FrontPage Magazine has been at the forefront of chronicling left-wing hatred of Americans, and pro-American politicians. In that interest, we reproduce this plea for tolerance from Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson. However, we take issue with the seeming equation of Right and Left. Passions often run high, especially in an election year, but as some of our authors have shown, the core convictions of conservatives and leftists toward their political opponents could not be more different. -- The Editors.
in America is a contact sport. Passions flare and the rhetoric can get
heated and nasty. Political parties stoke these fires, playing on
people’s fears as a key fund-raising tactic.
Conservative authors have produced books with
insulting titles like “If Democrats Had Any Brains, They Would Be
Republicans” and “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder.” The political left
counters with ugly titles like “The I Hate Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly,
Rush Limbaugh … Reader,” “The I Hate Dick Cheney … Reader,” and “The I
Hate George W. Bush Reader.”
It is ironic, yet natural, that the political
left dominates hate literature. The irony is that the left championed
“hate crimes” legislation. Having outlawed public expressions of hatred
against various groups—racial, linguistic, sexual orientation, etc.—the
left sees nothing hypocritical about fomenting hatred toward people of
a different political orientation. Even if the “hate” authors don’t
personally hate Bush et al., people on the left must realize how such ugly language can poison susceptible minds.
While ironic, it is not surprising that hatred
of political opponents is so virulent on the left. Hatred has long been
a central pillar of leftist ideologies, premised as they are on
trampling individual rights for the sake of a collectivist plan. Karl
Marx boasted that he was “the greatest hater of the so-called
positive.” In 1923, V.I. Lenin chillingly declared to the Soviet
Commissars of Education, “We must teach our children to hate. Hatred is
the basis of communism.” In his tract “Left-Wing Communism,” Lenin went
so far as to assert that hatred was “the basis of every socialist and
Indeed, it is easy to see the thread of hatred
running through the various illiberal regimes of history, whether
Soviet or Chinese communism or Hitler’s national socialism. Only hatred
could explain the willingness to kill, enslave, and rob vast numbers of
innocent human beings. Hatred corrodes one’s conscience. Under its
toxic influence, a person will regard man’s God-given right to be
secure in his life, liberty, and property as nuisances to be overcome,
not commandments to be obeyed. The flip side of hatred is an inflated
self-love, self-importance, and self-righteousness so extreme that
respect for other human beings diminishes and, in extreme cases
(Stalin, Mao, Castro, Kim, et al.), disappears.
An incident recounted in the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago illustrates this mental deformity (see "Thank You, Alexander Solzhenitsyn").
Soviet officials wanted to transport heavier loads of steel by
railroad. When railroad engineers said that heavier loads would break
down the tracks, they were shot as saboteurs of progress. When the
loads were then increased, the tracks indeed broke down. Political
goals could not nullify the principles of engineering.
A leftist conceit is that will-power can change
the way the world works. It can’t. This mad tendency persists today;
signs of it are all around. A recent letter to the editor angrily
insisted that the law of supply and demand didn’t cause high gasoline
prices, but that (what else?) evil oil companies did. The writer then
vilified Americans for using too much gasoline (thereby contradicting
his earlier statement that demand was irrelevant). So full of hatred is
this writer that he spews contempt for economic laws. In his arrogant
egotism, he blames the world’s problems on the fact that millions of
people make choices that he—who fancies himself more enlightened and
morally superior to his fellows—thinks they shouldn’t make. Welcome to
the soul of leftism/illiberalism.
Hatred of individuals for ideological reasons
is pathetic to behold. After conservative journalist Tony Snow passed
on from a horrible disease (see "Tony Snow: Defender of the President and the Faith"), posters
on the leftwing blog Daily Kos wrote “rest in hell” and “[I hope] there
really is a hell and [Snow]’s burning in it now.” How tragically
self-demeaning such hatred is. It is a great sickness of spirit.
More recently, Gov. Sarah Palin has been the
object of vicious vituperation and seething hatred (like the threat by
comedienne Sandra Bernhard that Palin would be gang-raped if she
campaigns in New York City). Perhaps her female attackers feel rebuked
by her decision to choose life for babies. Perhaps they feel inadequate
by comparison. When I see their contorted faces and hear the desperate
unhappiness in their voices, I feel sorry for them and pray that the
venom might leave their hearts.
Hatred, of course, knows no ideological bounds.
Chain e-mails foment hatred for both Obama and McCain. Let us all
refuse to forward such nastiness. Indulging hatred is playing with
fire. On an individual level, it ruins one’s happiness and disposition.
On a societal level, it exacerbates the venomous miasma that pollutes
our political discourse.
Let us debate ideas and policies, but never
condemn individuals. In Christian terms, let us strive to hate the sin
and, if not love the sinner, at least refuse to hate him.