A Culture of Hate

President Bill Clinton gave an outstanding speech at the 2012 Democratic National Committee Convention (DNC). Early on in his speech, he mentioned the hate that some Republicans, particularly the far right, feel towards President Barack Obama and Democrats.

Though I often disagree with Republicans, I never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate President Obama and the Democrats. After all, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate Little Rock Central High and built the interstate highway system. And as governor, I worked with President Reagan on welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals. I am grateful to President George W. Bush for PEPFAR, which is saving the lives of millions of people in poor countries and to both Presidents Bush for the work we’ve done together after the South Asia tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake.

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of hate is:

1: a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury
b : extreme dislike or antipathy : loathing
2: an object of hatred

Thomas Aquinas equates hatred of another person as a sin. You can hate the actions but not the person.

“Consequently it is lawful to hate the sin in one’s brother, and whatever pertains to the defect of Divine justice, but we cannot hate our brother’s nature and grace without sin. Now it is part of our love for our brother that we hate the fault and the lack of good in him, since desire for another’s good is equivalent to hatred of his evil. Consequently the hatred of one’s brother, if we consider it simply, is always sinful.”

This Wiki link offers different perspectives on hate.

My view on hate is that it is like love, a very personal feeling. Hate can easily be directed towards another’s actions or policies.  To hate someone as a person involves some type of interaction with that person.  With that in mind, the generalized hate that the extremists in the Republican party feel towards Obama is irrational as they have not had a personal interaction with him.  It’s illogical to hate a person that you don’t know.  Examples:

I don’t hate Paul Ryan.  I hate his policies.  I don’t hate Republicans.  I hate what they want to do to America.  I don’t hate the Koch brothers.  I hate their greed.

So what is it about President Barack Obama that makes these extremists hate him personally?  They never met him so they don’t know him and they don’t mention that they hate his policies.  Tea party members and other extremist will say things like, they hate him because he is a socialist or he is a muslim or he is Kenyan etc… .  The key word here is “him”.  They don’t mention his policies.  Instead they focus on Obama personally.  Their personal attacks can only be based on prejudice and their hatred for people that look and act different from them and that is why I say that their hatred is based on a black man holding the title of President of the United States.

That’s my opinion and until someone can provide a convincing argument against it, I am sticking with it.

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7 thoughts on “A Culture of Hate

  1. Great post, Cats.

    I’ve always wondered how people could hate the President and his wife so viscerally, having never met, interacted, or had any relationship with them. There’s no reason for it, other than they hate their own idea of what black people or (so-called) liberals are, and that just makes no sense.

    Of course, to make sense you have to have sense.

    • That’s true. They should also have the built up earwax removed from their ears so that they can hear what people are saying and not just react on a visceral level every time something looks different to them.

  2. Learning to hate people I’ve never met is a new thing for me. I think it started the moment I realized that Bushco had turned our country into a rogue nation that commits war crimes with impunity. While it would probably be more accurate to say that I hate actions rather than people I have also learned that some people are defined by their actions. And some of those actions are so vile that one needn’t be in the same room to feel a visceral reaction.

    • I never hated Bush. I came about as close as I would ever get to hating someone when it came to Cheney. I thought that Bush was not qualified to be President and that he made terrible decisions. All that I hoped for was that we as a nation survived his term in office and we almost didn’t. Bush had to approve a bailout so that our financial institutions didn’t take our nation over a cliff. I always thought that the boy Bush missed his calling. He has a weird sense of humor and he would have made a good stand-up comedian. It’s too bad that rich boys born with silver spoons in their mouths are often pointed in the direction of business and sometimes politics regardless of their lack of talent in either.

  3. Your post reminds me of a quote I learned once. I don’t remember who said it.

    “If Love is a Circle, Hate walks the line.”

    Love and Hate are both very strong emotions. That someone can feel either on the surface seems to be a good thing. So much of these feelings are centered on how an external force makes us feel… But the emotions behind Hate are more than likely fear or pain (pain of what a person did to you or your feelings, pain of a physical nature). Likewise, we love people who lift us up and make us feel good, we love people who make us feel good about ourselves.

    Bush (and Cheney) — at least their administration were causing us pain. And Romney’s administration will as well.

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