In Part One of my new book -- released this week! -- "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America," I demonstrate that liberals have all the earmarks of mob psychology.
Their myths, slogans, demands for immediate action, messianic goals, demonization of opponents, creation of political idols and occasional resorts to violence -- all this is classic herd behavior.
Because mobs are irrational, immature, subject to wild passions and infatuations, they cannot be reasoned with. And they are always dangerous.
The mob attributes of liberals we will review this week are a crowd's inability to perceive contradictions and its tendency to form an infatuation for an individual.
Consider just one blinding contradiction recently embraced by liberals.
Immediately after Jared Loughner's shooting spree in Tucson, Americans were lectured on civility by the likes of Keith "the leading terrorist group in this country right now is the Republican Party" Olbermann.
Two days after the shooting, The New York Times ran an op-ed by former Democratic congressman Paul Kanjorski (Pa.) calling for "an atmosphere of civility" to eliminate a "fear of violent confrontation." Only months earlier, Kanjorski had said of the Republican candidate for governor in Florida (now governor), Rick Scott: "They ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him."
But the media turned to one man more than any other to discuss how rhetoric can lead to violence: Al Sharpton -- someone whose rhetoric actually had inspired violent mobs.
In addition to libeling innocent men in the Tawana Brawley hoax, ginning up angry mobs outside the Central Park jogger's rapists' trial, whipping up mobs after a car accident in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood killed a black child and a rabbinical student was stabbed to death, Sharpton famously incited an anti-Semitic pogrom against a Jewish-owned clothing store in Harlem, saying, "We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business."
Someone who was listening to Sharpton later decided to storm the store and start shooting, wounding several employees, and setting a fire that killed seven people.
Of course, after all this, Sharpton became a pariah -- oh wait! In the opposite of being exiled, he became famous, ran for president as a Democrat and Al Gore kissed his ring, after these events.
In January of this year, Sharpton was repeatedly rolled out as the expert commentator on civil discourse -- on NBC's "Meet the Press," NPR, CNN and MSNBC. As MSNBC's Ed Schultz said in introducing him, "Al Sharpton is on a crusade against hate speech on talk radio."
In light of Sharpton's history, you'd think that, in the middle of the Arizona shooting being blamed on "rhetoric," someone in his organization might have said: "Boss, I'd keep a low profile for the next couple of weeks. We just don't want you to be on TV right now because someone is going to say -- 'Hey, how about Freddy's? What about Gavin Cato's funeral? Weren't you the guy stirring up the violent rabble at the trial for the Central Park jogger's rape?'"
They needn't have worried. No one brought up any of the mayhem that had followed Sharpton's speeches.
As Gustave Le Bon, the father of groupthink, explains: A crowd's "complete lack of critical spirit does not allow of its perceiving these contradictions."
Second and most obviously, liberals fanatically worship their leaders. FDR, JFK, Clinton, Obama -- they're all "rock stars" to Democrats. They're the Beatles, Elvis, Abraham Lincoln or Jesus, depending on which cliche liberals are searching for.
Nearly seven decades after FDR was president and five decades after JFK was, we still have to listen to liberals drone on about their stupendousness. It's as if Republicans demanded constant praise for Calvin Coolidge.
Even Republicans are forced to pretend to admire these profligate Democrats in order to court Democratic voters. Republicans don't mention Reagan as much, and he was a better president.
In 1992, Time magazine quoted The Boomer Report editor Cheryl Russell, saying, "Every woman I know is having sex dreams about Bill Clinton." (If you call nightmares about Bill Clinton dropping his pants "sex dreams," I guess I was, too.)
When Obama came along, guess who liberals started having sex dreams about? Yes, the big-eared beanpole. The New York Times' Judith Warner reported: "Many women -- not too surprisingly -- were dreaming about sex with the president."
Meanwhile, during Reagan's first year in office, conservatives didn't even rank him as their favorite conservative. He was assailed from the right throughout his presidency.
Republicans certainly never had sex dreams about Reagan -- nor Coolidge, Nixon or Bush. Most of the time, conservatives can barely stand their leaders. They aren't a mob.
As Gustave Le Bon explains, the "convictions of crowds assume those characteristics of blind submission, fierce intolerance, and the need of violent propaganda which are inherent in the religious sentiment."
Perhaps if they believed in a real God, liberals wouldn't have to keep creating an endless stream of human gods.