Friday, February 25, 2005

The Politics of Hate

I've been thinking about how often the word "hate" is used in a political context these days. It almost always comes from the left, directed at George W. Bush. And more often than not, it's an expression of hatred for the man himself, not the politician or his party. Sometimes it's so extreme as to result in comparisons of Bush with Adolph Hitler. Since the people making or approving such comparisons are presumably intelligent enough to understand what Hitler represents, I have difficulty understanding how they see equivalent evil in Bush.

Of course, it would be inaccurate and unfair to say that all liberals express this kind of hatred. But enough do that it makes me wonder if hate has been elevated to the status of a moral value in our political discourse. Is it necessary to say you hate Bush in order to be accepted among liberals of a certain stripe? Howard Dean, now head of the Democratic Party, almost said it, limiting himself instead to saying he hates Republicans.

I have a good friend, an intelligent and informed liberal, whom I respect. Before the election last year, this friend closed an e-mail discussion about Bush and politics with the line, "God, how I hate that man!" That was something of a shock because I'd never before heard this person talk about hating another human being. Worse, I'm not even sure this person is a friend any longer. I supported Bush and opposed Kerry, for reasons I discussed elsewhere, and that seemed to be too much for this person to bear. There's been very little contact since then.

Some liberals are not willing even to discuss points that might indicate Bush could be anything less than pure evil. There are no shades of gray, no nuance. They cling doggedly to every argument that supports their fixed opinions, no matter how tenuous or unreasonable it may be. A good example is the Swift Boat Veterans. I don't know the extent to which they were right about Kerry, and neither do liberals. However, instead of admitting that some 260 honorable veterans who stirred themselves to enter the political arena might be worth listening to, they simply dismissed them as liars, sleaze, and so on. Why? To do otherwise might have damaged Kerry, thereby helping the hated Bush.

It's hard to discuss this without being labeled as an ultra-conservative, a right-winger, or even a dreaded "neocon," the left's new corporate antichrist. The truth is I'm not a Republican or much of a Bush supporter. I disagree with his policies about as often as I agree with them. But in this new climate of highly personal hatred of Bush, it's very difficult to take any position short of outright hatred without being peremptorily assigned to the Bush camp. That's one of the things that worries me about hate having become a political value--it leaves no room for moderate views or compromise.

I realize that Republicans and conservatives in general are also capable of strong dislike for people and ideas they disagree with. Sometimes these feelings are expressed in highly partisan, intemperate ways. However, it isn't the same emotion, in either depth or intensity, that I see in the hatred some liberals direct at Bush himself. I remember the Clinton presidency well, and I understand that many conservatives neither liked him nor respected him. Those feelings are still there, for him and his wife both. But still, they're qualitatively different from today's intense personal hatred.

As one who always considered himself a slightly left-of-center Democrat, I believed that the most positive characteristics of liberalism in American were tolerance, respect for every individual, and intelligent open-mindedness. Sadly, those values seem quaint in this atmosphere of hate, and liberals have diminished themselves by letting it happen.

This personal hatred of Bush has put liberals in a box they may have trouble climbing out of. How can they ever admit that someone so hated may have been right about something or may have achieved successes? Will they be capable of saluting their President and rejoicing in America's success if Iraq works out well, democracy spreads in the Middle East, progress is made toward peace among Israel and the Palestinians, relations with Europe are improved, Iran and North Korea are contained, and economic and social advances are achieved at home?

The depressing reality is liberals may be so committed to their hatred of the President that they can only rejoice in American failure and disgrace. Is their hatred of Bush so deep and personal that anything is acceptable to justify it? Since they so delight in beating up the President with each new American casualty in Iraq, seemingly in the inane belief that he doesn't care, would they actually be disappointed if fewer and fewer American soldiers were killed and maimed?

The politics of hate has no place in America, and I have no respect for those who embrace it. Ultimately we have only one president, and no matter how much we disagree with him we must respect and support him. Any American who feels otherwise has seriously lost his or her way.

45 Comments:

Blogger Markkind said...

