I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said “Liberals vote with their hope, conservatives vote with their fear.” Of course the same car was also decorated with a Biden-Harris sticker.
I think that the sentiment on the hope/fear bumper sticker was, if not 180 degree wrong, at least 170 degrees wrong.
Take K-12 education, for example: Conservatives see hope in a more open system with more options and more competition, providing not only hope for those kids attending the new alternative schools, but also hope for the public schools via the improvement sparked by competition. Liberals and ‘progressives’, in the current meaning of those terms, seem happy to maintain the current institutional structure, which no serious person can believe will yield meaningful improvement regardless of how many dollars are dumped into it. Their fear of changing the institutional arrangements that exist dominates any hope for possible improvement.
Take manufacturing. Conservatives, or at least the Trump flavor of same, see hope for reinvigoration and growth. Liberals, generally speaking, do not. More generally, ‘progressives’ tend to see the entire American economy–and America’s position in the world–in terms of managing the decline.
Or take free speech. As repeatedly documented here and elsewhere, there is growing hostility to free speech on the left. And anti-free-speech views tend to be strongly associated with generalized fear.
Peter Drucker (I think it was) wrote that before World War I, socialism was largely about hope, afterwards, it was about envy. He was talking about European socialism. In America, I think that the relative amount of hope in the overall “progressive” mix is a lot lower than it was in the FDR era or the JFK era.
Regarding fear, I’ll note that it is a lot easier to disclaim certain kinds of fear–such as the fear of crime–when living certain neighborhoods (like the high-income area where I saw the bumper sticker) than in others. Similarly for many other kinds of fear.