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Hating Bush Only Hurts Us

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It's appropriate to dislike George W. Bush. It's reasonable to find him pathetic. We're justified in being disgusted with him. But it only hurts us if we hate him.

Hatred feels like power, as if it can annihilate those at whom it is directed. But hatred won't deter Bush and what he represents. It's more likely to strengthen him because it gives him and his followers what they're always looking for--something to oppose.

We have what we believe are legitimate reasons for our hatred. Bush ignores our ideas and beliefs. He doesn't take us seriously. Since 2002 he has completely ignored our protests against the Iraq war. With a smirk, he overrides our objections to his policies on critical issues such as global warming, taxes, the economy, health insurance, religion in public life, energy conservation, and air pollution.

Nonetheless, hatred is a self-defeating emotion. Though it feels like power it's really a phony or pseudo-power that drains our energy and defeats our purpose. The negativity of hatred has its source within us. Often, it arises from our own unresolved entanglement in a sense of helplessness and powerlessness. We need to eliminate this negative emotion for the sake of political progress as well as for our health and happiness. Let me explain.

Right-wing commentators get a lot of traction with undecided voters when they accuse us of being hateful toward the president. The claim that we're anti-American is thrown into the package deal for their readers and listeners. Millions of voters are persuaded that we're negative and acrimonious. They're tempted to believe the worst about us because doing so eases their inner doubts about their own goodness and value.

Roger Cohen, editor at large of the International Herald Tribune, wrote last month that, "Among hyperventilating left-liberals hatred of Bush is so intense that rational argument usually goes out the window." Others are making similar points and include writers with large readerships such as Thomas Friedman of the New York Times and Joe Klein of Time magazine, along with a hoard of right-wing broadcasters. If there's a shred of evidence for their assertions, many voters jump at the chance to believe it.

Our enmity and spite, whatever much of it we harbor, can indeed affect our rationality. Is it possible, for example, that hatred is hiding out in our yearning for Bush's and Dick Cheney's impeachment? This is not to say that pursuing impeachment is wrong. It's just that an attempt to impeach them is more likely to fail if we don't clearly see the hidden motivations that might be accompanying our conscious reasons. The right wing failed in seeking Bill Clinton's impeachment, in part because the public, seeing into the right's hatred and righteousness, was not supportive of the attempt. Bush's crimes dwarf Clinton's, of course, but hatred for Bush on our side will still trigger sympathy for him on the other side.

Rancor, venom, and blocked anger only cause us emotional suffering. We want to blame our bad feelings on Bush and his policies. We are, however, less eager to acknowledge that blaming others is usually a cover-up for something we're not seeing or dealing with in ourselves. Besides, Bush is so dysfunctional that he very likely takes pleasure in causing us grief as he relishes his power over us. We don't have to go looking for extra helpings of his crow pie.

We can be more emotionally detached from the grim fact of his presidency, and still be as effective (if not more so) in overthrowing what he represents. Great satisfaction can be felt in our patriotic pursuit of democratic progress. Petty tyrants such as Bush can bring out the best in us instead of the worst. As we rise in unison to crush the feeblemindedness he represents, we may discover that our life has never been more purposeful.

As the left rises to power, we don't want to sabotage ourselves with discord and infighting. Such behaviors would emerge from the same inner source as this unchecked enmity for Bush. We simply won't be able to instill progressive values permanently into the political life of the nation if our personal evolvement is lacking. Let's be led instead, in Abraham Lincoln's words, "by the better angels of our nature."

 

http://www.WhyWeSuffer.com

Peter Michaelson is an author, blogger, and psychotherapist in Plymouth, MI. He believes that better understanding of depth psychology reduces the fear, passivity, and denial of citizens, making us more capable of maintaining and growing our (more...)
 