This was well written. I've had the same problem since I decided to support Bush based soley on his foreign policy, such as it is. It was even harder living in NY up through the 2004 election and not being able to have a civilized conversation. I could not believe how shrill people were and how they could not engage in factual debates. I think the single worst thing the Dems have done is abandon firm policies and replacing with bling obstructionism and in the cases of the voters, insults.

Hey, when you have a moment, head over to my blog, I would like your input on my latest column as I am trying to start an open dialogue on our involvement in Iraq.

10:12 PM, February 25, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Mark, thanks for your comment. I read the post you're referring to, and I recommend that others do so, too. I mostly agree with you, but agree or disagree, it's nice to see thoughtful discussion in the blogosphere.

6:48 AM, February 26, 2005  
Blogger Kevin said...

I gotta disagree strongly that there isn't anything comparable on the Right. The visceral hatred of Hillary Clinton certainly springs to mind quickly as a good example.

I dunno, Tom. I've written and then deleted a number of paragraphs here... I keep coming back to a Carnegie quote, "a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still."

I'm gonna leave it at that.

7:34 PM, February 26, 2005  
Anonymous Matty said...

Nice piece. Wrong, but still nice. The word hate, in recent years, has been invoked more often by the President and his admin. than about him.
If I had a nickle for every time Bush or a member of his team said ''They hate us for our freedom,'' then I'd be rich enough to be a Republican.

10:11 PM, February 26, 2005  
Blogger Esther said...

Tom, great post. You know I am right there with you. I experienced the insanity that you did and Mark too (I'm in LA, so I can relate to not being able to converse with anyone through the election).

Kevin, I know what you mean though. I was going to say the one thing I disagree with you on, Tom, is that the conservatives hatred of Bill Clinton was absolutely comparable, in my opinion. They wanted blood and nothing less was going to do. I'd never seen anything like it....until Bush.

10:15 PM, February 26, 2005  
Anonymous G Davis said...

I believed that the most positive characteristics of liberalism in American were tolerance, respect for every individual, and intelligent open-mindedness.As an American I would hope all of us would remember that those are the qualities this country was founded on. Tying them to only liberalism may be appropriate in modern politics, but they were the footings for our system's entire premise.

And those are the very qualities I find so severely lacking in this admin. That lack is what leads to my vehement opposition of them.

You say like the guy or not, he's our president and we should support him. I respectfully suggest you again go back to our foundings...one of the things held most deeply by our fathers, indeed the very action that birthed our nation was dissent. One of the most patriotic acts one can undertake is objecting to directions by our leaders that we feel are harmful to our nation.

I abhor what this group of people is doing to my country. Their cloistered, myopic agenda has plunged the next generation into a tenuous world standing and ridiculously high debt. There are 1500 less of them to shoulder the burdens because of misguided military crusade. The lockstep mentality is by far the most harmful as fresh ideas, perspectives are disallowed.

Do I hate Bush? I don't know him personally, but I hate what he represents. More often than not I refer to this admin when objecting as I believe them to be a collective. I think if you read closely, most thinking citizens do the same and are not so simplistic as you suggest in hating one man.

And this is coming from one who is a traditional Republican.

In short, your piece is well written but I find it sadly lacking in depth and historical understanding. If I've not overstepped with this posting, I look forward to reading more of your writings.

11:08 PM, February 26, 2005  
Blogger DC said...

Tom,

Good stuff. Have been talking about this, as well. Something has gone dreadfully wrong with the left ... to hate Bush so.

1:27 AM, February 27, 2005  
Anonymous Will said...

>Ultimately we have only one president, and no matter how much we disagree with him we must respect and support him. Any American who feels otherwise has seriously lost his or her way.

Ummm, left or right, liberal or conservative, what you just described is anathema to a participatory democracy. Requiring the people to respect and support their leaders regardless of merit has typically been the hallmark of fascist, oligarchic, or otherwise totalitarian governments.

Despotism requires fealty. Freedom requires that the people question at every turn the acts of their elected representatives.

It is curious that the last few years have brought an increase in demands that everyone support the president uncritically... and even more curious that those demands are strongest from people who voiced without restraint their complete lack of support for the previous president.

I'd argue that an American whose political leanings can be summed up by a single word such as 'liberal' or 'conservative' has seriously lost his or her way. And I won't really pay attention to either group until convictions are as strong when they are in the minority as they are when they are in the majority.

