The answer to the headline is that I do not HATE anyone – and never have. Hate is a destructive emotion and its first victim is always the people who hate. I have never seen a hateful person who seemed happy. They seem to suffer from low self-esteem and a false or exaggerated sense of victimization. Their lives are driven by a foundation of negative emotions – anger and jealousy as the most significant.
There are two important qualities of hate that need to be understood – at least as I see them. You do not have to know hate to know love – as many suggest. They operate in the human soul and psyche completely independent of each other.
The second thing to understand is that hate is the irrational extension of disrespect and disagreement. Because I will not allow myself to hate, does not mean I do not strongly disagree with others – and in some cases, very much disrespect what they say or do. But that does not require hatred. I have, at times, disrespected what friends and family have said or done and I still love them.
Why does this political commentator engage in all this human psychology? Because it is relevant to the times in which we live.
Our public debate has been overly influenced by the extreme edges of the left/right political continuum and those who promote and encourage them as the mainstay of our political dialogue.
One of the conundrums for the left is that tens of millions of Americans align with President Trump despite his personality. I have often written of my dislike for the President’s style. In that regard, he loses my respect over things he has said or done. However, I see his administration as more than the President. It is a broad range of leaders – especially those Cabinet members who are doing the things I like every day and away from most media attention. In that, I respect Trump and all those others working for conservative policies.
I have an enormous disrespect for those people in the news media who, in my judgment, have lost all journalistic integrity in favor of unrelenting politically partisan propaganda. They represent a small bubble of powerful press people in New York City – with an outrigger operation in Washington, D.C. I defend Trump even more often than I would like because of the constant mendacious reporting that dominates their 24/7 cycle.
They fail to understand that in their zeal to “get” Trump they slander Republicans, demean the GOP brand, condemn conservative philosophy and smear the common folks in the midlands as holdover Neanderthals. By insinuation and implication, they demonize those who do not share their partisan views.
Leading Democrats and their media allies argue that Trump’s rhetoric putrefies the political climate and encourages acts of hatred and violence by those prone to excessive hatred and irrational thinking. I would not entirely disagree with that, BUT the left fails to take ownership of the hate-based violence that they promote and engender.
As a result, the angriest and most hateful people on both sides dominate too much of the political dialogue. Their stories are politically weaponized to demonize the other side.
Ironically, I believe it is the New York media cabal that does more to provoke violence than Trump because they maintain the attack on the right as a centerpiece of enormous coverage. They are constantly prodding the adversaries of conservative principles into action – and that means inciting those on the extreme left with hateful personalities. We see this when they rationalize street violence by groups like ANTIFA as “demonstrations.”
And ironically, they also prod at the nut cases on the far right by driving up their anger. I can understand that. Because I am not hateful or violent, does not mean that their attacks on my beliefs and me as a good person does not … well … piss me off. I can see how a hateful and violent person might take it to the next level. And when they do, you can rest assured that the left will use it as an example to smear a class of people.
Yes, this happens on the right, too. But not as much. Largely because outside of social media, those on the extreme and hateful right are trumped by the power of left-wing media. They have their thumbs on the scale of journalism in America.
Frankly, I do not know how, but I do believe that for America to pull out of our political tailspin, we need to refocus on the issues without having them defined and driven by the polar extremes – those whose own hate results in brutal actions. Hate begets hate.
And we have to understand that the heinous actions of one deranged person or group of individuals should not – and cannot be allowed to– reflect on a political or racial class of people. Our cultural unity should bring together the hundreds of millions of good Americans in common cause against the few deranged elements on both sides. This requires more than a calming down of the rhetoric, but a complete shift in focus. The enemy is NOT an alternative opinion. The enemy is hate.
So, there ‘tis