United States of Hate


If I were in a more forgiving mood today, I might feel sorry for the Trump Hate Brigade, caught as they are on the horns of a dilemma. Should they be happy or sad about the massacre in Orlando?

Latino gay people were killed (hooray, they had it coming) by an assault weapon (hooray, every citizen has the right to buy military grade weapons to protect themselves from those they hate) by a Muslim pledging allegiance to ISIS (hideous, all Muslims are terrorists). How is the Trump Hate Brigade supposed to feel when the people they hate are killed by other people they hate? See what I mean about the dilemma?

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]A dilemma for the Trump Hate Brigade: how should they feel when people they hate are killed by other people they hate?[/pullquote]

The Trump Hate Brigade should figure it out now, since in the United States of Hate, promoted by Hater-in-Chief Donald Trump, such dilemmas will become more commonplace. If you’re supposed to hate the Muslims, and the Jews, and the Latinos, and the disabled, and anyone who isn’t exactly like you, it’s inevitable that people you hate will kill other people you hate before you get around to doing it (or condone doing it).

That’s what happens when people give power to those who rule by stoking fear. The motto of rational thought was issued by Descartes hundreds of years ago: “I think, therefore I am.” The motto of The Hater-in-Chief and his followers ought to be: “I hate, therefore I am.”

The ultimate irony, of course, it that the Trump Hate Brigade has far more in common with the Muslim terrorist they condemn than they do with the Latino gay people who were killed. The club-goers were simply trying to live their lives while allowing others to live theirs. The Muslim terrorist hated gay people because they offended his religious sensibilities, so he killed them. How is that any different from the North Carolina legislators who hate transgender people because they offend their religious sensibilities? It isn’t.

The Trump Hate Brigade hate Latinos whom they suspect of stealing their jobs so they want to build a wall and keep them out; they hate Muslims as terrorists so they want to keep them out; some of the men hate women so they mock them in the crudest possible terms; they hate Jews whom they suspect as being more successful than themselves so they threaten them with pictures of ovens. Make no mistake, building a wall is not the same thing as murdering people, but we must never forget that murdering people often follows building walls to keep them out.

Hate leads to murder as night follows day. That’s why it’s critical to confront hate wherever and whenever we see it. That’s why it is crucial to ban discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference. That is why it is imperative that we DON’T built walls, and we DON’T keep people out of this country on the basis of race or religious belief.

The United States of America was built on the principle that ALL men (and now women) are created equal and all are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. The Declaration of Independence deliberately does not specify the race, religion or sexual preference of citizens; anyone can be a citizen.

If Trump has his way The United States of America will die, to be replaced by The United States of Hate where straight, white men are full citizens and everyone else has fewer rights or no rights at all.

Trump claims that he is not a racist, not a misogynist, not homophobic. I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true; his emotional range seems to extend only from unmerited self-regard all the way to full-blown narcissism. It may be that he has no emotional band width left for any other hateful “-isms.” But he is well aware that his chief appeal for many of his followers reflects his effort to make the US safe for hate again; he plays to that, deliberately praising violence and refusing to condemn the ugly behavior of his followers.

Trump used this tragedy to praise himself for recognizing the threat of Islamic terrorism, as if the rest of us hadn’t noticed or cared about the deaths of those who died on 9/11 and in subsequent terror attacks. But he has far more in common with the terrorists than he would ever understand. When you encourage hate, you encourage terrorism.

Today gay people were murdered. True, it happened at the hands of a Muslim terrorist, but it wasn’t the fact that he was Muslim or declared allegiance to ISIS that made him attack gay people. It was hate officially sanctioned by religious authorities, Christian as well as Muslim, American as well as Arab.

Tomorrow it could be another despised group, and hate will be the cause.

This election is going to be a referendum on whether we want to continue to base our country on the values of healers like Washington and Lincoln or haters like Joe McCarthy. I love the United States of America precisely because our principles are the highest moral principles of freedom and justice. It would be a tragedy of extraordinary proportions if we allow Donald Trump to create The United States of Hate.