3:11 AM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger MK said...

Well said. I guess hate is a word thats been too well used.

yet still i can't deny the fact that I don;t like the way Bush handles his foreign affairs and stuff.

4:22 AM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Ms. Lori said...

"Will they be capable of saluting their President and rejoicing in America's success if Iraq works out well, democracy spreads in the Middle East, progress is made toward peace among Israel and the Palestinians, relations with Europe are improved, Iran and North Korea are contained, and economic and social advances are achieved at home?"

Tom, I can honestly say that if all of this came to be, I would not hesitate to wear a T-shirt that says: “I Heart Bush!” really I would. Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to do so.

8:03 AM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

I'm taken to task over this piece in a typically thoughtful and well-written post at Preemptive Karma. Some of what follows comes from my response to that post.

I understand your various objections. However, I think some have taken my ideas and expanded them beyond what was intended. In the first two paragraphs, I was careful to state that I was talking about some liberals, not all, who feel extreme personal hatred for President Bush as a person. This is certainly evident all over the blogosphere and in political discourse generally. The rest of the piece is consistent with that theme.

I also understand that strong feelings, even hatred, are not unique to some liberals in their hatred for Bush. I pointed out that Republicans and conservatives in general also sometimes express their feelings in highly partisan, intemperate ways. However, I think the passionate hatred directed at Bush the man is qualitatively different from the intense dislike sometimes directed at liberal politicians like the Clintons.

The piece should be read for what it is--a narrowly drawn statement of concern about the phenomenon of intense personal hatred directed at Bush as a human being by some of his opponents. Countering that some right-wing extremists aren't any better isn't relevant. Cause for concern, yes, and perhaps the subject of some other commentary.

My point that we owe the President our respect and support does not imply the fealty demanded by despots. Americans are free to oppose the President as vociferously as they wish; that's one of the great strengths of our democracy. In the ultimate sense, however, we are one people with one President, and in that sense we do indeed owe him our respect and support.

The best example I can think of to illustrate this fundamental principle comes from my father. He was a working man without a fancy education but with a finely developed sense of honesty and fairness. He was also pretty tolerant of the opinions of others and reluctant to call public attention to himself. Not long after World War II, in which he flew 50 highly dangerous missions in the Pacific as a B-24 crew member, he was in church in his very small hometown. The Baptist minister ventured some intemperate words about FDR, and my father did something virtually unheard of. As one of his brothers told it many years later, he stood up, interrupted the sermon, and said something to the effect that "You don't have to agree with Roosevelt, but he was my president and my commander in chief, and you have to respect him." Amen.

10:51 AM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger John said...

Very well written piece. It would be great if the rhetoric could settle down to a civilized tone. The election is over. It would be great to see our politicians actually getting something done than locking antlers.

11:58 AM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger carla said...

As the author of the piece at PK Tom referred to (and unable to respond to your comment over there due to stupid ()$*)#* techy issues) I'll do so here.

I believe I did read Tom's piece in the spirit with which he wrote it: a narrowly drawn statement. I believe such statements as written, especially in this case, offer an unfair, inequitable and onesided view which all but absolves conservatives of doing exactly as liberals are accused.

I did read where a bone was tossed to conservative vitriol in a tacit manner. But it was weak, at best.

Tom seems to have quickly forgotten how doggedly Bill Clinton was pursued..and not just because of his policies. He was dogged from the moment he announced his candidacy up until today. As was/is his wife.

Clinton has never been respected as President from this quarter. Nor will he ever be. That group hates him at a personal level that is at least as deep as those who say they hate Bush.

But even further, the conservative echo chamber has, in the last 20 years, littered the airwaves and print media with some of the most venomous, hate-filled rhetoric ever seen in American politics. This piece brushed all of that aside in such a careless and cavalier manner that it leaves one almost breathless.

I believe what you're witnessing are liberals fighting back. They've taken those years of conservative hatred and nastiness and not given much of it back. It's much like a woman who's been beaten by her husband for years and years: shock, fear, dumbfoundedness. And after so many beatings, she's finally standing up for herself against him.

