So Who Should I Hate?


We are living in difficult times.

I am finding myself increasingly confused about who I’m supposed to hate these days.

I mean, I know that its wrong to hate people because of their race, their gender, their gender identity, their sexual preferences, their native language, their religion, their favorite baseball team (even Yankee fans)….

I’m a liberal middle aged white woman. I have marched against nuclear power, the Vietnam war, the slow passage of the ERA, the idea of a gas pipeline going through my town, income inequality, this President, and a few other things I forget at this point.

But.

Here’s where I’m confused.

If I believe what I see on social media, I am supposed to hate- with a deep and abiding passion- everyone who voted for Donald Trump. More, I’m supposed to detest and vilify everyone who still thinks he is doing a good job.

Even in said person is my very own family member, someone I love and treasure.

That’s really hard. I tend to be a relatively kind person, even if I am passionate about my political beliefs.

When I watch the news, or read online news stories, I realize that there are millions of my fellow countrymen who are being convinced that they are supposed to hate ME. If they want to seem like good Americans, real patriots, they are supposed to be calling me names like “libtard” and “snowflake”. They are supposed to scream at me because I want “open borders”. They are supposed to yell that I support the “deep state” and that I love crime, drugs, pillaging and rape. (OK, maybe that last part is over the top, but it’s hard to tell.)

Here’s the thing.

Years before the Donald was ever heard of, Americans were arguing about politics. I remember the 60’s very well, when every family gathering was marked by shouting over the war. I remember long, tortuous arguments with friends and relatives about Iran (way back, during the time of the hostage taking), about Israel/Palestine, about environmental concerns. I’ve been sneeringly labelled a “tree hugger,” a “lefty,” a “commie”.

None of that came with the level of absolute hatred that is soaking our interactions today.

Years after the Donald will be nothing more than an embarrassing chapter in US history, the citizens in this country will argue over everything from tax rates to school curriculum.

It’s what we do. We’re informed Americans. We vote. We try to be informed.

But today is not “years ago” or “years from now”.  Today is today.

And we are in a very very scary place. We think its fine, even admirable, to type obscenities on Twitter at people who disagree with us. We cheer when a member of our “team” is able to embarrass and humiliate people from the “other team.”

I blame the anonymity of social media for this.

We have fallen for the lie that we are good patriots if we publicly attack each other for our beliefs.

I blame Donald Trump for most of this. But I blame the gullible media for it, too. They loved the ratings and the fake outrage and the easy reporting that comes with their coverage of people screaming at each other.

Mostly, though, I blame us.

I mean, seriously folks. What the absolute hell?

If you voted for Trumpy, I think you made a huge mistake. I don’t think you are the spawn of the devil. I do not think you are part of a giant racist neo-Nazi attack on liberty and democracy.

If you voted against Trumpy, I don’t think you wear a halo. I don’t think you have a special entry into Heaven. I don’t think you are kinder, braver, harder working, smarter or more moral than those who voted the other way.

In the end, the rich and powerful will keep on being rich and powerful. They’ll keep on pushing for laws that will make us work harder to earn less while they protect their own billions and zillions and gajillions.

Remember: this happened. It will no doubt happen again in the not too distant future.

Donald Trump Sr. and Melania Trump Wedding, Self Assignment, January 22, 2005

We are NOT each other’s enemies. The press who reports on this bullshit is not the enemy. The people who make us attach each other in defense of THEM? They are our enemies.

Don’t mistake my point here. I hope, with every fiber of my being, that Donald Trump’s big old orange ass will land in jail in the not too distant future.

In the meantime? I refuse to inch any closer to civil war in defense of his actions or those who opposed him in the election.

I know. Half of you are outraged.

Let me hear what you think.

 

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11 thoughts on “So Who Should I Hate?

  1. I agree that the hatred from both sides is unacceptable and frightening. I so wish for civility and tolerant attitudes. You don’t have to love me, but don’t assume you know what I think because I might disagree with you on an issue. That’s un-American to me.

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    • Thank you! Me, too….we are in a very dangerous place now, and I am beyond dismayed at how many people on both sides refuse to see that and continue to believe that they are “right” to attack those who disagree. Wow. Really scary times.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am reminded of Mother Teresa’s refusal to march in anti-war demonstrations, but her saying that if a pro-peace demonstration was held, she’d be there. We seem to have tipped to the side of always being “against” something or someone, rather than choosing to be “for.” And the person who shouts the loudest declares victory—even if his words were senseless diatribe. I agreed with so much of what you said here. These are painful times.

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    • I’m sad to say that I got some very ugly responses from friends on FB. We seem to believe that refusing to scream and hate means that I support Trump. How much clearer can I be.? Feeling very discouraged today.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You were quite clear, and you spoke your truth with honesty and compassion. Sadly, many people today have become addicted to the feeling of self-righteous fury and they don’t want to give it up.

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  3. 50 years ago we had the”Summer of Love”. 50 years later it’s the “Summer of Hate”. These hateful memes, videos and graphics that are being spread across Facebook and the like are way too sophisticated for any of my friends to have created. I don’t know anyone who would take the time or who has the computer sophistication or know how to research, create and spread these awful things. I believe they were mostly create by Russian Nationals who have been employed and empowered to do so knowing full-well how gullible, lazy, mean spirited and easily entertained we Americans can be and how Facebook and other American companies will allow anybody to do anything to make another buck. As I believe Jefferson once wrote: We are getting the government we deserve.

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  4. Thank you for saying this! I’m not surprised that you got some bad responses on Facebook, because the people who want to vent their frustration and hatred really don’t like being told that, just perhaps, they’re part of the problem. That’s why it takes courage to stand up to and refuse to join in the hatred, because you often become a target yourself. We really have reached a stage where far too many people think that their “enemies” must be silenced, if not wiped out altogether. And that is beyond scary….

    What a I really appreciated is that you spoke the truth about how this is coming from both sides. Too few people are open-minded enough to see that, much less actually say (or write) it. But it’s the truth. And we need to stop thinking that our aggression is justified, no matter which “side” we are on.

    Personally, I believe that hate is unacceptable, no matter who the target happens to be. We have got to learn to debate and discuss our difference without the attacks and fury. Civil war is not the answer…learning to work toward the common good along side of people whose ideas we don’t share is the only way forward. Posts like yours are an important first step! Please don’t be discouraged, yours is voice that needs to be heard!

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