Let’s be clear about the emotion of hate. Some letter-writers are aghast at the degree of hatred that has been directed at Donald Trump and his presidency. Here are two questions for their consideration.
1. From our earliest years, are we not taught to hate mendacity, fraud, arrogance, narcissism, rudeness, crudity, lewdness, bullying and bigotry?
2. When these “abstractions” are personified, i.e., exhibited in the behavior of a person, is it not understandable that a hate reaction is warranted and likely to occur?
Our nation is suffering a great wound. And before healing can begin, the wound must be cauterized. Trump personifies and demonstrates in his life and his presidency all the listed elements that provoke the hate reaction. It’s as if our country has unwittingly shot itself in the foot by electing him.
Fortunately, most Americans recognize that the wound is not fatal. We have elections. And our fondest hope is that a candidate will emerge with the right message, broad popular appeal and strength to counter the vituperation Trump is a master at discharging — a candidate who loves truth and truth-telling and exhibits humility, grace, selflessness and manners.
It takes a powerful stimulus to release a powerful emotion like hate. But hate is a justifiable reaction against a target deserving of it. One need not apologize for harboring or expressing it, much less cower under the opprobrium that the self-righteous tend to apply to it.