You can't expect liberals to sit back and allow conservatives to vomit on their leaders and ideology forever, Tom.

11:59 AM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Gindy said...

Great post Tom.

"Sometimes it's so extreme as to result in comparisons of Bush with Adolph Hitler."

I have been seeing this charge made all over the place. People who think Bush is like Hitler must not know much about Hitler. The word Nazi or Fascist seems to apply to anybody who is right of center. I have been called it for writing posts about things from Anti-Semitism in France to posts about tax cuts.

"There are no shades of gray, no nuance. "

That is the real problem. There is no middle ground. No room for give and take and very little need for civil discourse.

"It's hard to discuss this without being labeled as an ultra-conservative, a right-winger, or even a dreaded "neocon," the left's new corporate antichrist."

If you want a one percent tax cut you are a rightwing Fascist. Are you considering changes to the Soc Security? Again a Fascist or a racist. Yes, I have called that for my opinions on Soc Security when race had nothing to do with the conversation.

These words are used in a McCarthism like way. They are intended to intimidate someone who disagrees into silence. If they disagree with you on tax cuts, spending, welfare, Social Security, defense etc. then call them a Nazi, Fascist or Racist. That ought to shut them up and keep new ideas out of the discussion.

Great post. Sorry for the rant.

12:24 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Kevin said...

Tom, you say "Countering that some right-wing extremists aren't any better isn't relevant."

How so? Your post is aimed directly at liberals. In fact you explicitely stated that "they're (Clinton-hating conservatives) qualitatively different from today's intense personal hatred (for Bush by liberals)." So any evidence which contradicts you is not relevant?

You went on in your comment to say that "we do indeed owe him (the President) our respect and support."

So what you're saying is:

a. some liberals don't respect Bush

b. it's somehow qualitatively different from conservatives who didn't and don't respect Clinton

c. pointing out that it's not qualitatively different is not relevant

d. you don't want to be painted as a right-winger

e. yet you will only entertain the idea that it is liberals who hate.

12:27 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Gindy said...

"Tom seems to have quickly forgotten how doggedly Bill Clinton was pursued..and not just because of his policies. "

Bill Clinton was never compared to Hitler.

"I believe what you're witnessing are liberals fighting back."

No. I believe you are seeing some liberals attack personally those they disagree with inorder to silence ideas they don't agree with.

"They've taken those years of conservative hatred and nastiness and not given much of it back. "

Just to say conservatives is not accurate. It applies to both sides. I don't recall Clinton being called a Nazi, Fascist or Racist. But, I do hear those words used with Bush all of the time among some liberals.

The problem with the Karma site is that the writer is talking about national figures which exist on the right and the left. But, what about the average person. That is my concern. Not what a couple of well known bomb throwers such as Savage, Coulter, Franken or Moore are saying. What is the average person on the right or left saying(especially among blogs).

12:34 PM, February 27, 2005  
Anonymous G Davis said...

Tom, there is a vast difference between the military structure of soldier/commander in chief and populace/president. There is an equally vast difference between respect/support for the office and respect/support for the officeholder.

Perhaps I am quibbling over semantics, but the insistence that dissentors of practices are somehow unpatriotic, ungrateful (even hateful) is frightening to me.

Yes there are extreme folks on the left that *hate* Bush's swagger, cowboy mentality and take it to the extreme of *hating* the man. That is not any more acceptable than the extreme folks on the right who *hate* Kerry and his NE accent, compromise mentality (coined ungraciously and condescendingly as flip flopping).

To lament that sort of extremism by forwarding the concept that I've been thinking about how often the word "hate" is used in a political context these days. It almost always comes from the left, directed at George W. Bush. is recklessly counterproductive to the sort of open, honest debate this country desperately needs.

To follow that lament with I realize that Republicans and conservatives in general are also capable of strong dislike for people and ideas they disagree with. Sometimes these feelings are expressed in highly partisan, intemperate ways. However, it isn't the same emotion, in either depth or intensity, that I see in the hatred some liberals direct at Bush himself. sorts of qualifiers as balance does a serious disservice to what should be a top of the list open and honest conversation.

