfortable when I say this, and most are also afraid to seriously discuss it. I also never hear a realistic alternative to what I see becoming an inevitable outcome to their increasingly violent overreach.

      If there is one, I would love to hear it.

  12. but rioting between the two factions ultimately burned half of Constantinople to the ground.

    Sounds like they got the works.

    1. Ain’t nobody’s business but the Turks, man.

      1. Probably just a bunch of jerks.

    2. The Blues and Greens were chariot race fans. Since expressing an opinion about politics was pretty much illegal, people expressed their politics through their choice of chariot racer as a proxy. It would be as if the Democrats took the AFC and the Republicans the NFC and the Super Bowl had enormous political implications. It was a crazy mix of pent up emotion and rage.

      1. They were also rival patronage factions. They were a mixture of sports fan club and Tammany Hall.

      2. It was a crazy mix of pent up emotion and rage.

        I was in Philly when they beat the Patriots. I’m familiar with this phenomenon.

        1. I can one up that – I lived in Oakland through 13 football seasons. Riot when they win, riot when they lose.

          1. Oakland doesn’t need a reason.

            1. True, that. We had several riots in my neighborhood over high school football.

              1. As a Steelers fan, I’m familiar with high school football.

              2. dude a knife fight broke out in front of me @A’s-M’s game last summer in the seats where there’s *waiter service* … loved it.

                1. Oakland may be the closest thing to true anarchy we have in these United States. Maybe my favorite city in the country.

                  1. Really? So you can build what you want on your land and open any kind of business you want without asking permission and paying bribes?

  13. How many of the Democrat presidential candidates are openly hostile to basic Constitutionally protected rights like speech, religion, assembly, self defense, property etc.? How many of them are hostile to property rights as something the government has an obligation to protect even against it’s own interests?

    Can you really say that the Democrats stand for nothing, that it is merely a gang fighting for purely utilitarian goals?

    1. That’s the case against Team Blue, but on the other hand Team Red has their own history of spending and growing the Federal government, getting the U.S. involved in foreign wars, not respecting separation of church and state, corruption, scapegoating immigrants for the country’s problems.

      1. I am more making the argument that the two parties actually do have ideological differences they are contending qbout.

        1. That’s fair. The Democrats and Republicans are not mirror images of each other. There are idealogical differences.

      2. Team Red has their own history of spending and growing the Federal government, getting the U.S. involved in foreign wars, not respecting separation of church and state, corruption, scapegoating immigrants for the country’s problems.

        I’m having a hard time identifying which of these is supposed to destroy Team Blue. Can you clarify?

        1. It’s just the spasm of a reflexively progressive “libertarian” marionette

          1. Jeffmike thinks we can’t read what he writes. He literally spews prgo talking points, then tries to gaslight everyone.

            You wonder if his friends and family fall for it, or if the reason he has so much time to troll is because they all cut ties with him. Hey, at least in that case he doesn’t have to suck them off like Chipper said he had to do to keep his friends and family around lololo.

          2. In the mid term elections, my choices in the House race were Cathy McMorris Rodgers, an increasingly RINO establishment republican, or Lisa Brown, a former state legislator who taught soviet economic policies under the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, who is a democrat.

            So essentially, I had no choice at all. If there were no communists/democrats as major party candidates, political races might offer reasonable choices. Instead, I have to hold my nose and elect establishment hacks to keep communist traitors out of office.

      3. own history of spending and growing the Federal government

        Unavoidable for getting elected.

        getting the U.S. involved in foreign wars

        Yes, neocons. They seem to be moving to the Democrats.

        not respecting separation of church and state

        The constitution requires the federal government not to establish a religion and not to interfere in religious exercise. Where have Republicans ever attempted to violate that?

        scapegoating immigrants for the country’s problems

        I have seen zero evidence of that. What Republicans want is enforcement of immigration laws as written, together with an orderly immigration policy that doesn’t change the country too fast or too radically.

