Why are liberals the knee-jerks

I think being a knee-jerk anything a way of dismissing the intellectual merits of the other person’s position by accusing them of reacting without thought.

If you can say “you’re just saying that because you’re a liberal” it means you don’t actually have to attempt to understand the position that person has taken (or even whether they’re a liberal or not).

It’s an ad hominem argument to the core: because of who I say you are, your argument is necessarily false.

No, the term refers to liberals.

It does now. But the term can be applied to anything. You can be a kneejerk anything, as long as you specify the anything. It’s just that the conservatives have so successfully linked the term with liberal that we now automatically associate it, because they thought of it first and applied it so assiduously that it caught on and became an idiom.

I regard kneejerk liberal as a subtle variation on bleeding heart liberal: someone who is guided entirely by his sympathies toward the less fortunate. To a conservative, this person would be a coddler, a ninny, someone who’d rather give a man a lifetime supply of fish than teach him to angle.

Kneejerk just intensifies the accusation of unreason: conservatives like to believe they embody logic and discipline. In reality, though, discipline can be totally kneejerk once it’s ingrained, and overwhelm logic.