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Hate is Getting Us Nowhere

On the anniversary of September 11, Patch In columnist Heather Borden Herve asks, “Why are we still so eager to hate?”

We always need a bad guy to root against, so that our ‘good’ can triumph over his ‘evil.’ Hate is an emotion that’s so readily accessible and easily relatable—we’ve all felt it. When we find something or someone so detestable, surely it gives more credence and ‘rightness’ to our own beliefs.

But does it have to be that way?

Consider that there’s political gain in hate. The emotion has been particularly forceful of late as we’ve drawn nearer to Election Day. Watching the conventions over the last two weeks, you couldn’t help but feel the waves of dishonest animosity from both sides toward their rivals.

Let alone that the conventions themselves are shamefully hypocritical displays of overspending by both political parties, each chock-filled with politicians shouting about fiscal austerity. They’ve now become antiquated methods for hyping up the party faithful with “proof” to legitimize why they should really detest what the other party stands for.

There’s also profit in hate:  Rush Limbaugh’s entire—very profitable—broadcasting career has been built on a foundation of hate, and numerous other commentators with books to sell and ratings to garner have followed suit. Keith Olbermann and Randi Rhodes are broadcasters on the opposing liberal side who’ve been similarly criticized. 

Looking to raise money for your group or cause? Follow suit of the fundraising emails and snail-mailers galore asking for handouts or urging action based on wild claims—many hate-based. “Obama gives your tax dollars to rebuild Muslim mosques around the world. While millions of Americans struggle to keep their homes and jobs, President Barack Obama can’t give your tax dollars away fast enough.”

Just the tinge of anti-Muslim hatred in that manipulated one was meant to boost support for the conservative Christian American Family Association. (Author’s note: Run, don’t walk, to the bi-partisan FactCheck.org, a project of the nonpartisan Annenberg Public Policy Center, anytime you want to double-check how truthful a political statement might be.)

There’s hate just for hate’s sake: consider musician Ted Nugent’s recent comments about President Obama: “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”  He added: “If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil America hated administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.”

Is Nugent too hateful for you? There’s plain-old divisiveness in hate:  dusting off the script Hollywood used during the 1980’s cold-war era, Mitt Romney once mischaracterized Russia as our “number one geopolitical foe.” Granted, he was trying to slight President Obama for his conversation with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev during a meeting of international leaders. But Once a hated villain, then surely always a hated villain, no? Romney has taken much criticism for his lack of international finesse for this statement, so I guess the answer is no.

But the GOP Presidential nominee’s opponents have been just as offensive when they bring up Romney’s own religious beliefs. His Mormonism has regularly—and alarmingly—been touted as a reason for concern. Just Google “Romney Mormonism Dangerous” for the one million-plus search results to see the anti-Mormon hate out there.

Ah yes, religious-based hate, which abounds aplenty. It also brings us to the shame in hate. Consider the now oft-photographed images of Westboro Baptist Church supporters protesting at funerals of U.S. servicemen and women holding posters shouting, “God Hates Fags!”

Of course, hate isn’t just international or political or religious. Sometimes it’s just ignorant. Take for instance, the recent story of a young teen with Down syndrome who was prevented from boarding an American Airlines flight to take his first-class airline seat for a cross-country flight with his parents. The pilot believed he’d be disruptive and a potential danger once the flight was in-air.

Sure, I know some readers will counter that this wasn’t a case of hate, and perhaps it was merely discriminatory at most. But knowing that most types of discrimination—racial, religious, national, etc.—are based in hate, fear and ignorance, I’d argue it comes pretty darn close.

But worst of all, of course, there’s death in hate. Most recently, six people were gunned down and killed (and four others injured) at a Sikh Temple outside of Milwaukee. The gunman was a white supremacist.

On a week where we mark the 11th anniversary of September 11, do we need to be reminded of just how destructive hate can be? It was hate that attacked us that morning, and hatred for what we have always believed we stand for.

Sadly, we aren’t making sure that hate itself is something we need to defeat. If we continue to let hate stand in the way of our own progress here and abroad, there’s little we can accomplish. When it appears that hate is becoming a tenet of how we behave and believe politically, religiously, legislatively—in every way—then there is nothing right, good or credible that can ever triumph in that.

