One answer is the appeal of entitlements and a desire to be taken care of. It takes a strong-willed citizen to vote against receiving free benefits. But an even greater explanation is the saturation of Western society by left-wing hate directed at the right. The left's demonization, personal vilification, and mockery of its opponents have been the most powerful tools in the left-wing arsenal for a century.
Since Stalin labeled Leon Trotsky -- the man who was the father of Russian Bolshevism! -- a "fascist," the Left has labeled its ideological opponents evil. And when you control nearly all of the news media and schools, that labeling works.
The liberal media even succeeded in blaming the right wing for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy even though his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a pro-Soviet, pro-Castro communist. Similarly, just one day after a deranged man, Jared Loughner, attempted to kill Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and murdered six people in the process, The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that it was right-wing hate that had provoked Loughner: "It's the saturation of our political discourse -- and especially our airwaves -- with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence. Where's that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let's not make a false pretense of balance: it's coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. . . ."
Krugman made it all up. But what matters to most of those who speak for the left is not truth. It is destroying the good name of its opponents. That is the modus operandi of the left.
Two examples in the last month bear testimony to its efficacy. One was the overwhelmingly likely motivation of Chief Justice John Roberts to declare the ObamaCare individual mandate constitutional despite his ruling that, as passed, the mandate was in fact unconstitutional.
The other was an op-ed column that David Blankenhorn, the prominent conservative advocate for marriage and against same-sex marriage, wrote for The New York Times.
David Blankenhorn has committed his professional life to fighting for the institution of marriage. And as recently as 2010, he testified on behalf of California Proposition 8, which, in 2008, amended the California Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman -- and which was immediately challenged in the courts, where liberal judges overturned it.