Let Go Of The Hate In Politics
Don’t give in to the Dark Side. Trust the Force.
It is truly astonishing just how much hate there is in American politics. For Republicans, it was a badge of honor to deny President Obama his confirmation of his nominees for the federal and Supreme Courts. Republicans took a certain glee in riling up Democrats with their voter suppression legislation and bailouts to big businesses without supervision. Republican hate for Obama was obvious to everyone.
According to Vox, President Trump believes in “owning the libs” as a matter of political principle and strategy. Even Roger Stone, a friend of the president, took pride in being hated by liberals and Democrats (see the movie, “Get Me Roger Stone”). Powerful Republicans act like the hate for them that they inspire is more important than the policy they support. Public policy victories are sweeter to them if you hate them for it.
And right now, the Republicans own the Democrats. They’ve been installing hundreds of conservative judges in federal courts for lifetime appointments at a record pace. They got Brett “I didn’t do it” Kavanaugh seated on the Supreme Court. They have Betsy DeVos, usurer in chief, collecting debts for the Department of Education, promoting charter schools, and working tirelessly to return prayer to public schools. They’ve got Bill Barr running interference for any investigations from Democrats in the House. And they’ve got Donald Trump to remind Democrats to hate him, hate him, hate him. The GOP has weaponized hate, and I have to admit, they’re doing a great job at it.
When people are engaged in hate, they can’t see their own part in the hate. They become logic challenged. They do things like forget that they’re campaigning for something instead of against something. Democrats did that in 2016 and we all know how that turned out. We now have Trump for president. And he will take a certain joy in making your life miserable because he doesn’t believe he needs your liberal vote. In fact, he's hoping you’ll be so demoralized by November, that you’ll just stay home. The GOP loves low voter turnout. When the turnout is low, they can count on their older, more conservative, and more reliable voters to show up and vote.
On Twitter, I see this in spades. People are talking about sitting out November if they have no choice but to vote for Biden as their way out of living under Trump. They are talking about how much they’re drinking, what they’re smoking, and what they’re watching on TV to take their mind off of everything. Self-medicating has become trendy just because everything is so awful for them, and by all appearances, Trump loves that.
Remember the first few months of the Trump Administration? Remember all the chaos they instigated? That was all about riling up the Democrats with no other sensible purpose. The GOP wanted to break everything that Obama had built. They’re still set on wiping out the Affordable Care Act.
When you clear out entire sections of the bureaucracy, it’s not about serving the public. That’s about owning liberals. Fast forward to today, amid a pandemic, and we can now see that the disarray, the confusion, the PPE seizures, the lack of testing, and playing favorites, that’s all about keeping the Democrats off their message and their focus on the GOP. Trump has proven that even bad publicity can be turned to his advantage. Such a smooth operator, he is.
At least 30 million Americans now have a lot more free time. Time to binge their favorite shows. Time to watch movies, funny cat videos, or Joe Rogan. Time to do housework, tend the garden, or clean the garage. Time to read a book, go for a walk, or just sit on the porch and watch the sun cross the sky. They also have more time to hate Trump.
Remember Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi? Remember Senator Palpatine aka, Darth Sidious Emperor of the Empire, and Darth Vader’s direct supervisor? He doesn’t look at all like Mitch McConnell, btw. Remember how Palpatine pursued Luke Skywalker? Remember how he tortured Luke? Palpatine thrives on hating. He thrives on being hated. So does Mitch McConnell. So does Donald Trump.
They are counting on you, their opponents, to be so lost in hate, that you cannot focus on anything but them. Mitch McConnell and Trump are counting on you to obsess about them, day in and day out. They hope you are so paralyzed by their actions, that by your inaction, they will be free to carry out their plans in favor of their base of support. You could think that way or…
You could think that this is a golden opportunity for the millions of Americans who are now unemployed. If you can get unemployment benefits, you could get $600 a week above and beyond the normal benefits for up to 4 months. Some people are seriously upset that their bosses got the loans to keep them on the payroll. Unemployment pays better now.
Still, there are now millions of people who are getting paid, even while sitting at home. They may not be getting what they’re used to earning, but what they’re getting might be enough for them to use their time for something else. You know, like political organizing.
Maybe you don’t like Joe Biden. I can’t think of anybody who does, except perhaps Hillary Clinton. But Biden is at least talking about progressive action. And the probabilities for the progressive changes you want in November are considerably higher with Biden than with Trump. If you have time, you could be organizing for Biden. Even if you find that unpalatable, there is still something else you could be doing. Something that Republicans absolutely do not want you thinking about doing. You could organize for a progressive cause you are passionate about.
Consider that there are going to be numerous down-ballot candidates that you might like. There will be elections for Congress, statehouse, City Hall, school boards, and revenue districts. Somebody out there, beyond the race for the White House, stands for something you believe in. And they need you. So instead of screaming on Twitter or Facebook about the latest thing that Trump did that offends you, and taking that personally, you could be phone banking for some local candidate you really, really like. Remember, Bernie says that real change starts from the bottom.
Right now, the GOP has some power, but only because we agreed to it in a social contract called The Constitution. And by all appearances, it seems that Trump loves to defy the Constitution to spite you. He revels in it. Every time he disobeys a subpoena, a request for documents, fends off a request for his tax returns, he’s defying YOU. Every time he rolls back a set of regulations, he's defying YOU. Every time he seizes a shipment of PPE and his son in law Jared Kushner delivers it to a Red State, he’s defying YOU. And his supporters LOVE it when he does that.
There is neither the room nor the time for hate in this election year. If you give in to the hate, you’re playing into their hands. So find something you love and promote that. Bernie doesn’t run a negative campaign because he knows how easy it is to fall into the hate. Did you see how nice he was to Joe Biden during the last debate? Yeah. He’s like that. He knows that it’s better to run for something than against something. He knows that the brain doesn’t understand the word “no”.
Every minute spent hating Donald Trump is a minute that could have been spent promoting a cause you love. Every minute spent dreaming of defeating Mitch McConnell is time that could have been spent doing something in favor of your pet cause.
There is so much work to do in favor of a cause you love, that every ounce of your being is required to do it. If you live alone and you have time, someone in some campaign near you could really use your voice in a phone bank. Someone promoting a cause you love needs you to stuff envelopes. Someone might need to hear your voice on the suicide hotline, or maybe just the “my day is totally effed” hotline. Or maybe a friend who can’t stop drinking needs to talk with you before he opens another bottle. I know that the pain is out there.
Hate is addictive. Hate is a result of being unable to accept things as they are. Hate is the ultimate surrender of personal power. Hate is the Dark Side.
There are gifts everywhere, and you cannot accept any of them when your fists are clenched in hate. Once you let go of the hate for anyone, even Trump and McConnell, you reclaim your brain, your attention, and your power, and you can direct them to something more positive in your life.
There is no other way to get what you want. You cannot get what you want by saying no to anything. The brain doesn’t understand the word “no”. You can only get what you want by asking for it — nicely — and doing the work required to get it. You will likely need help from other people to get what you want. It’s hard to ask for help when you’re filled with hate. So let it go.
There are no guarantees, there are only probabilities. And the probability of you getting what you want is greater without hate in your mind. Let it go. Do something else if you need to. Take a walk, call a friend, read a book, redirect that energy to something or someone you love. And when you’ve cooled your heels, get busy with a cause you’re passionate about.