Liberals are Scum Quoth the Derbyshire and Other Stories

Here’s John Derbyshire opining at the National Review’s Corner:

Liberals are scum, and I hold no brief for them on this or anything.

On google if you look up “liberals are scum” you get 1,720 hits, look up “conservatives are scum” and you get 9. Not huge numbers, but clearly a disparity. Which raises the question… is that thought – that liberals are scum – more widespread, but simply not stated that bluntly except on rare occasions?

A tamer version of this opinion is found at Right Wing News, which interviewed six conservative women on dating. Here are the responses given for the inevitable question – would you date a liberal?

1. “I can’t respect a guy who’s liberal all that much because it makes me question his intelligence…. They don’t have the manners that conservatives do.”
2. “I sort of prefer to just date someone who’s conservative right off the bat because the conversion thing, you never really know if they are doing it just to keep you happy or what.”
3. (not asked the question)
4. “I have always had a policy of not dating liberals, but once, after a bad break-up, I dated a couple of liberal guys…”
5. “Yeah, in the past year, I think I’ve dated one or two of them. There is usually an issue there with religion, which is kind of frustrating, because you’re not necessarily going to go out on one or two dates with someone and think that you’re going to marry them.”
6. “My experience with liberals is that superficially, they may be more fun to be around. They’re a bit looser and more relaxed. They make an effort to be more sensitive, but the sensitivity only goes so far. It’s easy for a man to keep this illusion of being a great, sensitive romantic if he knows he’s just going to sleep with you and then say good-bye.”

Not scum, exactly, but clearly a bit of a problem. What about at the higher end? The Club for Using Data in Misleading Ways asks us: “Would You Marry a Liberal?”

I’m married, but if I wasn’t and I was considering the reverse of that question – i.e., Would You Marry a Conservative, my response would be something like…

I would have a hard time being married to someone who has very strong and vivid delusions. Those include a failure to accept reality, and reality looks a bit like these two graphs:

(Data for the graphs from the BEA’s NIPA table 7.1 and from IRS SOI Bulletin Historical Table 8.)

Accepting this reality doesn’t necessarily mean being a liberal (personally, I am center-left, and I hold views that would be considered center-right on some issues), but it does mean having to come up with an explanation that is consistent with the facts, or at least having the willingness to state that cutting taxes is more important than producing growth. I haven’t yet found a conservative who can explain these two graphs very well, though I have found a few willing to state that they’d take tax cuts over growth any day.