BY MARK W. HENDRICKSON
Heated rhetoric and politics go hand in hand. In today’s hyper-politicized polity, the line between heated and hate-filled rhetoric is crossed often.
This isn’t merely regrettable, but dangerous.
When verbal vitriol mutates into hatred, hatred too often erupts into violence. The casualties of hatred fall into three categories. The obvious ones are the specific targets and victims of hate. Then there are the haters whose souls have been consumed by the toxin of hate. As Martin Luther King Jr. explained, “Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater.” And society itself is degraded.
Indeed, hatred can plunge an entire society into darkness, nihilism, and grotesque decay. While hatred can infect any vulnerable person of any political orientation or no political orientation, left-wing ideologies embrace and exploit hate as a deliberate strategy. Don’t take my word for it. Take it from some leftist icons. Lenin wrote explicitly in his tract “Left-Wing Communism” that hatred was “the basis of any socialist and communist movement.”
Think about it: Every utopian left-wing plan ends up hating the rights and freedom of any individual who isn’t part of the elite cabal of planners; ordinary citizens must be reduced from independent actors to pawns and slaves subject to the dictates of the planners.
Hatred was central to Lenin’s political goals. His depraved message to the Soviet Commissars of Education was, “We must teach our children to hate. Hatred is the basis of communism.” (Think of recent news reports of children hating our free-market economy for alleged climate sins.)
Karl Marx was a hater, too. He exultantly boasted that he was “the greatest hater of the so-called positive.” Communists today continue to hate, as we can see in the Chinese Communist Party’s hatred of the freedoms that the brave residents of Hong Kong are risking their lives to preserve.
Ominously, the venom of hatred is now virulent here in the United States. Again, let me repeat that hatred occurs across the entire breadth of the ideological spectrum. It’s a chronic human sin that is confined to no party. But it’s important that we recognize the extent to which hatred has found a home on the political left.
The left produced the ugly “I Hate …” series of books: “The I Hate Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, … Reader”; “The I Hate George W. Bush Reader,” etc.
The leftist Southern Poverty Law Center that hatefully tars and feathers nonviolent conservatives as “haters” for daring to disagree with leftist positions.
It’s the left that is fomenting hatred for U.S. Border Patrol agents, just as they spearheaded the abuse heaped on returning Vietnam veterans 50 years ago.
It was a left-leaning talk show host who, in August, remarked on the passing of the late conservative and libertarian businessman David Koch, “I’m glad he’s dead, and I hope the end was painful.” (Hypocrisy alert: This same talk-show personality has called for more civility in politics. Message to him from Booker T. Washington: “I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”)
The left has gone positively berserk in their almost maniacally hateful persecution of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Throwing out due process, abandoning any pretense of caring about the truth, hate-filled leftists have adopted a scorched-earth campaign against Kavanaugh that spills over onto his family. Clearly, the hate-filled animus is so intense that leftists are willing to trample, mutilate, and destroy innocent people in pursuit of their political goals.
Masked Antifa activists attacked a peaceful “straight pride” march in Boston, wounding a police officer in the process. Antifa apparently wants the First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly to be restricted to only non-straight Americans.
Significantly, members of “the Squad”—the congresswomen who are in the forefront of the socialist movement in America—are proving Lenin’s axiom about hatred being at the root of socialist movements, because the congresswomen referred to Antifa as “allies” and appealed for money for bail funds for Antifa activists arrested for acts of violence.
President Donald Trump may set the all-time record for being the target of hate-filled barbs. Several Democratic presidential candidates currently vying for the votes of private-property-hating socialists on the left have made statements such as that Trump was “responsible” for two mass murders this summer and, “Obviously, he didn’t pull the trigger, but he’s certainly been tweeting out the ammunition.” (On the positive side, at least they haven’t called Trump a murderer like they did to Mitt Romney in 2012.)
Perhaps the most horrific recent example of hatred was the North Carolina teacher who allegedly told her students that Vice President Mike Pence should be “shot in the head.” Yuck!
I have just recounted several disturbing, ugly examples of hatred on the left. Please heed this gentle warning: Don’t hate the haters, because if you do, you will mostly hurt yourself. Consider these words of Mary Baker Eddy: “Hate no one; for hatred is a plague-spot that spreads its virus and kills at last. If indulged, it masters us; brings suffering upon suffering to its possessor, throughout time and beyond the grave.”
All who love the United States—the United States that cherishes, honors, and respects the God-given rights of individual human beings to be secure in their own life, liberty, and property—must realize that our values and freedom are under siege by our leftist compatriots.
We must be prepared to fight, if necessary, to preserve our rights. But let us be motivated by love for our rights and never by hatred for fellow Americans who have been poisoned and warped by hatred.
Separate the sin from the sinner, or, as William Penn put it, “Dislike what deserves it, but never hate …”
This article appeared first in The Epoch Times. Used with the permission of the author.
Self-Educated American Contributing Editor Mark Hendrickson recently retired from the faculty at Grove City College where he remains Fellow for Economic and Social Policy at The Institute for Faith & Freedom. He is also a contributing editor of The St. Croix Review, sits on the Council of Scholars of the Commonwealth Foundation and writes opinion commentary for TheEpochTimes.com
Mr. Hendrickson’s most recent books include: The Big Picture: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Climate Change (2018), Problems with Picketty: Flaws and Fallacies in Capital in the 21st Century (2015), Famous But Nameless: Inspiration and Lessons from the Bible’s Anonymous Characters (2011); and God and Man on Wall Street: The Conscience of Capitalism (with Craig Columbus, 2012).