Actually, I think attitudes like yours is why the party is in such shambles.
I duct tape (it can get windy here) and give my garbage man a Christmas card and a gift each year. He works hard for a private company and often I really have my green plastic can on wheels packed and it takes some extra work on his part.
He's never left one scrap of garbage behind, I truely do appreciate him.
My garbage guys don't make it here before I leave in the morning. I see them, and I wave to them, but I very sincerely doubt that they give two shits about me. They stick the can on the hydraulic lifter, the garbage is dumped, and they put my can basically back in the same place from whence it came. I will leave them a couple of tens in an envelope this Christmas, because that is the polite thing to do at Christmas. But I damn sure ain't going to be late getting to the office just so that I can give them a hug in the morning. How ridiculous.
You want to hug your garbage man? Go right ahead. Want to give him a good handshake and a "thank you?" I'm all for that, and if I ever actually directly encountered the guys who pick up my trash, I would. But 99.9999% of all trash pick-ups occur when no one is around to say "thank you" or "kiss my ass," because they are happening either when people are asleep or when they are away from home at work. Do I appreciate the work that these guys do? Absolutely. Life would really suck if I had to take my trash down to the landfill every week on my own, and it would suck even worse if I had nowhere to take it. Garbage men do a valuable job. But you know what? I don't hug every cop on the street, who are, in effect, garbage men themselves. I don't hug every fireman who drives by. I don't hug every person who works for our local electric company, or the sewer service, or the cable guy, either. All of these people work for a living, and they don't want hugs. They want money paid for a job well-done.
What ..... well, garbage.
My garbage man makes $45,000.00 a year...
You said 'left' and that's what I responded to. So, I'll give you another chance: Name one good idea that's ever come from the left?
My garbage men are assholes. They leave our cans in the street far too often. Not to mention the Draconian rules regarding trash collection in my town. If your lid is open by the slightest degree, you will be fined $75 the first offense. If you want to have anything that doesn't fit in the can picked up, you have to buy a sticker for $3 and make sure that sticker is on whatever you want picked up. If not, it's a $60 fine. When I first moved into my house, they picked up every thing as long as it was properly set for pick up. For example, if you has construction wood to be picked up, it must be bundled and secured, not just laying around. But of course the city needs money so they go after the tax payers for it. Not the 20,000 or so illegal Mexicans all over town driving illegal vehicles.
So for example, if you look at the DMCA which Clinton signed into law (and it's a bad law), the left was against it, but Democrats were for it. Same with the Iraq war. Same with Obama's expansion of spying on US citizens, and hassling us at airports. If you believe in civil liberties, Obama is waaaaay worse the Bush. Which is why the left was very strongly against SOPA, but strangely the Republican presidential candidates (other than Santorum) were also against SOPA to varying degrees while the Democratic party keeps trying to ram through different versions.
So how odd is this, right? If you've skimmed through the above, just read the following:
SOPA is a good example of an issue where liberals (and presumably Democratic voters) aligned with the Republican presidential candidates including Mitt Romney, but not with elected Democrats. So personally I think it's pretty silly to be closed-minded and calling the left a disease while at the same time lamenting the ratio of Republicans-to-Democrats in our 3 branches of Federal government. Because there are ideas that come from the left, that Republicans typically agree with (I can rattle off a few more), and Democrats don't. In fact, Obama does a terrible job of representing left-wing values (the real values, not the parody of the values) on key issues. This is an opportunity for Republicans to pick up voters if not in the presidential race than at least in Congressional elections. But calling someone a disease, or being elitist, or having a purity test, or telling someone they have no good ideas because of ideological sympathies (even when there actually is common ground) is a pretty big turn-off.
So, good ideas that came from the left (liberals) -- and note the discrepancy between liberal and democrat:
1) Limiting executive authority
2) Not going to war in Iraq (specifically, being against the War Powers Act and foreign adventurism)
3) Stopping any number of privacy/civil liberties violating bills (and generally being against Homeland Security / TSA from the very beginning)
4) Not allowing commercial banks to be investment banks (which is a huge reason for the recent crisis)
5) No corporate handouts from government
6) Don't bailout wall-street
But as they say: this is just my opinion, man.