Balkinization discusses how voters react to fear of death. The point to a WSJ article stating studies show that people reminded of their own death become more certain of their worldview, conform more closely to societal norms, and show greater reverence to symbols such as flags. Clearly, conservatives, perhaps instinctively, have taken advantage of this over the past 5 years, or make that 50 years.
The article goes on "Building up your own worldview requires disparaging (even unconsciously) that of others."
Now,although the Republican party smear that liberals somehow hate America is a disgusting lie, there is something to the idea that liberal are not as patriotic (depending upon how you define patriotism).
Liberal values include believing persons should be treated equally no matter who their parents are; where they were born; or their sex, race, and nationality. It follows that the life of a non-American citizen is equally as important as the life of an American citizen. Part of the liberal view of equality includes assisting those who, through no fault of their own, lack resources or opportunities; as opposed to the right-libertarian view of equality, where everyone is equally on there own (except that some people, for no particularly worthy reason, start off with much more than others).
Patriotism, as a special form of nationalism, does not value equality or equal opportunity: its basic premise is "Our nation-state is better than your nation state." Nationalism exults one nation above all others: a nation's citizens are superior, deserve better, and have the right to control their own destiny to the detriment of the equal political rights of other states or nations.
Exulting one nation's right to act internationally in its own interest above others is incompatible with the belief that all humans have equal political rights.
The Democratic party does not lack this patriotism. Neither Democrats, nor Republicans would equate the death of an Iraqi to that of a US citizen. But, Republicans are a bit more brazen in stating the primacy of preserving American lives at any cost, even that of many more non-American lives. The well-worn line, "We are fighting them over there, so we do not have to fight them here," is stupefying for more than one reason. But, significant to the discussion here, it indicates a willingness to let the Iraqi people be the subject of tens of thousands of deaths via terrorism to possibly reduce a distant slight threat of harm to US citizens.
This difference can be seen with regard to the immigration debate as well. Few politicians are keenly interested in how immigration might help the immigrants improve their lives. Only a liberal would point out what a generous gift it is to give a person from a poor region of Mexico the benefit of working in a wealthy, comparatively well-regulated, economy.
Place this on the pile of anti-Jesus Republican messages. The big J always emphasized that foreigners and outsiders are just as important as ones own people.
Its not that liberals tend to dislike America or blame it first; rather, they evidence a tendency to treat both Americans and non-Americans as human beings that deserve fair treatment.