As a serious writer, you know that sprinkling in largely buried qualifiers does not balance an argument. If anything, it smacks of more condescending platitudes toward the serious readers of opposing opinion you hope to draw.

I suspect there are more of us than you know on the same page of wishing there was less open derision in public discourse and more substantive issue debate.

Perhaps that is really the point you were trying to make.

In my ever so humble opinion, you missed that mark badly. You have instead simply forwarded the lockstep us -v- them mentality.

I look forward to reading more of your opinion.

12:48 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

I agree that it's important to understand the difference between respect for the office of president and the man himself. However, the kind of hate being directed at Bush, manifested through such extremes as comparing him to Hitler, leaves no room for that kind of distinction. That's in large part the point I'm making.

I have little or no respect for John Kerry as a man. But if he had become president, I would have shown him and his office the respect required in a democracy. I explained that in a post written just before the election, What If Kerry Wins?. Citizenship carries with it responsibilities, and one of them is the observance of a minimal standard of civil political behavior. The irrational hatred some people spew at President Bush falls far short of that minimal standard.

By the way, as we speak I'm being excoriated by a conservative at two other posts, these on Gun Control and Abortion. Ah, well.

1:41 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Gindy said...

I thought about attacking you about your gun control position some time ago as well and just never got around to it.

2:22 PM, February 27, 2005  
Anonymous G Davis said...

Tom I think again you're falling into the trap of group think.

There are extremes in today's politics. There have always been extremes in politics.

Because one ad forwarded a misguided depiction of Bush/Hitler and some of the extremes forwarded same does not mean that Bush opposers do so in lock step.

Your conversation here continues to lump the majority who vehmently disagrees with the man's policy together with those few vocal extremes who repeat mantra.

It's a disservice to open, honest political discourse to continue forwarding the we-v-them, right-v-wrong attitude.

To your seeming fixation on the Bush/Hitler parallel, there are many of us who see serious comparisons between the two regimes policy. The suppression of free information exchange; foreign, unsolicitated intervention; lockstep confrontation of dissent (think Spector) are some of the more overt.

Does that make Bush personally comparable to Hitler's delusional personna? Only those that personally know the two individuals would be qualified to address that. I doubt many even in the most extreme fringes are seriously doing that, though. To continue insisting the *hate* is personally directed only feeds the bitter divide further and does nothing to forward deeper understanding of opposing views.

As you say when a man is elected President of the United States, the most powerful position on earth, they represent personally the agenda they forward politically. Some will carry that to inordinate extremes.

Thinking folks understand the difference of a person embodying policy and policy defining a person. If you wish to engage in serious policy debate, it is incumbent on you to remove perpetuation of the ever so convient labels and mantra.

So far, you've not done that.

2:46 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger carla said...

Bill Clinton was never compared to Hitler.Oh? Let me enlighten you:

http://www.ncc-1776.com/tle1996/le961101.html

http://www.cuttingedge.org/articles/scandals.cfm

http://www.rightwingnews.com/crackpots/clintonwitch.php

http://www.salon.com/opinion/right_hook/2004/06/30/moore/

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=17253

No. I believe you are seeing some liberals attack personally those they disagree with inorder to silence ideas they don't agree with.Are you just choosing not to see the personal attacks leveled at liberals by conservatives or are you ignorant? Did you miss the Bush shills going on at length about how those who spoke out against the war in Iraq are unpatriotic and hate America? Or perhaps you just agree?

Just to say conservatives is not accurate. It applies to both sides. I don't recall Clinton being called a Nazi, Fascist or Racist. But, I do hear those words used with Bush all of the time among some liberals.How convenient for you. More enlightement:

http://www.newaus.com.au/032808hillary.html

http://www.zpub.com/un/bclegacy.html

http://www.richardpoe.com/column.cgi?story=5

There's tons more, but you get the idea.

The problem with the Karma site is that the writer is talking about national figures which exist on the right and the left. But, what about the average person. That is my concern. Not what a couple of well known bomb throwers such as Savage, Coulter, Franken or Moore are saying. What is the average person on the right or left saying(especially among blogs). Had you read my piece carefully, you'd have noted a link to Little Green Footballs blog who post hate filled material against liberals on a weekly (if not daily) basis. If you're in need of some other examples:

http://www.conservativegroundswell.com/

http://caosblog.com/

http://coloradoconservative.blogs.com/

This narrow and myopic view that liberals are the group that hates the most is ridiculous and dishonest. Defending such rhetoric is even worse.

