You can see this on almost any school playground. The kid who confronts the school bully is often resented more than the bully. Whether out of guilt over their own cowardice or fear that the one who confronted the bully would provoke the bully to lash out more, those who refuse to confront the bully often resent the one who does. During the 1980s, the left expressed far more hatred of Ronald Reagan than of Soviet Communist dictator Leonid Brezhnev. And, when Reagan labeled the Soviet Union an "evil empire," the liberal world was enraged ... at Reagan.
Those (usually on the left) who refused to confront communism hated those (usually on the right) who did. They called the latter "war mongers," "cold warriors," charged them with having "missile envy" and with loving war.
Today, the left has similar contempt for those who take a hard line on Islamic terror. The liberal and leftist media routinely place quote marks around the words War on Terror. To the left, such a war is manufactured by rightists for nefarious reasons (oil, self-enrichment, imperialism, etc.). Indeed, the Obama administration has actually forbidden use of the term "Islamic terror." America is at war with a nameless enemy. The real enemies the Democratic administration is prepared to name are the Republican Party, tea parties, Fox News and talk radio.
Third, the left's utopian vision is prevented only by the right.
From its inception, leftism has been a secular utopian religion. As Ted Kennedy, famously quoting his brother Robert F. Kennedy, said, "Some (people) see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?" That exemplifies leftwing idealism -- imagining a utopian future. There will be no poor, no war, no conflict, no inequality. That future is only a few more government programs away from reality. And who stands in the way of such perfection? Conservatives. How could a utopian not hate a conservative?
To put in another way, the famous '60s left-wing motto "Make love, not war" embodies the problem as the left sees it: The left makes love in the world and the right makes war in the world. How could you not hate the right? The right, with its beliefs in a strong military; in individuals, not the state; taking care of themselves, their families and their neighbors; and in punishing criminals, is the anti-Love, a figure as reviled on the left as the antichrist is to Christians.
This hatred will only increase if the left feels its programs to greatly increase the size of the government are in any way threatened in the forthcoming elections. The problem is that this hatred does not decrease even when the left is in power.
Hatred of conservatives is so much part of the left that the day the left stops hating conservatives will mark the beginning of the end of the left as we know it.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”