  14. I consider myself a libertarian and I’ve lived in both right wing Texas and the left wing Bay Area. I have no love for republicans, but democrats are awful and far worse.
    Leftists nowadays are all for social engineering on every level. They have absolutely no respect whatsoever for individuals, private property, business autonomy, freedom of speech, freedom of self defense, freedom of association or disassociation, leaving people alone to bear or reap the consequences of their life decisions, the constitution, etc… I’m not sure if it’s that they are bitter and evil or they are just horribly misguided and misinformed, either way they are totalitarian control freaks. If leftists were content living their lives based on their principles, or at least keeping their policy pushes local instead of pushing them on the federal level that would be one thing. But the reality is they want to push every one of their pet peeves on everybody via the violent threat of government enforcement.
    The worse you can really say about the right these days is that they are protectionists, overly zealous about immigration and drugs and are complete hypocrites when it comes to keeping spending and monetary policy sane despite claiming to be fiscally conservative. They have a couple of areas that they wrongly push their values via government. Leftists though want to use the government to control absolutely every aspect or everyone’s life and don’t think there should be any limit whatsoever on how far government control should reach. Sorry, but the right is much more entitled to hate the left.

    1. I think a lot of it is that the parties trade off being narrowly ideological and being big-tent coalitions that can’t be easily generalized about.

      The left right now is the narrowly ideological side. The right has more and more come to be composed of those who don’t like the left’s ideology, and there are fewer things you can say about Republicans-in-general vs. Democrats-in-general.

      It does seem to be starting to dawn on people on the left, though, that ideological purism is inherently divisive.

      1. Perhaps some people on the Left. A lot of progressives live in an urban, yuppy social echo chamber where they look down on rural and working class people.

  15. One side is fighting for the right to destroy the other. The other is fighting for the right not to be destroyed.

    Apparently Reason writers conclude both of these goals are equally bad.

    1. The Right has other items on their agenda besides defending themselves from the Left, such as rolling back abortion decisions, and tighter restrictions on immigration.

      1. Which one of these is an effort to destroy the left?

      2. So what wrong with protecting our sovereign borders and trying to prevent physician enabled infanticide?

        1. All I claimed is that those two things are on the Republican agenda. Do you disagree about their being on the Republican agenda?

          1. No.

        2. A 6-week old embryo is an infant now? I just don’t understand religious zealots who think women are slave wombs less important than unconscious 6-week-old creatures with no brain waves. No, compromise possible in their tiny minds.

          1. Most women don’t even know they are pregnant before 6 weeks (unless they are trying to get pregnant).

            So this is a strawman.

            I would not be surprised if the normalized use of birth control and obesity, among other factors, has increased the rate at which women first discover they are pregnant in the third trimester. Wouldn’t surprise if that is the main impetus in pushing for 3rd term abortions.

          2. Similarly I don’t understand zealots who refer to women as slaves. No compromise is possible in their tiny minds.

  16. The country should be partitioned. Better the India 1947 solution than the Russian Civil War solution.

    Yes I hate the leftists, yes they are evil, and would gladly deal out to them what they are morally owed. So yes again, partition the country. Let them run California and the Northeast into the ground.

    1. I propose breaking the country into 50 semi-independent states, with a Federal government responsible only for brokering between states.

      1. And governing foreign affairs and interstate commerce to ensure a single national market. You know a set of strictly enumerated powers.

        Hey, that is just so crazy it might work.

        1. We should write this down!

          1. Yall are on to something, but make sure you’re clear about setting limits on what that federal government can do and laying out a specific process to alter any part of the contract

        2. If it hadn’t been done before and led to this, I’d say you are a genius.

          Letting states leave the arrangement if they see fit should be included.

  17. Nice equivocation, baby.

    It doesn’t take much insight to realize that Democrats are always on the attack and Republicans are always on the defense. So what, you’re blaming the victims here? Do you also blame rape victims? How about shooting victims? Do you blame them too?

    1. Were Democrats on the attack during the impeachment inquiry into President Clinton?

  18. 95% of everyone, when asked about Libertarians say “Who?”

  19. OT: Brexit or Corbyn: Corbyn confirmed in a Bloomberg television interview that Labour would nationalize the railways, water companies, the electricity grid and Royal Mail Plc, following up on his pledge to take ownership of broadband infrastructure.

    Shocking!

    1. But, according to Tuccille, there is really no differences worth mentioning between Labor and the conservatives! They are practically interchangeable, except for superficial labels!

  20. Another “Both Sides!” article from Reason.

    Completely ignore the policy preferences of Both Sides!, then project your blanking out of those preferences and your own hatred onto Both Sides!

    Someone bludgeoned Reason into inanity with the stupid stick.

  21. Like most Reason writers, Tuccille only knows how to be negative. So he has completely ignored all the Trump accomplishments. Like cutting business taxes which were the world’s highest. Or defeating ISIS. Or the First Step Act. Or the 12/1 deregulation to new regulation ratio.

