On a thread in GQ that’s soon to be in the Pit I’m sure, someone asked if it was factually true that Howard Dean said he hated the Republicans and everything they stand for, which is being reported by some conservative bloggers. Setting aside the question of what Dean actually said, I think it’s reasonable to ask, “When is it OK to hate the Republicans and everything they stand for?”
There are several subquestions there:
Is it OK to hate anybody, ever? I think there’s a Christian strain that says “no” and others may also say ‘no.’ But there have been several groups of people throughout history, and many individuals, who have done things that deserve contempt and hatred (won’t name names, as to get into Godwinization). If you can’t hate them, how are you SUPPOSED to feel about them? Bemused? Indifferent? Contemptuous? And is it asking too much of human nature to ask people not to hate such creatures?
Are the Republicans worthy of hatred? What have they done to deserve it, and is what they have done extreme enough to deserve hatred? This could probably be its own thread, I’ll just list a few of my flash points: warmongering, stealing elections, bigotry, racism, disregard bordering on contempt for the poor and the disadvantaged, disregard bordering on contempt for the environment. Just for starters.
If you do hate the Republicans will the effect of that hatred be bad for you? That is, does hatred of something, even if it totally deserves to be hated, have a corrosive power that inevitably harms the hater? This to my mind is the major problem with unrestrained hating. I say, moderation in all things. To be honest, there are times when I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for. But I try to reign it in, for my sake, not theirs. Not hating them at all, I think, makes one weak, unwilling to fight them. Cause they need fighting.
When all Republicans think, feel, and act the same way, and that way is a bad way, then you can hate us all. Otherwise, lumping all Republicans together isn’t right. For example, I’m a Republican, and I did not vote for Bush.
Until then, hating those Republicans who are doing what, in your opinion, is wrong, seems perfectly OK.
People who say they hate Republicans are just as stupid as those who say they hate liberals (Ann Coulter, you hideous bitch, I’m looking at you).
It’s neither “ok,” nor useful to hate the other side. For one thing, they’re not all the same so it’s senseless to say you hate them all based on a characteristic (membership in a specific political party) which doesn’t really convey enough information to make any sort of personal determination. For another thing, it’s a wasted emotion which does not effect change.
Having said that, I think it’s only human to hate some Republicans (Coulter, you hag, I’m looking at you again) or Democrats (insert Michael Moore insult here) and to generalize that hate to others who they seem to represent. You just have to be cognizant and recognize when you’re doing that.
It’s seldom, if ever, ok to hate them. You may hate theor policies, but to hate them as people is just wrong. It’s also a major vote-loser, as the Democrats found out in November. Unfortunately some, like Otto, haven’t twigged this yet. Hurling vitriol at people is not going to get them to change their minds: polite reasoning stands a much better chance.
One reason not to go overboard on how much one “hates” GWB and the Republicans, is that this can be turned around and used as a political weapon.
An issue raised during the last Presidential campaign was how many Democrats were motivated by hatred of GWB that was intense to the point of irrationality, and supposedly to a lesser extent by the issues. This line of attack struck me as relatively feeble partisan posturing, and one which conveniently forgot the obsession with Clinton-bashing that preoccupied segments of the Right not so long ago.
One wonders, though, how many voters were turned off by all the vitriol, the yammering about Bush’s I.Q., the comparisons to Nazism/fascism etc., and cast sympathy votes for GWB. As in the past they might have defiantly voted for Clinton.
Well, you can hate anyone you please–it’s a feeling.
Should someone say that they “hate” X? To me, it’s a bit simplistic. Issues are almost never black and white and so intense emotions (either way) are kinda kneejerk.
Rather than saying “I hate so and so or thus and such”, to better communicate meaning, it would behoove the speaker of such sentiment to say “I hate the policies of such and such.” or “I hate the fact that so and so is in power.”
That takes discipline, and so, IMO, the shorthand is to say, “I hate Reps.”
the sentiment intended to be expressed is “I do not agree with so and so, and think his admin is taking the country right down the toilet/his morals are absent/his arrogance is palpable”–whatever.
Afterall, isn’t that what the Reps meant when they stated not so long ago that they “hated” Clinton? And still say when they “hate” Hillary?
It is a dirth of language that causes the misunderstanding, not the emotions behind it.
Now, if the argument is that X should not be hated b/c hate is a bad thing and lowers all of us–that is an entirely different argument. I disagree with it–hate can be a prime motivator, in some instances.
Find what is behind the hate–it is usually fear(same with anger-not always, but often) and deal with that. Need for hate lessens and that is all for the good.
While I recognize that it isn’t very useful, I don’t really mind saying “I hate Republicans.” Were I to do so, to me it would mean that I hate what the Republican party stands for and does. It doesn’t mean I hate all Republicans, or even any individual Republicans. My brothers are Republican, and I certainly love them, and there aren’t many individuals I actually hate. But every time I hear about a new effort by Republicans to screw our country in favor of corporate interests or some such, yeah, I pretty much say to myself, “Damn, I hate Republicans.”
When you are awake?
I don’t hate Republicans. Conservatives on the other hand…
But you need to realize that there is a core group of Republicans, or conservatives or neo-cons , what ever you want to lable them, and that these people hate the Democrates. Yes they do. Look at GD. Dean is being attacked there and ALL OVER THE PLACE simple for bing the head of the ‘minorty’ party. Look at that absoulte DEMANDING that Bush and company have that ALL OF HIS JUDGE NOMINESS MUST BE APPROVED. Then the adminstration dares to play the victim card over the fact that a handful of appointees were not approved and they are going to CHANGE THE RULEs so that NONE MAY OPPOSE THEM.
It is perfectly OK to hate peole who HATE you .