One of the defining characteristics of liberals (according to liberals) is that they love the poor. How do they love the poor? Some do volunteer work, and others give away their services. However, the dominant method of assisting the poor among liberals is “give poor people money”. When asked, “How?” they respond with “Government.” Left unspoken is the question, “Where does the government get its money from?” Put another way, liberals choose to remedy poverty by government seizing other people’s finances and then giving those finances to others — and this they call “love”. That is very strange to me, for love is first, voluntary, and as a voluntary act, it proceeds from my free will. Therefore, love is uncoerced (speaking of law and human agencies). Love that depends upon government coercion is the direct opposite of love; it is something like rape.
More importantly, why does the left think of the poor as a homogeneous class of people, best served by government programs and assistance? Liberals do not treat themselves this way; they think of themselves as fiercely independent individuals! So why are the poor treated as a group of clones, all the same? The reason is that liberals do not respect the poor. They do not think of them as individual people with individual problems. They see only a problem with no human face (except when the ads need to be run), a malady requiring no thought or effort, just money. And government has money, so voila` — problem solved. Then when the government takes care of all that messy work for them, they can go back to their beautiful lives, driving nice cars, and wearing nice clothes in safe neighborhoods.
So what does “You hate the poor!” really mean? Like all liberal catchphrases, this one too means, “You’re not like us so you’re bad!” There is no interest in actually helping the poor, lest the poor climb the ladder of success and move in next door to liberals. There is no concern whether or not anti-poverty programs work — ends-testing is done only by conservatives. The fact that something was done is enough, even when that action does not work. The measure of success of anti-poverty programs is how large a stage they provide for liberals to boast about their compassion, not how many individuals were lifted out of poverty.
In the end, “the poor” is a theological necessity for liberalism. The poor must exist so that liberals can showcase their virtue by helping them. If the poor ever became less poor, then liberals would have fewer people to help, and that cannot be allowed to happen. Liberals at the top of the socio-economic spectrum is a constant, and the poor, at the other end is a constant. Liberals are not interested in sacrificing their own standard of living, but they are interested in making sure that no-one else can attain their standard of living. Hypocritically, they complain about “the gap between the rich and the poor”, while liberalism cannot exist without this difference, and its economic policies maintain the gap. So the poor stay poor, keep voting for the approved candidates, and liberals get drunk on the self-righteous high that all their compassion shows produce.