From William Voegeli in The National Review, Hillary’s Empty Moralism Is a Reflection of the Greater Progressive Movement
Though conservatives find liberal sanctimony insufferable, complaining about it is beside the point. Self-righteousness is the only kind of righteousness liberalism now affords to dedicated idealists pursuing their own “absolute” truths. Values such as social justice, doing all the good you can, or enthusing over that distinct category of government programs meant to help people “represent the consensus position among the most enlightened thinkers,” in the words of political scientist James Ceaser. “If enough of these thinkers tell themselves and those who follow them that something is ‘true,’ then it must be so.” If the sole validation of a political opinion is the character of the people who endorse it, the notion that respectable, reasonable people might oppose the liberal project creates intolerable cognitive dissonance. The only resolution is to hold the truth to be self-evident that liberalism’s antagonists are all bigoted, greedy, callous, and fanatical. Thus, liberals’ eagerness to ascribe conservatism to conservatives’ moral and mental defects is more functional than scornful.