"I hate Republicans," Howard Dean said recently, "and everything they stand for but I admire their discipline and their organization."
That's like saying "I hate everything you are, but I like your hair and what you're wearing."
It's odd being on the receiving end of such hatred. Back in 1964, when we were the "young turk" Republicans, we believed with all our hearts that President Johnson would mean nothing but trouble for the US; that he would lead us into a terrible war.
Senator Goldwater stood for taking a stand in Viet Nam that would have gotten us out, yet he was portrayed during the campaign as a war monger. The Democrats waged a campaign of lies -- but not hatred. And they won. It hurt. Bad. But we licked our wounds and kept our mouths shut, even when our neighbors said, years later, "We wish we had voted for Goldwater." We didn't call our opponents "dumb." We didn't look down our noses at them; we didn't even say "we told you so," although we thought it many, many times over the years.
But hatred. Even the word raises red flags of danger. Anyone with the least knowledge of history knows what hatred does -- it blinds people. They become mindless in their hatred and tend towards mob behavior. They burn books and kill ethnic groups.
There is nothing ... NOTHING...constructive in hatred. It is the most dangerous emotion in the human repertoire. Hatred, in its blindest form, leads to killing.
People who spew hatred are the most dangerous of our species. Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Baby Doc, Castro, Milosevich . . . the contemporary list is long enough. The historic list is longer. They hated and used hatred as the basis for stirring up more mindless hatred among the people they led.
And just what has the Republican Party done to deserve this hatred?
Democrats will say they stole elections -- yet every legal recount in Florida in 2000 showed President Bush to be the winner. He only lost if they changed the rules and counted illegal votes.
In the recounts in Washington and in Ohio in 2004, the only election officials indicted for fraud were Democrats and the Democrat won in Washington only after over 100 extra votes were "found." A recount of the state was rejected by the Democrats. Who has the real right to begin to hate in those cases? Yet Republicans don't hate -- never have.
And just what is this terrible result of these actually not-stolen elections? Dramatic increases in solvency in the US economy, based on valid Keynesian principles. Democratic-based governments rising in the Middle East. Increased security for our own nation (and if anyone tells you that we haven't been attacked since 9/11, don't believe them -- I was peripherally involved, and might have been a victim, in one -- I KNOW from personal experience that Homeland Security has worked).
The poor in our country now have opportunities to become part of our American Dream through the ownership society. Defense spending is 'way up from the Clinton years and the nation is stronger and safer. Children in schools that actually use "No Child Left Behind" standards getting better educations. And more...lots more.
Howard Dean hates because the Republicans beat his party fair and square. But if he continues to spew hatred, he'll take the Democratic Party straight into the sewer.
Most Americans (the exceptions being those who have destroyed their brains with drugs) are fair and reasonable. They are even loving, reaching out unstintingly to those all over the world who need help; asking no thanks in return. Americans don't deserve to be hated by fellow Americans -- there are plenty of Islamic extremists to do that, successfully enough.
Thank God for free speech. That's how we know when politicians feel this way; and others, too, for that matter.
But there should be no place in American public discourse for hatred. We are a Christian nation -- probably the only one in the world. The Christian faith and the Christian nation are based on love. There is no room for hatred in America.