Why do progressives see conservative views as unworthy or worse, evil?

I am sick and tired of all conservatives being lumped into one category by progressives who feel their world and political views are the only ones that are acceptable.

Andrew Coyne mentioned this very problem in a column last week that caught my attention. He wrote that it was unfortunate that social conservatives were not allowed to have an opinion. The thing is, just as not all progressives believe the same things, neither do conservatives.

Regardless, many conservatives, whether they were so-cons (Coyne’s descriptor) or not, were glad to have Sun TV because it allowed a variety of views to be heard, in particular the many conservative ideas that were not covered by mainstream media. And, they were sad when it was shut down.

But, for the progressive notion of conservative views, check out rabble.ca. This week, for example, they were raising money based on the fact that Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media was doing well in a crowdfunding campaign.

Talk about feeling threatened!

Rabble staff wrote: “Please become a monthly supporter at $8 each month, or make a special, one-time gift of $45.00 using our secure donation page. Thank you for supporting independent, ethical, and progressive media.”

The assumption is that only a progressive media like Rabble is ethical. Pardon me?

Then, there is a section on the Rabble link that says Levant was already “attacking” sex education, woman’s equality and freedom of religion and he had only been online for a few days.

Attacking? Or, simply having a difference of opinion?

However, speaking of attacking, check out a recent Michael Harris column at iPolitics. The title of his piece says it all. Talk about hate speech! More red meat for the hang’ em high crowd! Really. Hang’em high crowd? Red meat? Not all conservatives live in beef country, code for Alberta. And, who said anything about capital punishment?

So, again I ask: Why do progressives see conservative views as unworthy or worse, evil?

It certainly can’t be because conservatives are in the minority. I mean, the Stephen Harper Conservatives won a majority government in May of 2011 on the basis of a 40% (39.62% to be precise) win. However, if you compare it to the Jean Chretien Liberal win in 2000 at 40.85%, it’s not all that different.

Oh, I know, progressives love to lump Liberal and NDP votes together. But, they are not together. The voters represent completely separate political entities with some very different sociological views about a lot of things — such as the role of the military.

Or, is it simply that a 40% majority is only a problem when the winners are conservative?

Whatever the reason for the view that Conservatives ideas and policies are not legitimate or, that differences of opinions are nothing short of an attack on progressives, it is poisoning and polarizing political debate in Canada.

Surely, that can’t be good for our democracy!

21 thoughts on “Why do progressives see conservative views as unworthy or worse, evil?

  1. To the person who just left a comment under the handle “”ponwup,” please note that I do not publish comments when both the sign-in handle and the email address are anonymous.


  2. Hi Gabby. Likely you are right re the meaning of red meat. I would say more about Michael Harris’ attitude towards the current federal government but I will not. Vitriol. Absolutely. He should talk to someone who has lost a loved one to a criminal on parole.

    I am thinking particularly of the Priscilla de Villiers family. Their daughter Nina, a McMaster University student, was raped and murdered in 1991 by Jonathon Yeo, a criminal who was out on parole at the time of her murder. And, now, in the same city of Hamilton, there is Keith Constantin, who says he will rape and kill again. It really makes you wonder, when you read his history why he wasn’t declared a dangerous offender.


  3. Hi Sandy. It always gives me a chuckle when I hear people referring to the strong majority Kathleen Wynn got when it was 40%, similar to Harper.s. It is only a majority when it is a liberal win. I miss Sun News TV. Cheers. SOR


  4. Hello, Sandy.

    “Red meat? Not all conservatives live in beef country, code for Alberta.”
    My interpretation of that metaphor used by “progressives” when referring to conservatives is more pejorative than yours. Red meat being raw, to me it connotes meat thrown to an unthinking carnivorous crowd, tearing ravenously at the meat like a pack of wild dogs.

    However, having now looked it up (politicalmetaphors.com), I found this less offensive connotation:
    “Metaphorically, red meat symbolizes raw emotions or very important issues.”

    Mind you, given the vitriol spewed on a regular basis against the PM by the likes of Michael Harris, I think the latter’s use of “red meat” is closer to my interpretation than to yours or to the one found at politicalmetaphors.com. Kinder & gentler Michael Harris is NOT.


