This is what Romeny said in his now famous video about the people in the US who don’t pay Federal Income tax:
[They] will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax …
“[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
You can analyse this forever, but in truth what it really says is just one thing: he just does not care about these people. As a result he holds them in contempt. They’re not worthy of his consideration. They’re dismissed from his agenda.
That’s narcissistic at best: it’s callous indifference at worst.
And it’s not just a US trait. Yesterday George Osborne announced he was considering a freeze on benefits for two years. As a result he will deliberately make those worst off in society poorer at a time when he is going out of his way to make the rich richer. You can analyse this forever, but in truth what it really says is just one thing: he just does not care about these people. As a result he holds them in contempt. They’re not worthy of his consideration. They’re dismissed from his agenda.
The repetition is deliberate. The attitude is the same.
This is what the left is fighting so let’s name it. If at its kindest this attitude reflects a lack of empathy then you could call it the politics of indifference. But this is not just a lack of empathy, although that is obviously present. No, this is worse than that: because this is chosen and a lack of empathy is not. So this is the politics of contempt: behind these words and actions is a profound dislike that spills over into a desire to inflict harm on people poorer than those holding these views.
It is the politics of contempt that we are fighting.