Is it right to hate your political and religious opponents?

Hate: to feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone)

Businessman Matt Bevin Challenges Senate Minority Leader McConnell In Primary ElectionThe word “hate” has come to mean a specific thing these days. “Hate crimes,” for example, are committed with an intent to target a specific person or people for their beliefs or lifestyle. Terrorism is a form of hate crime as well. The world is full of it. Full of hate and vengeance, retribution and revenge toward those we hate.

We’ve all run into hatred in one way or another. Perhaps there has been a person in your life for whom you feel an almost instant hatred. You can’t explain it. You just hate them from the minute they walk in the room.

Sometimes that is behavioral. They say or do things that set off alarm bells in your value system or your sense of protocol. When this happens in the workplace, and that person engenders hate in multiple people, they come to be the enemy. Sometimes they are a co-worker. At other times, the boss.

Then there are people for whom you feel hatred that you can’t really reach. Republicans love to hate Hillary and Bill Clinton, for example. Yet Clinton won the presidency twice, and his wife Hillary is the likely Democratic nominee. They just won’t go away, and Republicans hate that.

Hate from both sides

On the Democratic side, many liberals and Progressives hated on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The liberal contention is that the pair did plenty to earn that hatred by going to war on false premises, sponsoring torture and crashing the economy. Republicans have a name for that hatred. They call it Bush Derangement Syndrome. And it’s real.

But when you compare the reasons why Clinton and Bush are hated by their opponents, there is no moral equivalency. Bill Clinton got a blow job in the Oval Office. Bush allowed a terrorist attack to happen on his watch, went to war on false premises and destroyed the economy. Clinton got impeached for lying about the affair. Bush got nothing. Not even a slap on the hand.

So the degrees of hatred segments of people feel for those in political office, and even those running major religions, are based on varying degrees of justification. Surely the disrespect Clinton showed for the White House was not a show of class by any means. Sexual scandals are common in politics, however. If they don’t hurt the flow of government, they are typically are forgiven in some way, unless they persist. Fortunately or unfortunately, that’s how power works and has always worked.

Turtle power

When it comes to power and its use and manipulation, few have been so successful in their hatred toward another politician than Mitch McConnell, the Senior United States Senator from Kentucky and Majority Leader of the Senate. For whatever reasons he has chosen, McConnell hates everything about President Barack Obama. McConnell swore before Obama even took office to make him a one-term president. During seven years in office, Obama has been blocked on many fronts by the efforts of McConnell to prevent anything on the President’s agenda from passing.

Now McConnell has stood forth and sworn to prevent any Supreme Court Justice nominee from even being considered. He’s rallied Senate Republicans around his cause just as he’s used his authority to attempt to stalemate any progress in America over the last seven years.

Success in spite

Yet despite McConnell’s efforts, Obama has been a successful president on numerous fronts. The economy recovered from a massive meltdown during the late term of the Bush presidency. Obama has presided with a steady hand over chaotic world affairs. The nation has not been attacked by any organized efforts at terrorism during his tenure, as it was under Bush. The nation’s gas prices are currently at an average of $1.70 under Obama, the result of progressive, and sometimes unfavorably seen, approvals for gas exploration across the nation.

All the things that Bush swore to do, including not using the military for nation-building, Obama has done. That infuriates the Republican Right. It particularly infuriates Mitch McConnell, who in his fit of pique grossly admits that the Supreme Court has been a partisan tool for legislative action.

That grandly exposes the lie that the Supreme Court is a non-political entity. It has been used to install a President (George W. Bush) and pass a law allowing dark money to flood the world of elections (Citizens United). Justice Antonin Scalia dumped his originalist interpretation on the Second Amendment and turned it into a free-for-all in terms of the right to bear arms, and there are now more guns than people in the United States.

That is the legacy of the conservative Supreme Court. It has only been forced to uphold Obamacare by the fact that it would have been politically inexpedient to prevent millions of people from getting healthcare coverage. The provision in the law that enables people with pre-existing conditions to get health insurance is a clear protection of human rights. To do otherwise would be equivalent to issuing a death sentence to a significant portion of the population.

Actions speak louder

These are not exaggerations. These are the direct product of legislative action by the Supreme Court. And now Mitch McConnell and his fear-driven buddies in Congress all want to prevent President Barack Obama from carrying out his constitutionally prescribed duty to fill the court vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

It is a hateful thing to oppose one’s enemies without reason. But it is a more hateful thing to oppose one’s enemy for the very reason you refuse to admit is true. The clearly partisan hope is that a Republican can win the White House and install another conservative judge. The other source of fear is that the leading Republican candidate, Donald Trump, is not under the control of men like Mitch McConnell. But they know cooperation is possible if enough power is traded along the way.

These are all motivations worthy of hatred toward those who carry out such political chicanery. In the past, and with the murder of President John F. Kennedy still unsolved in the minds of so many Americans, it is worthwhile to consider how much political hatred has afflicted the nation. Going back a bit further, to the time of Lincoln, it was a Republican who took a bullet to the head. All for rescuing the Union, Lincoln was a great man in a time of intense political hate. But at least he got to largely finish his mission, and the gunman John Wilkes Booth failed to reverse the flow of justice in American political history.

Not so with Kennedy. And not quite so with the attempted murder of Obama’s legacy as President by men like Mitch McConnell. There are many kinds of murder in this world, and many kinds of hate. If anyone has earned the hate of Americans who support a balanced, cooperative government that gets things done, it is Mitch McConnell.


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