Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Politics of Hate

Where would you find, in the Constitution or in most any philosophy of government, any provision for hate.  It seems to me that in its very nature democracy does not include such a provision. In our own democratic two-party system the losing party is not supposed to hate the winning party or the winning President. The minority party is supposed to graciously accept defeat,” pull up its socks,” and try to collaborate in running the country. This has always happened in the past. Never before in our history, as far as I know, has one party claimed their foremost priority was to destroy the sitting President. And although one party may have not agreed with the policies of the party in power they apparently did not actually hate the President himself. Republicans hated F.D.R’s Social Security proposal and perhaps other of his proposals, but they did not hate him, at least not with the intensity with which they seem to hate President Obama. Similarly they may have hated President Johnson’s “Civil Rights,” but they did not hate him personally. They did not, as far as I know, hate Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, or even, I might suggest, Bill Clinton, although they actively resisted much of their legislation. Their hatred of President Obama has become so obvious, and so intense, as to be recognized as unprecedented, and it has seriously affected the well-being of our nation. When they refuse to cooperate on bills that they themselves originated, because Obama now embraces them, you know you are dealing with something strange.
This is both easy and difficult to understand. Trying to be as objective as I can, I cannot see what Obama has done as President that would lead anyone to hate him as they do. That is, he has not attempted anything entirely new or shocking, seems to be pretty much of a conservative “Progressive,” if that makes any sense. He has managed to pass at least some important legislation such as “Obamacare” that Conservatives keep insisting is “socialized medicine,” only proving they have no understanding of what they are talking about. He managed to get rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but that is hardly worthy of hatred, and his support of women’s rights likewise is not worthy of hate. The things Progressive might dislike are the very things you would think Republicans would approve of, the “war” in Afghanistan, all-out support for Israel, and his ridding the world of Osama bin Laden, and his hawkishness in general. As he has proposed and done nothing as President that can reasonably be seen as unprecedented or hateful, the reasons for their hatred must lie elsewhere. I’m pretty sure I know where. I wrote in November of 2008:

 “Might I have the temerity to suggest that if Barack Obama becomes President of the United States this will constitute a fifth great blow to the egos of white Europeans. This is so because it will not only shatter the long-standing belief in white superiority, but will also involve a change in the basic paradigm that has guided European thought for the past few centuries. That is, the notion of a ‘Great Chain of Being,’ in which all creatures are ranked in a hierarchy with White Western-Europeans at the very top of the chain.”

  Barack Obama has already made an important challenge to this basic paradigm, and if he succeeds in becoming President it will have far-reaching consequences that might not be completely apparent at first but will over time result in a new paradigm. Then in June of 2009:

 “The basic paradigm that has informed Western-European thought for the past 600 or more years, that provided the excuse for the unbelievable savagery of colonialism, with its underpinnings of Christian theology, cultural evolution (social Darwinism), the belief in the Great Chain of Being, and its prevailing myth of white superiority: this underlying paradigm that has been slowly eroding for the past few years, was finally shattered once and for all last night with the election of a black man to the Presidency of the United States. However unwittingly, a majority of voters in the United States managed to overcome their lingering racial prejudice.”

Then again on Ausgust of 2009:

“The election of Barack Obama carries with it a much more profound message than mere racism, and the success of Sonia Sotomayor reinforces it. While even those currently overwhelmed with their hard to understand rage may not be able to explain it, what is happening is the most important change to occur in hundreds of years. We are witnessing a basic paradigm change. The traditional underlying paradigm of Western-European thought, certainly from the 15th century until the present, has always included the belief that there has been a kind of evolution (or change), both physical and cultural, that resulted in a great Chain of Being with white people (especially men) at the very apex of this creation. You did not have to actually even believe in the process of evolution itself to know that this was supposedly true.”

Thus it is that Barack Hussein Obama has become an object of hatred for many. It is not merely because he is Black (actually only half Black), it is because he is not only Black, but has risen to the very epitome of power and accomplishment that has challenged the long-prevailing belief in White Superiority. You may recall how difficult it was for people to accept the fact the sun did not revolve around the earth, the fact that humans were merely highly evolved animals, that many of their acts had unconscious motives, that morals were perhaps relative to culture and context. We can see the same difficulty now when many simply cannot accept the fact that Black people are as intelligent and competent as Whites and we have a Black man as President.
You can see this same insidious notion being resurrected at the moment when one of our elected officials proposed a bill suggesting that Hispanic immigrants only be allowed to work as maids or gardeners. Even worse is the idea now being touted by another that Hispanics have lower IQ’s than Whites and their children will also and therefore immigration should have to consider that (dismal) fact. The proponent of this absurd idea happens to be a Harvard PhD who was awarded his degree on the basis of his dissertation on this very subject. Harvard, the “ass b’long” wealthy White culture where they still apparently believe the absolutely ridiculous idea that human intelligence can be reduced to a single numerical score. Whoopee! White supremacy won’t give up without a last ditch stand. Just like Galileo, Darwin, and Freud were eventually successful, so will racial and ethnic equality eventually win out. It is possible to oppose Obama’s agenda without hating him, but it is difficult when he makes a mockery of what you hold dear.

 In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.

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