It may surprise some to hear that one of my favorite commentators/bloggers today is Meghan McCain. But I find that I am almost always interested in what she has to say and her views. We may not always agree, but I like her spirit and sense of fairness.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-05-09/why-i-hate-the-politics-of-hate/?cid=hp:beastoriginalsR1) entitled "Why I Hate The Politics of Hate." I suggest you all read it.
I have long said that the word "hate" is so overused, especially when it comes to politicians and commentators. If we have never met someone, can we really say we hate them? Obviously we can hate Hitler, but do we really hate Ann Coulter for her bombastic views? We may disagree with what she says and how she says it, but do we hate her? We may also be concerned that such rhetoric may have dangerous consequences, but that doesn't mean we hate her. (I have to say, Ann Coulter may be an exception. She is so filled with hate and a seeming lack of empathy for her fellow man that it is hard not to use the "h" word.)
We just disagree. And isn't that what America is all about? That we are free to have open discourse and disagree with one another.
Meghan McCain I couldn't agree with you more. From her article:
Extreme partisanship and uncivil political discourse is not the best way to accomplish anything in Washington. Nor will it ever inspire the next generation of voters.
Last month I was out shopping with my mother in Phoenix, when a man came up to her and yelled, “Your husband needs to be more conservative!” before storming off. Believe it or not, nothing like this has ever really happened to me before. Sure, there have been times when I’ve been at rallies or speeches and people have made rude comments—that comes with the territory when you are in a public family—but this particular incident felt really shocking and disappointing. It was a direct slap in the face—a sign of how high the level of rancor has gotten that this man felt compelled to yell at my mother and me at the mall.
Lately I’ve felt that the anger in politics is spilling over from the expected places—protests, partisan websites, talk radio—into everyday lives. The lines of social acceptability and just plain courteous behavior are becoming harder to define when it comes to politics, and for the first time in a long time I am truly concerned about where this fear and frustration in politics is taking us.
I understand a certain amount of partisan pettiness, but what I don’t understand why both politicians and pundits are not more vested in the next generation, in my generation, and the cultural and political climate they are leaving behind. It’s almost as if to be taken seriously in politics, a certainly level of anger and incivility is required. I am not saying I am not angry about many things that are going on in this country, but I do believe we can discuss our differences with respect.
As Elie Wiesel once famously said, “the opposite of love is not hate. It’s indifference.”So next time you find yourself about to say "I hate" that politician, commentator, reporter, etc., ask yourself "do I simply disagree?' I bet 99% of the time we realize the answer is we just disagree. Be glad that we are all free to just disagree!