One way to answer that question is to look at the pronouncements of leftists themselves. Let's return to Hillary Rodham Clinton's celebrated 2004 comments to a hotel ballroom full of wealthy women donors to the Democratic Party:
"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you," she said at a fund-raiser for radical Sen. Barbara Boxer. "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good," the former first lady admitted.(The Astute Bloggers commented on this statement in October, 2006.) Now let's look carefully at that key sentence:
"We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."The sentence has two parts, an active part and an abstract part. One part of the sentence has a real subject and a real object, the other part refers to an abstract idea in a vague, abstract way.
It is obvious that the really important part of that sentence, to the mind that spoke it, is the active part, which has a real subject and a real object. It reads:
"We're going to take things away from you.""We" is a real subject that refers to real people. THE LEFT.
"Take things" refers to a real action, involving real direct objects. TAXES.
"You" again refers to real people, the real indirect objects of the taking. THE PUBLIC.
Everything in this part of the sentence is quite concrete. Real world actions are described. Actions within the power of an elected majority.
The second part of the sentence is entirely abstract:
"On behalf of the common good."First of all, "the common good" is an abstraction. It is an idea, or an ideal. It is not a tangibly real subject or object.
Further, what does it mean to do something "on behalf" of the common good? That again is a purely abstract notion characterizing some unidentified, unspecified actions.
In contrast, again, that "we" are going to "take things away" from "you" is a very real and very concrete action. There are real things that Hillary plans to take away from real people.
The emotional energy that fuels the leftist agenda is in the taking, not in the giving.
In fact, a recent comprehensive survey of charitable giving in the United States showed beyond the shadow of a doubt that conservatives are far more personally generous than leftists:
Why has America split into two nations: givers and non-givers? Arthur Brooks, a top scholar of economics and public policy, has spent years researching this trend, and even he was surprised by what he found.
In Who Really Cares, he demonstrates conclusively that conservatives really are compassionate-far more compassionate than their liberal foes. Strong families, church attendance, earned income (as opposed to state-subsidized income), and the belief that individuals, not government, offer the best solution to social ills-all of these factors determine how likely one is to give. Charity matters--not just to the givers and to the recipients, but to the nation as a whole.
The differences go beyond money and time. Take blood donations, for example. In 2002, conservative Americans were more likely to donate blood each year, and did so more often, than liberals. If liberals and moderates gave blood at the same rate as conservatives, the blood supply in the United States would jump by about 45 percent.And as Jim Lindgren points out, the differences also involve other factors:
My first post related to Brooks’s book concerned, not liberals, moderates, and conservatives, but those who favor income redistribution v. those who don’t. Here the answer is more consistent: those who oppose income redistribution tend to be less racist, more tolerant of unpopular groups, happier, less vengeful, and more likely to report generous charitable donations.This all ties in with the demonstration that the action which emotionally motivates even soft bolshevists like Hillary Clinton is the taking and not the giving.
The flowery language leftists use to justify their actions - (all that talk about income redistribution and providing universal health-care benefits for the downtrodden) - conceals their real motivation, which is simply to take other people's property away from them. It's the thrill of the grab that motivates the left, which is one reason that leftists have a spontaneous and visceral sympathy for robbers, muggers, and thieves. Which again is why the execution of a murderer and thief like Saddam Hussein so affronts their leftist sensibilities.