The Hateful ate

I expected a close election, with half of the country to be disappointed. I confess, I had the other half in mind. But either way, there is so much hate. Many are astounded that a man who ran on hate, bigotry, willful ignorance, crudeness, debasement, lack of sophistication, dearth of knowledge, and disregard of facts won the election. He is absolutely hated by so many, but obviously so many others disregarded his blatant narcissism and obnoxious behavior, because they hated the woman who opposed him. They also hated the status quo and wanted change.

Some explained the choice as the lesser of two evils. EVILS. I beg to disagree. Flaws are not evils. Too many no longer make such an important distinction. It is easier to be hateful toward that (or those) with whom we might disagree or even profoundly disagree.

Now, though, we have a country that “understands” (assumes) that hate is somehow brilliant politics. It defeats compromise (and even decency) and efforts to include an array of concerns. Hate disguised as authenticity or political or economic philosophy wins.

But hate doesn’t really win. It infects. The hate perpetrated against Obama, rather than any attempts to compromise or meet real people’s real needs, rendered our government practically impotent. Opposition to the point of doing nothing was more important than the messiness of imperfect policies or the ongoing work necessary for better solutions.

Hate has been a galvanizer of support for a very long time.

Our electorate has become a hatefulate, but everyone sees hate in the other side.

After perpetrating hate for so very long, the electorate has increasingly chosen to fragmentate and look to associate with those who hate the same stuff that they do. We communicate and concentrate amongst our own kind, and denigrate those with whom we can not seem to commiserate. We over -saturate and self-medicate.

I don’t mean to pontificate (well, maybe I do), but how can we graduate from being a hatefulate? The rhetoric of hate takes many forms. Some rhetoric and ideas are indeed hateful and absolutely shameful. We are a nation that has a horrific history of hate and exclusion, that has slowly transformed toward inclusion and opportunity, but not without hate. We have to reckon with being a hatefulate while saying how much we love Democracy and all the greatness of the U.S. We must look at ourselves, and the ease with which we dispense hate.

I too hate bigotry and misogyny, and injustice of any kind. I hate rudeness, and bullying, and obstinacy. I hate willful ignorance, and cruelty and disrespect. But I need to not be hateful. I see so much hatefulness even for good ideals. The hatefulness must be tempered.

We are a hatefulate as much as we are an electorate, employing hate as a means to win. I have to be hopeful, despite my overwhelming concerns. There is so much work we can do to improve matters, and people’s lives. And as individuals, we need to look at our own hatefulness, even if we are publicly polite. Hate has tremendous energy that can be toxic. It is easy to seize that energy to “win”. The sense of loss is what keeps driving hate. But the hatefulate really does lose. That’s US.

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