  5. SOR — So nice to hear from you. I miss Sun TV as well. Not every program, mind you, but some of them.


  6. SOR — I looked it up. The Kathleen Wynne Liberals won a majority government in June 2014 with — wait for it — 38.65% of the popular vote. Less than the Harper Conservatives. I also looked up Bob Rae’s NDP majority win in 1990. It was 37.6%!!!! Yet, at the time, very little was said other than they had won a majority and that was that. Such hypocrisy.


  7. That writer jumped the shark a long time ago, he is a typical example of someone suffering from Harper Derangement Syndrome. I believe the only place he can write for now is Ipolitics.


  8. I hear you Cindi. I agree re the Harper Derangement Syndrome. If you read the comments under most mainstream opinion columns, they will find something to blame Harper. The blame Harper syndrome is similar to what it was and, still is actually, for former Premier Mike Harris. Sad really. Look at how much damage the Liberal Wynne government is doing to Ontario. They have been in power almost 12 years. Yet, even now you hear blame being thrown back to Harris. Similarly with Jean Chretien. He ran things even tighter than Stephen Harper but few in the media complained.

    Then, there is Obama — who is still blaming things on George W. Bush.


  9. Thanks for the kind words Cindi. I haven’t been blogging much lately but the automatic assumption that somehow conservatives are … fill in the blanks … motivated me to say something. The irony is that its a generation thing. Growing up and as a young adult, social thinking was reversed.


  10. Great article Sandy. You articulated my thoughts very well.
    Anybody that has a different opinion than those on the left is considered by them as evil and un-Canadian. This started under the empty suit’s father’s regime.

    I miss Sun and do support RebelTV.


  11. Hi Sandy;
    Good and timely post!
    To watch the CBC or CTV one whould think that the world came to an end in 2011.
    Sad to see Sun news off the air I am going to support “Rebel News”
    Cheers Bubba


  12. Hi Bubba,

    Someone close to me is also a monthly supporter of Rebel News. I wish them well. There is definitely a market for a conservative voice or a voice that can discuss both sides of an issue.


  13. Speaking from professional and personal experience I know the worst thing you can do is worry about what others think or say of you. As my old mentor once told me, “Do your job and proclaim”


  14. Hey there, showed up here because I was looking for conservative response to C-51, and noticed this post.

    I’m fairly progressive in my views, so maybe I can explain a little bit. First, I think part of the problem you’re running into is that both sides feel attacked, and we all tend to remember things that attack us more than things that are just reasonable disagreements. The number of CPC supporting posts for which the entirety of the comment was really just, “You’re stupid because you’re a liberal” is insane. However, when I think about it, I realize the same applies in reverse. And yet I know I’m out there attempting to post reasonable, well-thought out rebuttals, so I assume there must be some conservative supporters doing the same.. but I so rarely see them, it seems. There’s just too many trolls and supposed CPC supporters who are willing to post flat-out lies, it kind of drowns out the sensible conservative voices.

    As to SUN TV.. I never watched it. However, I know from the reporting that was done ON it that they were quite happy to promote spin and outright lies. If we look at Ezra alone we see a couple of times where the station was forced to retract things he’d said as being nothing other than hate-filled lies.. and yet they continued to broadcast him. And no, it wasn’t just a difference of opinion, it was flat out lies and attacking. (The ‘Trudeau forcing himself on the bride’ being only the most recent example) That made, for me, all of what they might put out suspect, and so made me pleased when they went down. If a station existed that would cover stories the regular media didn’t cover, that’d be useful, but such a station would have to have an absolute devotion to truth. It certainly couldn’t *start* with the idea that they exist to promote a certain ideology, as SUN did. You might say all regular media is leftist (I’d disagree, as pretty much all media we have in Canada relies on corporate funding, there is no truly leftist media here, and I can point to a host of stories on any of the large media companies that demonstrate this) but at the very least they don’t start out with that as their goal and focus.

