Liberals are far more likely than conservatives to act like their ideas are right, and everyone else's are flat wrong -- or so claims University of Virginia politics professor Gerard Alexander in The Washington Post. Liberal patronizing of conservative ideas and anxieties can be found everywhere, says Alexander, from liberal journalists' books and blogs to Hillary Clinton's 1998 declaration of a "vast right-wing conspiracy." Are liberals "condescending," as Alexander says, or just passionate about their beliefs?
Liberals are condescending -- for good reason: Gerard Alexander would have everyone believe that liberals are just being snooty, says Dan Kennedy in Britain's Guardian. But there's a reason for talking down to George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and other dim-bulb conservatives. They ARE wrong, and their "unthinking blunders in war" and domestic policy are dangerous.
"'Condescending liberals' of the US unite"
Liberals are arrogant and out of touch: "The core difference between liberals and conservatives," says Jackie Gingrich Cushman in Politico, "is that liberals believe that the government is smarter than the American people," and conservatives don't. That's why liberals are so "condescending," and conservatives are willing to "listen to ideas from ordinary people."
"Arena digest: Are liberals condescending?"
How is thinking you are right condescending? "If believing that you are right and that people who disagree with you are wrong amounts to condescension," says Michael Kinsley in the Atlantic, "then we are all condescending." Of course liberals think they're right. "So do conservatives." Otherwise, it's "silly" for them to argue about anything.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Mike Huckabee's head-scratching advice to Christian voters
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The American middle class is no longer safe from poverty — and that might be a good thing
- How Scotland's independence movement lost the vote and still won everything
- 10 things you need to know today: September 19, 2014
- 6 super-helpful iOS8 tricks you probably don't know about
- The Obama administration's nonstop incoherence on ISIS
Subscribe to the Week