The central axiom of partisan politics

  • Counter-demonstrator Gabriel Diamond offers “free hugs” at the right-wing rally in Berkeley in April 2017, giving out gentle greetings to both conservatives and liberals at the gathering. Photo: By Kevin Fagan /S.F. Chronicle /By Kevin Fagan /S.F. Chronicle

Editor’s note: The following Charles Krauthammer column was originally published on July 26, 2002. Krauthammer died Thursday. We publish this in memoriam.

To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.

For the first side of this equation, I need no sources. As a conservative, I can confidently attest that whatever else my colleagues might disagree about — Bosnia, John McCain, precisely how many orphans we’re prepared to throw into the snow so the rich can have their tax cuts — we all agree that liberals are stupid.

We mean this, of course, in the nicest way. Liberals tend to be nice, and they believe — here is where they go stupid — that most everybody else is nice too. Deep down, that is. Sure, you’ve got your multiple felons and your occasional war criminal, but they’re undoubtedly depraved ’cause they’re deprived. If only we could get social conditions right — eliminate poverty, teach anger management, restore the ozone, arrest John Ashcroft — everyone would be holding hands smiley-faced, rocking back and forth to “We Shall Overcome.”

Amid Europe’s turbulent political landscape, a party – who’s aim is to create an Islamic State – is hoping to win seats in Belgium’s October municipal elections. The Islam Party got two members elected in 2012, including one in the Molenbeek area of Brussels. This year, it will stand in 28 municipalities in all. Among its policies: it wants to separate men and women on public transport. ‘It’s really good to separate men from women’ “It’s really good to separate men from women on public transport,” said Sarouj Mohammed, a Molenbeek resident. “There are men who sexually harrass women on buses, there are even women who harrass men too.” Ann Gilles-Goris, a Molenbeek Councillor, commented: “We build a society by building bridges, by putting people together, by allowing them to experience everyday life together. If we start to separate men and women, I think we’re doing the wrong thing.” The Islam Party – which also wants to bring in Sharia law – is focusing its efforts on conservative Muslims. It says it doesn’t want to violate the Belgian constitution. “It’s a project born out of the request of women, who were really harassed, who were really abused, by people who are poorly educated, by perverts…

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