Renouncing Hate as a Political Weapon

by Bob Schwartz

Hate is a part of our human experience, as hater and hated. We hope and try to minimize or even eliminate it, but at least a little, there it has been and there it is.

Some will say that its ugliest manifestation is the sort of thing we see in Charleston and in similar incidents. But maybe even uglier, and maybe louder and more common, is the use of hate as a political weapon, sometimes by some very high level and ambitious and otherwise respected political leaders and aspirants.

It may not look like hate. It may be clothed in high-minded rhetoric and ideology. But at its heart, the expressions of how awful, how ungodly, the persons and positions of political enemies are is nothing less than hateful. Hate and intolerance in a good cause, the perpetrators will argue. But hate nonetheless.

We can no more eliminate hate then we can its brighter correlates of love, understanding and compassion. But the least we can ask of those in positions of power and authority, and of those who strive for even higher positions, is to renounce hate as a weapon. They don’t have to go all soft and lovey. But they do have to forego spreading poison and thereby making poison acceptable. It isn’t, and when it becomes so, we shouldn’t be wondering where all the hate comes from. Politician or regular citizen, it comes from us.