NEW YORK -- Given the "welcome" he is receiving from demonstrators and other keepers of the liberal flame here, President George W. Bush might consider a quick trip to Najaf as a warm-up for what he will experience in the streets of New York City.
Why do they hate him? It isn't just his policies, though it is that. The hatred is more intense than Republican animosity was toward Bill Clinton.
The fringe right marketed a conspiracy videotape called "The Clinton Chronicles" that scurrilously labeled Clinton a drug dealer, murderer and all sorts of other things for which there was no proof. How ancient, even quaint, that now seems. Then, we could indulge in jokes about Clinton's sexual indiscretions. Now, we must face the daily trauma that goes with wondering when and where killers will strike next. Why don't more people hate them instead of the president?
Type "anti-Bush" in a Google search and one of the first Web pages listed advertises "over 3,000 links to pro-democracy, anti-Bush" links. Among them are the predictable old-left publications, such as "Mother Jones," along with conspiracy theories that have traditionally been the property of right-wing Chicken Littles. The lefty ones include "Screed: The 'Almost' Censored News, 'GOP has taken over News Media for control and to hide corruption.'"
There are reasons Bush arouses the ire of those who hate him.
For starters, there are his convictions. Nowhere is this more evident than in the war to liberate Iraq and to preserve America from additional terrorist attacks. Liberals are unsure of what they know to be true, because they know no Truth. This is because they fear offending any individual or group (conservatives excepted), and so they wish to leave open the possibility they might be wrong (except when they know they are right).
Liberals don't mind being wrong about an issue, but any error must comport with their general philosophy, which opposes the concept of objective truth. So, if they are wrong about the economy, it is because government isn't big enough and doesn't spend enough, or taxes too little.
Indeed, a second reason Bush is hated is his tax cut. Never mind the improving economy. Liberals fear increased wealth, because it leads to less dependence on government and, thus, less need for them. When a Republican succeeds at cutting taxes and the economy improves, liberals feel threatened and strike back in anger, like a jihadist whose "holy place" has been violated by infidels.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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