3:21 PM, February 27, 2005  
Anonymous Noble Savage said...

An excellent post. I do not much care for Bush, and I am surrounded by people who "hate" him. I tune out anytime a colleague or friend says "Bush is an idiot" or "I hate Bush." At best, it's shorthand for establishing one's liberal credentials. At worst, it perpetuates the divisions that are weakening this country. I am currently on the outs with a friend who said "Bush is evil." I thought his comment was disgraceful, as it diluted the very meaning of the term "evil." Hitler was evil. Bush is not evil. I was then attacked for supporting Bush! Can't I disagree with Bush's policies without hating the man?

4:07 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Gindy said...

I stand corrected. I should not have said never as an ablsolute. There are 300 million people in this country so nothing is never.

But, I just don't see it to the same degree. Some on the right are abusing it. I don't disagree with that. But I have noticed it to much larger degree on the left right now. I have been called Nazi or fascist more times than I can count at this point and it is mostly for my economic ideas. It is true the right often uses the word Hitlery alot which I also don't like.

"Are you just choosing not to see the personal attacks leveled at liberals by conservatives or are you ignorant? "

I love it. In the same sentece you complain about personal attacks you attack me by calling me ignorant as if you are the ultimate dispensor of wisdom.

"Did you miss the Bush shills going on at length about how those who spoke out against the war in Iraq are unpatriotic and hate America? Or perhaps you just agree?"

I agree that some are and some are not. Is there the same percentage on the right? I don't know. Maybe. My main complaint is the rampant use Hitler and the word fascist by many on the left for anyone who disagrees with their point of view. They are using it to silence there opponent. I don't think those words should be used unless they truly apply. There are too many blogs that I visit where I see it. Too many. It shows a lack of historical perspective.

"This narrow and myopic view that liberals are the group that hates the most is ridiculous and dishonest. Defending such rhetoric is even worse."

I don't know where you get defending from. As to narrow and myopic. Just Relax. I say things like "some liberals", not all or most liberals. And I say it applies to both sides.

"I believe you are seeing some liberals ...."

"Just to say conservatives is not accurate. It applies to both sides."

Again, my complaint is against anyone who abuses the word Hiler or Fascist as if it applies to anyone who disagrees with them.

Read my first comment to get a better idea of what I am saying.

4:23 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger American On Line said...

My take is that when many, not all, of the people that say they hate Bush, or certain Republicans, or Clinton, or accuse them of being evil, the narrative is more precisely directed at the things they do, attempt to do, or say they want to do.

For example, when I read that the speaker of the house Dennis Hastert insinuated that George Soros - a man that has given many millions to encourage democracy in many countries - got his money from drug dealing or other crime, I ask, is that evil? Does that make Hastert evil? Depends on who sees it.

When I read that people are willing to label the AARP as being against our troops and pro-gay with the idea of wedging hate between old and young - the kind of rhetoric that McCarthy might have used - is that evil? Or does it make them evil?

When, without foundation, some Republicans accused Hillary and/or Bill of causing the murder of Vince Foster, and actually contributed to paying for video productions that 'made the case' based upon on fraud, is that evil?

The hate that I observed articulated very loud by Republicans for Clinton matches any that I have seen for Bush, et al.

Mind you, today's hate that is spewed against Bush comes louder from people outside America than here. Domestic marches and organized protests have been relatively muted in my observation.

======

Most often, Clinton was hated for his desire to help people in need.

Most often, Bush is hated for his desire to hurt people in need.

Neither deserve the rhetoric and name calling they had or have stimulated in others.

But for those that feel or view the impact of Clinton and Bush negatively, I am sure they feel their emotion with the passion expressed.

For some, when it comes to matters of life and death, there is no time for a cordial expression of views.

