Orcinus is back for the new year, with a note about the escalation in right-wing eliminationist rhetoric since the last election. Many liberals (and moderate conservatives) tend to be generous of spirit, to grant their opposition (and more extremist allies) the benefit of the doubt: They can't really be all that bad. This is a form of denial, probably fed, in part, by the fact that most liberals live amongst other liberals, and so have little firsthand experience with mainstream conservatives.* However noxious you believe the right wing is, it is probably even more noxious than you believe.
* Incidentally, this fact also leads to a tendency, among liberal intellectuals, to believe that ill-informed left-wing yahoos and wrongheaded liberals are actually a significant problem in the grander scheme of things, and to spend vastly more time attacking left-wing yahoos and liberals than is really warranted. The anarchist pacifist vegan activist with seven piercings who believes that the United States should never intervene militarily in other nations for any reason whatsoever is incorrectibly wrong, no doubt, but also fundamentally powerless and irrelevant. The mainstream liberal who has some misperceptions about the effects of free trade on labor can be reasoned with. But the conservative author with Amazon.com sales rank 10,025 (meaning more than one copy sold per day), who regularly gets talking head appearances on Fox News, gives regular lectures all across the country, and defends the use of ethnic concentration camps is simultaneously incorrigible and influential; and she's just one creature in the endless menagerie of horrors that is the modern right-wing movement.