Being caring is actually a licence to be nasty. Not only this year have we witnessed a torrent of abuse and slander from the supposedly caring left, directed at so-called populists in the UK and the US, we have also seen physical violence acted upon them. Consider the aftermath of the US presidential election. On the New York subway, someone tried to strangle a 24-year-old wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap. A 49-year-old in Chicago was dragged down the street by a crowd screaming ‘you voted Trump!’ and ‘you’re gonna pay for that shit!’. In Maryland, a group of high-school protesters – carrying signs with the words ‘Love Trumps Hate’ – came across a 15-year-old fellow student wearing a Trump hat and beat him up.
The list of attacks goes on. But none of this should surprise us. There has always been a malicious, vengeful streak in sections of the compassionate new left. Consider how they have always boasted about ‘hating the Tories’, as if hatred is an emotion to be proud of. The far left always talk of ‘smashing’ or ‘fighting’ things, whether it be capitalism, racism or the system. The rhetoric of caring and combat paradoxically go hand-in-hand. As Albert Camus observed in his attack on Sartre in his 1951 L’Homme révolté, the more someone professes to care about humanity, the more they tend to dislike people as human beings.