The mighty Ace of Spaces provides a perfect analysis of the self-concepts of American left-liberals:
Cognitive theorist Jonathan Haidt says that all humans think in terms of six basic moral goods, and that liberals differ from conservatives primarily in how they prioritize those moral goods. For example, he says liberals rate the "sanctity/purity" moral good quite low, as compared to conservatives.
I don't believe that for a red-hot second. I think liberals rate purity/sanctity extremely high, but they counterfeit this belief to themselves, because they've been taught that sanctity/purity is an indulgence of the weak-minded religious types. But while they deny that impulse, they actually act upon it, directing their sanctity/purity impulses not towards sexual restraint (as a religious person might) but towards health of the environment and health of the body.
This is why they are, in strictly anthropological terms, so fucking annoying about everything and always shrieking about this Moral Panic or that.
There's an old put-down when someone's going on about sex negatively (whether on the right or left): That person just needs to get laid so the rest of us can move on with our lives without being bothered by these sorts.
A similar put-down -- which is actually even more true than the "laid" one -- applies here. These people need to get religion, or, more accurately, find something outside of government and politics to give meaning to their empty lives so they can finally spare the rest of us from the folly and malice of their misdirected religious impulses.
The key to understanding what makes liberals so relentless (and so annoying) has always been their need to believe themselves superior to others. Thomas Sowell fingered this as the explanation for their political postures in his book The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. But why they have such a need requires a separate explanation. It's simply this:
The link between faith and the sense of personal significance is unbreakable. There is no way to consider oneself important without first identifying oneself as a crusader of some sort -- a campaigner in an inherently noble cause. A noble cause allows him to "rise out of himself," to say, if only to himself, that he's not just one more selfish mind-your-own-business type concerned solely with his bank account.
Seldom has a self-flattering lie been more transparent.
The typical liberal has decided that, to be chic and "with it," he must scorn religious faith. But that doesn't relieve him of his need to believe in something. What marks him as a liberal, as opposed to some other kind of arrogant asshole, is his choice of politics and government as his faith, and the improvement of others (whether they like it or not) as his crusade. That his contribution to his crusade amounts to a vote every two or four years, plus maybe a few dollars to a presidential candidate's campaign, is icing on the cake. Who wouldn't love a noble cause, a cause that allows him to believe himself morally superior to others, that doesn't put him to any great exertion?
Ergo, you can be a thoroughly good person, a devout Catholic, faithful to your spouse, participate willingly and generously in many different charitable efforts, have children who are models of good behavior and courtesy, and be in every way a pillar of your community, but if you're politically a conservative, drunken, adulterous liberals with a dozen abortions on their records will still consider themselves your moral superior.
Yes, they are despicable. Anyone who feels he has a charter to improve you willy-nilly is despicable. But apparently, they need to be. Laugh at them...and pity them.