Tolerance Rocks September 13, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Evelyn, Isn't Canada a socialist nation?
RMK September 13, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Cliffy, like citing the Wall Street Journal's opinion section, notorious for it's rightward lurching contributors, you've given us merely what one guy thinks about things. Why not try facts from legitimate sources?.....Like this, for instance: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/21905 which was part of the article written by what you called a "hate rag". See how it works when you cite LEGITIMATE sources, instead of the mullings festering in your own brain? Now, you can wring your pretty little hands over the 'hate' portrayed in such words as "nimrod" and "hack", but I'm thinking your selective angst is a bit over the top and a tad opportunistic. Getting back to the issue at hand: FACTS -- did you or did you not look at the graph that shows no change on the Social Security front (certainly not in meltdown mode), or take a gander at the prevailing information out there that isn't skewed by rightwing paid shills with agendas? OOPS, did I say another 'hate' word with "shills"? Oh, pull out the fainting couches and bring forth the vapors!
Cliff Cuming September 13, 2012 at 07:53 PM
OK, I will stop arguing with the fools out there who continue to bury their heads in the sand. http://www.usdebtclock.org/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt unfunded liabilities at 120.5 trillion vs total houshold assets at 68.1 trillion 114 million taxpayers vs 46.8 million on foodstamps Who will be the first buffon to dispute these facts?
Cliff Cuming September 13, 2012 at 07:58 PM
In 2008, candidateBarack Obama made a “firm pledge” that no family making less than $250,000 peryear would see “any form of tax increase.” Not your income taxes, not yourpayroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes. Since then, he’s brokenthat promise many times. Just 16 days into his presidency, Obama signed intolaw a 156percent increase in the tobacco taxes, a hike of 62 cents per pack. Pledgebroken. As we have noted, hischief legislative “accomplishment” since that time was the disastrous healthcare law, also known as Obamacare. This included 20 new or higher taxesamounting to more than $500 billion in new or higher taxes. Pledge broken. Re-election candidateBarack Obama has again asked the American people to trust him at his word thatif they give him one more shot, he will not raise their taxes. We know better.We know that when politicians say one thing and then do another not to givethem another chance.
RMK September 13, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Oh...Wikipedia! That helps, Cliff {snicker}.
SomeonesDad September 13, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Can't we all just get along?
RMK September 13, 2012 at 08:48 PM
95% of Americans received tax CUTS while Obama has been in office. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/us/politics/19taxes.html?_r=1&hp but don't let the Rush Limbaugh fantasy tour or the fact campaign promises made in the days before the devastating deficit Bush left behind became TRULY known get in your way towards tooting a broken horn.
Cliff Cuming September 13, 2012 at 09:39 PM
CBO estimated in June 2012 that the Bush tax cuts (EGTRRA and JGTRRA) added about $1.6 trillion to the debt between 2001 and 2011, excluding interest.[27] (quoted from wiki) That is about 10% of the current 16 trillion debt. Obviously, spending is the culprit. BTW 12 dem senators voted FOR the the Bush cuts while 7 dem senators didn't bother to vote. 2 reps voted against it. http://press.take88.com/which-senators-voted-for-bushs-2001-tax-cuts/ Still willing to saddle your children with the 120 trillion unfunded liabilities? Or will you man up and pay your own way?
Ipso Facto September 13, 2012 at 11:31 PM
I dont' recall you whining, Evelyn, when your pal W the Moron was spending us into ruin...when he destroyed our economy. When Obama got behind the wheel all of a sudden folks like you are coming out of the woodwork whining about how this "strange" guy had destroyed our economy and swearing that Job #1 was to make sure he wasn't re-elected. Now you and your pals want W the Moron Act 2...another empty suit/empty head to complete the destruction of the Federal Government...NEVER
Ipso Facto September 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM
You've already signed up as the First Buffoon (you can't even spell it right so obviously the prize goes to you). Stop with your fatalistic Malthusian nonsense. Our country was doing great until we put W the Moron into office. He left us in a huge ditch...ran up a deficit of more than $10 Triillion...destroyed our economy and left us with the Great Recession. And you expect us to put another Republican empty suit/empty head back in the WH to finish us off? NEVER!
Ipso Facto September 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM