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We should not hate Bush or even Bush and Cheney. ... by Charlie L on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 9:52:42 AM
In fact, the commentators you have mentioned in yo... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 10:22:12 AM
Please do not speak for cliff 567 when you say 'no... by cliff567 on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 1:59:44 AM
...and I agree with it. Hatred is self destruct... by Mr. Robin Parsons on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 10:59:16 AM
hatred reflects a passive position anger can mot... by anechoic on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 11:12:26 AM
them or not is entirely secondary. Some people wor... by Richard Mynick on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 11:12:58 AM
exactly my thoughts! :)... by anechoic on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 1:08:33 PM
We both said the same thing at the exact same minu... by Richard Mynick on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 2:06:16 PM
Hatred is an expresion that when seen in the likes... by Fred F on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 4:06:59 PM
.. because it's based on a deluded vision of human... by francine on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 5:13:03 PM
The thoughts and interpretations that we have abou... by my2cents on Sunday, Jan 28, 2007 at 12:31:42 AM
Peter, You are very correct. Hate is self-defea... by pratliff94 on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 5:36:00 PM
You are asking too much, there are some things and... by Abbas Sadeghian, Ph.D. on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 5:41:41 PM
"What country before ever existed a century & a ha... by cliff567 on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 2:06:06 AM
About all one can do in reality is match their fee... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 7:15:43 PM
Our fellow citizens are being sent to die for a co... by John Perry on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 7:15:46 PM
I'm certainly not one to thump the Bible, but I do... by Mark Petersen on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 8:16:36 PM
..that Jesus had said "Hate evil" yet when I chall... by Mr. Robin Parsons on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 8:59:03 PM
...here Physicsmathforums(dot)com Follow the in... by Mr. Robin Parsons on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 9:21:23 PM
It was not Jesus who was a Jew that said, "Hate th... by pratliff94 on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 11:58:09 PM
only when it works against us...when it is working... by anechoic on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 12:11:10 PM
I must be a really bad person because I really HAT... by Timothy V. Gatto on Friday, Jan 26, 2007 at 9:42:10 PM
So do we connote that the military is an extension... by Dom Jermano on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 12:43:13 AM
You're claiming to be coming from the middle, but ... by John Perry on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 7:22:47 AM
John I am on planet earth. You continually think t... by Dom Jermano on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 11:53:36 PM
You see OpEdNews as a left wing tool, I, a lefty, ... by ardee D. on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 10:52:21 AM
Dom, You left America to find Bush, what a concept... by Dave Peter on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 11:38:50 PM
David, call me names and what you like. I left the... by Dom Jermano on Sunday, Jan 28, 2007 at 12:31:20 AM
I am not calling you nuts, but your contentions th... by Dave Peter on Sunday, Jan 28, 2007 at 1:58:34 PM
I am not calling you nuts, but your contentions th... by Dom Jermano on Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 at 1:54:29 AM
Dom, you are certainly entitled to your opinions, ... by ardee D. on Wednesday, Jan 31, 2007 at 6:15:29 PM
Dom, You left America to find Bush, what a concept... by Dave Peter on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 11:38:58 PM
Panurg has it right! Though I do hate Bush and hi... by Putnik on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 3:19:38 AM
The Democrats who conceded to him, one, Al Gore, c... by Mark E. Smith on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 7:59:02 AM
I can certainly understand why some commenters are... by wintefire6 on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 10:45:46 AM
hate tends towards immobilization anger tends to... by anechoic on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 12:19:49 PM
It is hate for people and not the things they do t... by pratliff94 on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 4:05:06 PM
I try to concentrate on hating the actions and wha... by Steven Leser on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 4:50:23 PM
Maybe you should consider sending him a Valentine'... by Fred F on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 10:20:04 PM
"When every star in the heavens grows cold, And w... by ardee D. on Sunday, Jan 28, 2007 at 10:00:11 AM
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can... by my2cents on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 10:43:30 PM
What is the correct emotion to feel when confronte... by Dave Peter on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 11:22:33 PM
Try pity. HATE THE ACTION, but not the actor. Oppo... by my2cents on Sunday, Jan 28, 2007 at 1:00:08 AM
Jesus.... by ardee D. on Tuesday, Jan 30, 2007 at 7:29:37 AM
Sorry for posting twice here, but I just came acro... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Jan 28, 2007 at 10:10:28 AM
'That heart will not learn to love If younder is ... by Mark Sashine on Saturday, Jan 27, 2007 at 9:22:38 AM