I realize that subject is to vast and complicated to have made my point as fine as I'd like in this venue, but I find it incredibly hard to accept that anyone can weigh who spews more hate on this issue. I am sure that there are those who see Bush taking more of it thesew days since he is the lighting rod in power, but nobody in this milieu has the monopoly on the hate and evil name calling. Nobody. All sides have equal guilt.

4:50 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger carla said...

But, I just don't see it to the same degree. Some on the right are abusing it. I don't disagree with that. But I have noticed it to much larger degree on the left right now. I have been called Nazi or fascist more times than I can count at this point and it is mostly for my economic ideas. It is true the right often uses the word Hitlery alot which I also don't like.It's apparent that you see what you wish to see. I could link you to a hundred examples of the right being just as hatefilled and vicious as any leftist. It's pretty apparent that to you, this wouldn't matter.

I love it. In the same sentece you complain about personal attacks you attack me by calling me ignorant as if you are the ultimate dispensor of wisdom.Actually I'm not complaining about personal attacks per se..I'm saying that the right does it just as much, if not more, than the left. I further don't see that labeling your stance as "ignorant" is a personal attack on you. It's an accurate label that I'm using based on the fact that you've made statements in this comments thread that by your own admission are incorrect.

I agree that some are and some are not. Is there the same percentage on the right? I don't know. Maybe. My main complaint is the rampant use Hitler and the word fascist by many on the left for anyone who disagrees with their point of view. They are using it to silence there opponent. I don't think those words should be used unless they truly apply. There are too many blogs that I visit where I see it. Too many. It shows a lack of historical perspective.It's no more rampant on the left than it is on the right. Attempts to silence opponents is also just as pervasive on the right as it is on the left, if not moreso.

I don't know where you get defending from. As to narrow and myopic. Just Relax. I say things like "some liberals", not all or most liberals. And I say it applies to both sides.But you're only applying it to one side within the context of these comments..at least for the most part. There is ample evidence that the hatred from the right toward the left is just as bad as anything the left does to the right. And that's the point I'm making.

6:00 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Zelda said...

Good post Tom. As a conservative in Manhattan, I see a lot of Bush hatred. People just spout it like it's the most normal thing. Granted New York is a very liberal city but still.

There were two times when I went to an Ann Coulter Meetup where I felt very uncomfortable asking where exactly the meetup was being held. Another time, in a bar, someone asked a young man if he was with the Townhall.com meetup group. He said loudly that he wasn't, and if he knew such a meetup was being held, he would flat out leave the bar.

Two of my cousins were ardent Kerry supporters. When Bush was re-elected, my sister told me that they were practically in mourning.

That's just my experience living in New York.

7:57 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger Conor said...

There is an incredible amount of hatred on the right for both Hillary and Bill Clinton (I've seen one right winger who has replaced the phrase s**t happens with "clinton happens"). In addition, much of the right's anti-kerry ads consisted in calling him a communist, accusing him of being a traitor, etc.

8:29 PM, February 27, 2005  
Blogger The Rambling Taoist said...

Hate is a strong word. I don't think I have ever hated anybody. I don't hate Dubya.

That said, I can honestly say I despise him. I loathe him. He disgusts me. And, if provided with the opportunity, I would respectfully refuse to shake his hand.

2:21 AM, February 28, 2005  
Anonymous BeDoBe said...

All I gotta say is, "Do you suffer from loss of memory man!?"

Have you forgotten our recent history, 1992 to the present, as regards a Democratic President and a recent Democratic nominee? Oh, let's see, there's the "Arkansas Project," Rush Limbaugh and his ilk on hundreds of radio stations across our nation and, let's not forget, the Swift Boat Veterans group.

Given this recent history, I'd strongly argue that your "hate" charge is leveled against the wrong group; and if you still belive it to an accurate charge, I'd respond that you seem to willfully ignore all of the above and they wrought against us all.

2:27 AM, February 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another perspective on hate: Another perspective on hatred: http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/02/hatred_is_a_poi.html


J from VJ
valuejudgment.org

6:34 AM, February 28, 2005  
Blogger carla said...

One of the comments from the post linked by J of Value Judgement:

I just love how the left is held to the Marquis of Queensbury rules while the right is busy working liberals over with brass knuckles and bags of oranges (no marks).Indeed. That sums up much of what I see happening with right v left.

