HATING FELLOW AMERICANS IS A TERRIBLE STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS

It’s too bad the founding fathers didn’t have the foresight to create a constitutional clause or amendment dictating that Americans all pull together.   People decry partisan politics, and I get it, but we have had political parties forever, yet we also had a “union” of sorts.  And no doubt when you are in the election cycle, you by hoping your favored candidate wins, you thus by default hope the opposing candidate loses.  That part was practically built into the process, and it’s been with us from the start.

Did George Washington get 100% of the vote?  Really??  Every single one???

It’s hard to imagine today that there were any other contenders, but there were.  Not only that, but at least some Americans hoped for a different leader, but they got George.  And once he won, the nation rallied behind him as well as history.

But that feeling of contempt, that sore loser mentality, crept up in the process eventually.  Politics never have been overly congenial.  There has always been at least a scuffle in the shuffle, and look at Abe Lincoln!  A Republican, no less, who became a champion of… of… of… – well let’s call it pre-civil rights.  He also became president at our most divided point in history.  There were plenty who did not vote for him, who were willing to tear the union apart after his win, even some willing to kill him.

Yet history puts him in the unifying column.  He is a favored president.  “Savior of the union” they called him.  Everyone today claims him as “ours.”

But certainly by 2009, when Rush Limbaugh proclaimed he hoped President Obama would fail at the job, this animosity which was somehow allowed as fair game during the election, spilled over into the running of the country.  This was open hate.  This is the same attitude as a wife-beater gone over to the If-I-can’t-have-her-no-one-can murder/suicide of power politics.  Limbaugh* made it cool to hate fellow Americans.

Yeah, it was there under the surface long before he championed it.  Between lobbyists and political opponents skewering opposition with policies or scandals, we all knew it was there.  But after Limbaugh/Obama, it ceased to have any shame.

Now hate is our way of life.

We hate one another as a matter of pride.  Flag waving hate up and down the streets.  Contempt for fellow Americans sells tee shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs.

Wow!  Democracy.  Love it or leave it – huh?

I am tempted to try and speak to the broader American public about this.  I fantasize starting a political movement we might call PULL TO THE CENTER or CUT OUT THE HATE.  In this fantasy, the confrontation with hate will shame voters and partisans into a fresh conviction, a new self-examination and reflection, not to persuade liberals to conservative agendas or conservatives to liberal agendas, but to root out the superfluous hate and contempt.

You know… like “Say something good about the opponent” or more directly inventory the weightier issues and separate them out from lighter ones, and stop the antagonizations of lighter ones.

I mean really… Look at the 2016 presidential election with me a moment: Why did the whole thing just have to boil down to a choice between Hillary and Donald?  Why THOSE TWO??  Even Cruz was such a lightning rod, and he was a heavyweight contender for much of the cycle.  And I don’t care how much you might love Hillary (about a third of this nation does), the moment you make her a real contender, you piss off nearly half the nation!

Some of her reputation may in fact not really be deserved, but that is beside the point!  The point is that if that candidate wins, half the nation loses! and loses hard!!  This puts her in a category with Donald and Ted.  Either one of them, if they win, makes half the voting public into sore losers.

Does anyone remember John Kasich?

He presented as something of a centrist.  We might all lose a little, but no one would bear the burden of losing hard if he had won.  He actually said he wanted to care about the issues that mattered to both sides.  But American voters did not give him a chance to find out because we were too busy hating Hillary, Donald, and Ted, and our hate produced Donald as a winner and half the nation as losers.

And I remember the shock of his win!  This was yet another Republican victory where the electoral college robbed the popular vote it’s win.  BUT that little rule was agreed upon before we went into the election, and so we all abided with it.  Still, the shock was hard on everyone, winners included!

But I remember people saying, “Not my president.”

I’m not suggesting that liberals were the first to ever rally behind that sentiment, but it was the first time that statement ever got up such a steam in my life experience.  Yeah.  That was liberals saying that!  It was a sore loser syndrome.  But it was only an expression of pain, not a threat to national security, per se.

Four years later, turnabout was just not fair play.  “Not my president” and the sore loser syndrome turned into open rebellion.  Of course, it followed four years of open gloating and showboating.

Yeah.  I see all of that, and I dread it too.

But, alas, I am a Christian seeking help from God for this.  But I find his people are largely behind it – being sore losers, showboating, fanning the flames of hate and contempt and rebellion against the state. (Remember when Republican politicians were preaching Romans 13 just a few years earlier???)

Now WE are the fickle haters.

NOW I am really worried for America.

My fantasy is a misplaced desire, really.  Yes, it would be nice if the US Constitution had a clause or amendment about pulling together, but that document isn’t worth the God-created paper it is written on.  What we really need is LOVE.  Christian love which is patient, kind, humble and willing to bear burdens.

We need Christians to stop the hate in our own hearts.

You Christians have a kingdom to seek first.  You will not find it hating fellow Americans.  But hating fellow Americans is a sure-fire way for Rush Limbaugh’s desire for our president to fail to become our reality.

There may be an official separation of church and state, but the state cannot be blessed of God if YOU choose hate over love.  On the contrary, America’s best chance at blessing is for you to love your enemies and fellow Americans.

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*No doubt my post seems to slant toward blaming Republicans for this problem.  While it is the “Christians” I particularly hold to account with this observation, I am mindful that as far back as Vietnam protests, liberals expressed hate and contempt for authority, for conservatives, for Republicans too.  I in no way give THAT a pass, though I don’t see much there to confront with my post.  In the interest of fairness, though, I am happy to make note of the fact that Republicans are not alone in this problem, and arguable did not start it.  In fact, my personal observations over the course of my life suggest that conservatives have endured decades of contempt with restraint before giving in to “the dark side.”

2 comments

  1. blessedbethepoor · April 30

    Very good. We as Christians need to stop the hate. We are to be about the kingdom of God. This requires a kingdom response.

    Like

  2. laceduplutheran · May 1

    Partisanship has been demanding more and more of our identity over the decades since the end of the Cold War when we all defined ourselves as Not those Communists. Since then there has been fight brewing in this nation for identity. And since the War on Terror was too ambiguous it couldn’t create an other outside our borders to hate and in the process unify people inside the nation. So we turned on each other. Because humans need a scapegoat. Empires in all their forms need a scapegoat – and any scapegoat will do. We’re all expendable. The contrast with God’s Kingdom could not be starker. While an empire will sacrifice anyone in order to survive, God self-sacrifices to show selfless love and undeserved grace.

    Like

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