First, regarding Bush. George Bush, Karl Rove and those who pursue the partisanship of their persuasion bear a great responsiblity for the spread of hate in American politics. They have made demonization an art form, slander a way of life, and hate a weapon to mobilize what they call their base.
Second, all Republicans need do so some serious soul searching about why George W. Bush has created so much hate towards himself and, internationally, among so many of our best friends in the world. It is not so much anti-Americanism, it is anti-Bushism, but it is hate. It hurts our country, and it is increasingly widespread including among many of America's best friends in the world.
As Mr. Michaelson wisely says, hate should not be answered with hate. It should be answered with conviction in opposition, and with hope.
There is too much hate from the Bush believers and from the media arsenal of the right.
But there is also too much hate in response, from some who we consider friends. It is understandable, but it is wrong, and it hurts our cause, as much as our opponent's.
I have been censored several times on another blog I have posted on regularly. It does not matter which one, but the issue does matter. Let me give one example.
When Mel Gibson made his anti-semitic views publicly clear, I sent this blog a post four times, which began by condemning Gibson with as much strength as anyone, but trying to initiate a discussion about redemption.
Redemption; Martin Luther King believed in redemption.
Redemption: Pope John Paul II visited, forgave and blessed the man who tried to kill him.
Redemption: the Anti-Defamation League issued a very powerful and uplifing statement combining condemnation of what Gibson said, and what Gibson believed, but opened the door to healing.
I could not get this posted.
And what was posted? An orgy of what I can only call liberal elitist hate, full of hypocrisy by those who like all of us, live in glass houses and should be modest about throwing stones.
Redemption was not appropriate for discussion on that occasion.
I would argue: redemption is the one thing that was most worthy of discussion.
But redemption was censored at a "liberal" location.
Left hate is not better than right hate; left elitism no better than right elitism; playing to galleries of hate on the left is no better than playing to the galleries of hate on the right.
And there is too much hate, from the right and from the left. I should have written this note long ago.
One major problem of all media today, is that with the decline of the daily newspaper, which serves as a town meeting of diverse cultures and opinion, media has moved to Balkanized outposts where the persuaded speak to each other, rather than the broader community.
The left talks to the left, the right to the right, overheated anger escalates, the loudest and most angry voices tend to feed on each other. There are virtually no places left, from talk radio to cable television to the internet, where the cross-section of cultures and opinion exchange serious and civil views with each other.
There is no one, on the face of this earth, who has opposed George W. Bush policies, from Iraq, to his royalist disregard for the Bill of Rights, to his justifications for torture, than I have, from the beginning, and do, to this day.
In the historic election of 2006, the American people did not vote for one form of hate to replace another. They voted for hope over hate, for civility over demonization, for America becoming a shared community again, not a nation of enemies lists and anger management problems.
It is hard, when we are faced with the politics of fear and hate from the right, to respond with hope and inspiration without vindictiveness.
Lets oppose these policies of Bush, with firm and unyielding conviction and resolve.
It is tragic, sick and sad that he has spent his presidency as the most divisive President in our history, by design. It is destructive and dangerous that he has created so much hate against himself and his policies, from so many of America's friends, throughout the free world.
The way to defeat him and his politics of fear, demonization, and too often hate, is to offer our country and the world not hate in response to hate, but hope, which is what good people everywhere yearn for today.