You've already signed up as the First Buffoon (you can't even spell it right so obviously the prize goes to you). Stop with your fatalistic Malthusian nonsense. Our country was doing great until we put W the Moron into office. He left us in a huge ditch...ran up a deficit of more than $10 Triillion...destroyed our economy and left us with the Great Recession. And you expect us to put another Republican empty suit/empty head back in the WH to finish us off? NEVER!
Ipso Facto September 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM
You've already signed up as the First Buffoon (you can't even spell it right so obviously the prize goes to you). Stop with your fatalistic Malthusian nonsense. Our country was doing great until we put W the Moron into office. He left us in a huge ditch...ran up a deficit of more than $10 Triillion...destroyed our economy and left us with the Great Recession. And you expect us to put another Republican empty suit/empty head back in the WH to finish us off? NEVER!
Cliff Cuming September 13, 2012 at 11:55 PM
You do not know the history and you won't learn the math
Lucy McGrath September 14, 2012 at 01:15 AM
JULY 21, 2012 10:10AM Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's scurrilous accusation (John McCain's word, not mine) that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's Islamic, American-born aide used her position to secretly support the Muslim Brotherhood was the straw that finally broke the camel's back for one-time Bachmann campaign aide Ed Rollins. In a blistering letter to Fox News, Rollins scolded his former client for her "false" and "far-fetched" claims against Clinton's long-time top staffer, warning that unless Republicans pushed back against contemptible bile like this the GOP was in danger of becoming "the party of intolerance and hate." A veteran of California Republican politics and National Campaign Director for the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1984, Ed Rollins is one of the gray beards in GOP politics who says "there is little that amazes me and even less that shocks me." But Bachmann's "unsubstantiated," "extreme" and "dishonest" charges against, Huma Abedin, was the exception. "Having worked for Congressman Bachmann's campaign for president, I am fully aware that she sometimes has difficulty with her facts," said Rollins. "But this is downright vicious and reaches the late Senator Joe McCarthy level." Rollins recommended that, as penance, Bachmann prostrate herself on the floor of the House (well, stand anyway) and apologize to Abedin and to Secretary Clinton "and to the millions of hard working, loyal, Muslim Americans for your wild and unsubstantiated charges."
Cliff Cuming September 14, 2012 at 03:51 AM
I don't know much about her other than sheis married to Anthony Weiner the creepy sexting former dem congressman from NY, lives in a 3 million condo rented from a Clinton supporter and this article http://spectator.org/archives/2012/07/24/is-huma-abedin-the-new-alger-h Sounds like Mcain scolded Bachman but...
Amo Probus September 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Tom, We are no longer a free people. We are all indentured to a bloated government that has become inept at nearly everything it does as it continues to impose its will. How many days of work does it take you to pay your tax bill?
Wilton2ParkAve September 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM
That's not apples to apples FWong. Tax Foundation is not just talking about federal taxes. Also FWIW, Mitt pays a higher effective rate than 97% of Americans.
RMK September 26, 2012 at 10:32 PM
No, he doesn't. He has much more in his little hidden overseas accounts than he's letting on, so we know he's paying LESS than 97% of Americans. However you want to play this one, Wilton, it ALWAYS comes back to one, really big problem for the Mittster: Ethics, and lack thereof. Nobody wants a President who so blatantly sticks it to America - and the "because I can" doesn't fly. The filthy richest don't actually get or deserve the respect of voters just because they have *legal* tax shelters.
Wilton2ParkAve September 26, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Unfortunately that is false. Any income or gains from offshore accounts is now reported to the irs. New treaties have been signed with switzerland, cayman and many other jurisdictions over the last decade.
RMK September 27, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Sure, sure - tell that to money bags Romney. First, though, we have to actually SEE his tax returns to know he's not just feeding us a bunch of shi.....well, you know what I mean. How can we know what he's paying is 'more than 97%' without seeing the proof? Frankly, PwC isn't the most trustworthy when it comes to 'promising' Mitt's paid the *right* amount. Again, it's about ethics and screwing the country - and your guy readily admits he's screwing the country, to a cheering crowd of minions who seem to think that's a-okay (while wringing their concern troll hands over the 'flag alteration' on President Obama's campaign sign.) What would the right do without some manufactured outrage to feign vapors over?
