Political hate

After over three years of hating the man in the oval office…” That is how one writer began her letter to the Times on August 11th. Her intro got me wondering about political hate. If we were able to survey those who say they hate #45, what might we find? Certainly, the Democrat party is employing hatred as a campaign strategy against the President; witness their national convention – a concert of hate with each performer playing in tune.

Listen to these lines from the hit musical, South Pacific: “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear… to hate all the people your relatives hate… you’ve got to be carefully taught.” In a poetic way, the lyrics suggest an answer to the question: where can enduring personal hate come from – hatred toward a person, day after day, for any reason or for no reason at all? Composers Rodgers and Hammerstein wanted to explain that not only can hatred be taught, it is often fueled by the comforting approval of the likeminded.

But what about the reactions of the person being hated, President #45? Hated by some, loved by many, he just plows ahead – fighting for the American people, putting America first. His unwavering dedication under fire reminds us of #42, another upstart who faced down hatred. That man, too, was the target of concerted personal hatefulness from many who had never even met him. That man, #42, Jackie Robinson, boldly signed up and skillfully did his job; he led his Brooklyn Dodgers to many national victories, undaunted by the sneering crowd of haters aligned against him. Robinson is now, decades later, a national hero – a groundbreaking racial equality icon – the subject of movies and books.

Tom Fenton



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