    As to the “red-meat for the hang’em high crowd”, and the “ethical” reporting things, I think you’re simply looking way too hard to be offended. For starters, red-meat doesn’t have any bad connotations where I’m from, it’s just a euphemism for a really strong draw. Maybe that’s coloured by me being (proudly) Albertan, but seriously, red-meat is just something people go for. And with the “hang-em high crowd” and “ethical” reporting, it seems like the only one lumping things together is you. If you’re a conservative but don’t support senseless sentence increases, you’re not part of the hang-em high crowd. Similarly, just because rabble says they do ethical reporting does not at all mean they’re saying nobody else does.

    And this brings us to the crux.. why do progressives see conservatives as evil. This is a difficult subject to talk about without seeming to be insulting, but please know I’m really not intending anything said here as an insult and if you feel that way, I do apologize. But any rate, why do we see your ideas as evil?

    By and large, we don’t.

    Unworthy, however, I’ll grant, and the reason is two-fold. First because many conservative ideas are often, in my opinion, too narrow in scope. While they may seem correct when you’re looking at a very particular situation or instance, if a person widens their view to acknowledge how our society and people are all interdependent, conservative ideas are often found, at least in my view, wanting. The second is because of the black-and-white approach to things–a spin off from too narrow a viewpoint. You demonstrate that in your post, when you make the assumption that if rabble says they’re being ethical they’re saying no alternative viewpoint is. That’s a black-and-white view, and, honestly, it’s bunk. Similarly the idea that we see conservatives as evil. Again, that’s the black and white view coming in to play. “If they think they’re good, they must think we’re evil.” It’s simply not true, because there’s room in the world for greys and for even different shades of white.

    Do I think conservative ideas are wrong? Very often. Do I think they’re short-sighted? If the idea is wrong, that is almost always the reason why. Not because the particulars are incorrect, or the poster isn’t a decent person or of reasonable intelligence, but that they’ve simply taken far too narrow a view as to what the effects of their actions/ideas are.

    If there’s anything “evil” in conservatives, it’s when they condone actions that could lead to oppression in the future, simply because those actions are of “their” side. This category includes various actions Mr. Harper has undertaken with our government. And, in fairness, this applies both ways. When “progressives” are willing to condone anything their side does simply because it’s their side that’s doing it.. that’s also evil. I know I try not to be that way, and it sounds like you don’t either.. but we both have to admit, there are a lot of people, on both sides, that do.


  15. Interesting Karl. Thanks for sharing a different point of view. Rabble does not seem to believe in shades of grey, however, on that I disagree.
    Anyway, you do make some excellent points and I appreciate you stopping by.

    [My comment revised.]


  16. Red meat to me means it is aimed or more relevant to the harder core base of any party. This usually would involve an intractable issue for the hard core base voter, whether it be a strict prolife stance for some or proportional representation or universal daycare. Red meat voters likely would not change their vote across the political spectrum no matter what the gravity of an issue was.

    SUN News was admittedly proudly conservative but they did have point/counterpoint viewpoints on it regularly, as those of us who watched it will atest. Ezra has been a bombastic self promoter, at times shamelessly partisan, particularly in attacking easy targets like the Trudeaus who have always been fawned over by the progressive, leftish of centre media. For Karl to point out that JT did not actually throw himself at the passing bride, is perhaps correct but just because he had arranged the photo op prior, should not allow him immunity from criticism. He is the boy prince of cameradom. Virtually all the other ugly reminders of JT’s parents were unfortunately quite accurate, albiet in a very non-Canadian, TMZ way. It was largely unnecessary content and nearly cringe-worthy.

    Conservative ideas routinely revolve around the notion of keeping government from getting preposterously larger. That is why PM Harper, whom I believe will be treated very well by history, is so often criticized for not being a true conservative, or for veering far from the ideal. Despite the impressive cuts to the civil service we have seen (and survived!), he has only slowed the growth of it, because it is now the largest civil service in our history.

    All the gov’t programs vital to our lives are still in place, with ever increasing annual funding, and some of the micro-managing programs aimed at sating special interest groups, of which this country has too loud of a voice, may have been pared back but nonetheless still exist. Social justice, also is a well bandied about term these days and it is now being applied to all manner of social programs. It is a crying shame to many conservative that there isn’t more individual accountability and responsibilty taken. Canadians are now starting to use the U.S. Democrats term of ‘investing’ in place of ‘government spending’. When that happens none of us will know what the truth is anymore.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.