    And who did Trump “destroy”? Who did Trump “grind into dust”? Names please. Post them here. If Tuccille isn’t a total fool, these individuals must be named, right here, in a reply to this comment.

  22. What defines a Republican, these days? How about a Democrat? That’s a difficult question to answer.

    Go to ISideWith and taking the quiz. For me, I get scores of agreement from more than 80% to about 10% for the different presidential candidates. So, yes, Tuccille, informed voters do know what defines a Republican and a Democrat, what their policy positions are, and whether we agree with them or not. If you don’t, perhaps you shouldn’t be a journalist and instead consider a career in something less intellectually taxing.

    1. Yeah, amazing isn’t it? It’s just sooo difficult to know where one stands viz a viz everyone else. Well, maybe. But only if one doesn’t want to be honest about where one stands.

      So, I take the test and I score 89% Constitutional Party, and slightly lower than that Libertarian, and slightly lower than that Republican. I mean, can you can imagine my shock at those results?

      No, I can’t either.

  23. Unfortunately I keep reading articles on this site hoping to find a plan to advance Libertarian ideas and candidates. More and more it appears this is no more than a peanut gallery taking shots at the 2 parties and accomplishing nothing. What candidates will we try and get elected to the house and senate? In state races? Is there a presidential candidate that can even get a fraction of what Gary Johnson got despite his horrendous VP pick?

    1. LP and other parties will not go anywhere under the current system. Need switch to a parliamentary system, or at least get rid of the primaries and introduce ranked-choice voting.

    2. This site is run by people whose idea of libertarianism is an all powerful state delivering their preferred policy outcomes.

      ie. Permissitarianism.

  24. What the article does not say is that much of the partisan divide we see today is the result of anxiety in a rapidly changing world. The article notes that the divide began in the 1980s. This about the time that the rapidly changing world began to affect people. Consider that the populations of first world industrial societies are aging and that the world population will be dominated by young people in 3rd world countries. Changing demographics in our country will mean that in a few years we will likely not have an ethnic majority. Our economy is rapidly changing and is heavily influenced by the global economy. The changing climate will force lifestyle changes we are reluctant to adopt. All these things create anxiety and anxiety creates anger. This anger is manifest in our politics and rather than helping address the changes we face it exacerbates the problems.

    1. M4E-politicians can’t solve any of the problems you mention. The only thing that will is perhaps a cataclysmic event that takes out at least a third of the world’s population. I’m not hoping for one, but there’s really no other way out. On the other hand, we could introduce free online porn to third world countries. That at least should take the guys’ minds off of getting laid so they won’t father so many babies.

      1. I would not look to politicians to solve the problems. I am suggesting that we be aware and work to address the problems ourselves. I consider “anger” to be the most useless of emotions because it rarely solves anything. It is an indulgence.

        As for the third world we need to eliminate poverty and improve the status of women. Happy middle class people don’t have more babies than they can handle. Poor people do have many babies.

        1. “We are not so much bothered by things, as by our opinions of things.”

          – Epictetus

          And government is what gives people the idea that they can ‘solve’ such ‘problems.’

          Bad idea.

    2. Yeah. White people are terrible.

      1. You feeling anxious?

  25. I hate both Ds and Rs now, but Ds a bit more, still not enough though to vote R, or waste my time again on LP or any third party who will be ignored. So alas, I have quit voting.

    1. “So alas, I have quit voting.”

      You are making the Deep State very happy. Your sense of isolation and impotence is just what they are aiming for.

  26. This is a direct symptom of democracy (in any form), all elections are soft civil wars, and each election will bring more and more hostility as government grows (also a symptom of democracy), and stakes are higher

    1. That’s a really good, if disheartening point. In favor of robots taking over, that is.

    2. I think you are wrong to blame government. This is a result of the rapid pace of change. The anxiety felt that your job could be shipped overseas or replaced by automation. That the town you grew up in could become a ghost town and the way of life you expected disappear.

    3. Yes, liberty is not merely a personal good, it is a societal good – by limiting government action you limit government value (as a prize to be won.)

      Which is why it has been so disheartening to see a publication like Reason employ people like Suderman to make a career out of dissecting the minutia of Obamacare.

      It’s fundamentally wrong. Any additional consideration only confers credibility upon it.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.