9:30 AM, February 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Let's see:

Jesse Helms said that Clinton should be careful about coming to his state because he might get shot.

Some self-hating Democrats expressed their gratitude that Bush was president and not Gore on September 11th because conservatives would never be willing to rally around Gore the way liberals could set aside their differences for a time....and the conservatives all agreed to a man. As though this were a positive trait, their willingness only to support their guy.

David Horowitz. Well, I could go on for 10 years describing all the vitriol and hate coming from David Horowitz, but I think just mentioning his name should call to mind at least a dozen outrages from any reasonably well-informed person. When you talk about liberals not wanting to listen to people who disagree with them, take a moment and think about David Horowitz and try to think of anyone on the left who comes within a mile of his toxic brew of McCarthyism, racism and hatred.

Then, of course, there's the litany of cable news and radio blathers. Savage, who expresses his wish that a caller die of AIDS. Loving sentiment, isn't it? Limbaugh who calls any independent woman a feminazi? He's so compassionate. Falwell who claimed that gays and feminists caused September 11th. Sweet, kind old grandfatherly guy. Alan Keyes, whose hatred of all things liberal leads him to kick his daughter out of the family. Got to love those family values!! G. Gordon Liddy, the criminal the right loves to love, recommending that people shoot federal agents in the head instead of the chest. Wow! And you think the left has cornered the market on hatred?

And the list goes on....all those who call anti-war Americans traitors, fifth columnists, etc. That Minnesotan with Little Man's disease who said Jimmy Carter was "on the other side" (with the terrorists)

And of course, there's the ultimate hater of them all. The Queen of Hate, Anne Coulter. Any movement that not only tolerates Anne Coulter, but invites her to speak at the conventions and fundraisers has no shame. She said McVeigh's only problem was that he didn't bomb the New York Times. Of course, I don't honestly believe Anne Coulter means a tenth of what she says, because she appears to be sane. She recognizes the exact phenomenon on the right that you are trying to pretend does not exist. Hate speech is the profitable path to success on the right. Moderation and civillity will not get you booked on Imus, Hardball or the Shut Up Show, but hate speech will not only get you booked on television, but the profitable occupation of speaking at conservative conventions, fundraisers and other functions -- as a leading light of the Republican Party.

6:00 PM, February 28, 2005  
Blogger Kevin said...

Don't forget Conservative Republican Pat Robertson who twice talked about the benefit that could be had from setting off a small nuclear device under the State Department building. He and his 700 Club are watched faithfully every week by millions of Conservatives.

6:07 PM, February 28, 2005  
Blogger B said...

Hi Tom. I wrote a post on my blog here about my thoughts. Interesting post and comments. :-).

11:38 AM, March 01, 2005  
Blogger Mac said...

Thanks, I respectfully disagree. The political schism in this country has bread a hate, but all such extremes have their origin, ironically enough, in the religious right.... Yesterday's klansmen... I find it interesting that, so far, Mr. Bush is the first American president elected in a year ending in 0 that has n't been the victim of assasination or an attempt. I author an anti-Bush blog, but I wish him nothing worse than unemployment.

Cheers.

11:12 AM, March 15, 2005  
Blogger M.T. Daffenberg said...

A very staunch Republican said that I was more conservative than he was, just to let you know where I'm coming from.

When a man fails his whole life, gets bad grades when offered the rare opportunity to attend an Ivy League school, runs two businesses into the ground without worry, then goes on to a successful political career where he crashes an economy, ignores warnings of terrorist attacks, and sends our boys to two separate war fronts, you got to expect some people to hate this man. I just find it ironic that W has lived the life of a comforted baby that hasn't had to do any 'real' work, and yet Republicans still love him.

7:33 AM, April 04, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you think democrats only have hate? Maybe this video is why we dislike Bush so much. Republicans clearly promote the hate agenda more than Democrats

http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/002261.html

6:02 PM, August 01, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

It's pretty clear that Bush wasn't giving the press the finger, although I wish he had. They deserve it. In any case, what does that have to do with the post? If you read it again, you may find that I'm talking about the current environment.

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