Amo Probus September 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Odd how ignorance feeds hatred.
Wilton2ParkAve September 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM
RMK: If PWC isn't trustworthy, we've got bigger issues. They audit a third of the Fortune 500 and even the non-partisan CBO. They face criminal indictment for stealthing offshore accounts from taxes.
RMK September 27, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Exactly.
Alethiologist September 27, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks. In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family. Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in. Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.” “The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election,” Gray, who worked in the Eisenhower administration and for other Republican presidents, said in an interview with TheDC on Wednesday. “The press has been so slow in picking up on this extraordinary increase in the president’s expenses,” Specifically, Gray said taxpayer dollars are subsidizing Obama’s re-election effort when he uses Air Force One to jet across the country campaigning. Daily Caller
RMK September 27, 2012 at 01:48 PM
President Obama and his family are ALSO the targets of so many rightwing hate groups and threats that I would PERSONALLY pay whatever it takes to ensure that some off-his-meds extremist whackjob doesn't get close to the first family. You want to whine about the expensive end result of the deadly hands-off-our-guns! extremist mindset that has laid permanent groundwork in the Republican Tea Party? Then start working at what kind of stupidity is allowed to fester there. Frankly, I'm sick to death of the caterwauling in the Republican Party that has become so INCESSANT regarding this President - and virtually all of the complaints have their root cause in the insufferable rightwing craziness. A quick search on Google shows that the only so-called 'press' that this book has received comes from the festering root of the problem....namely the Republican Extremist Party's bullhorn. Even Amazon.com has only 3 comments on this book - and all touting the anti-Obama meme. Big Surprise. Take care of your crazy tea party mess, Evelyn. Only then will we see less vigilance required to keep our leaders alive and safe.
Alethiologist September 27, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Body guards and physical security are but a small part of the total cost. Who on the View would do him harm? Which caddy would assault him? Its his entourage of celebrity hangers on that costs money. When will you stop blaming the tea party for o's failures?
Alethiologist September 27, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Romney probably paid more in taxes last year than you and I will pay in a lifetime. He earned it, he should keep it. Let's tax those that actually use government services
RMK September 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Obviously, Evelyn, you seem to have ignore the OTHER half of the news that cites the many, ongoing death threats by our own countrymen against this man and his family. No surprise there. Here's the most recent: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/09/27/Man-charged-in-online-threat-against-Obama/UPI-53751348749992/ http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/22/13407214-cops-armed-wash-man-arrested-after-alleged-email-threat-against-obama?lite Please do us all a favor and get a grip on your rightwing haters. Obviously, it will help keep down the price tag incurred in travel costs that you are currently griping about.
RMK September 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Evelyn, even if Romney paid 1% in taxes, he'd pay more than I make in a lifetime. That's NOT the point -- his fair share, what we ALL have to pay relative to what we make, IS the point.....and he's just not paying it. If you keep focusing on the fact that the wealthy pay "a lot" and not ascertain just HOW MUCH "a lot" is relative to how much these guys have/hide/hoard (and really, most don't 'earn' their billions, Evelyn. Not in any traditional, pulled-up-by-the-bootstraps sense you guys like to pretend is your motto) you will ensure that Romney and his billionaire crowd he wants to lead will keep you ground into the dirt if elected. If the rightwing wasn't so sadly misdirected in their tea party nonsense by the Koch dollars flooding into what has become solely an astro-turf cause pretending at grassroots, you would NEVER see TeaPublicans like Evelyn bolstering up the richie rich crowd. This is an example of just how clever the Rove clan are and how well they know their puppets.
Amo Probus September 27, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Life would be simpler if there were fewer people telling others what to do, how to do it and how someone else must pay for it.

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