Friday, December 18, 2015


In 2016 I will be 43 years old. Come November, I will vote for President of the United States for the 7th time in my life. (I have a 4-2 record, with a 4-election winning streak. Yes I voted for Bush twice and for Obama twice. Some might say I’m 3-3, but that’s not the point of this post.)

Hard data and a scrupulous, thorough study of American history would probably tell us that the divisiveness currently plaguing our political system and electorate is not new, nor worse than it’s ever been. However, with age, and with the onslaught of traditional and social media, it certainly feels like rage, fury, and hatred toward political opponents, methodologies, and world-views are at an all-time high.

As a progressive, I absolutely loathe the candidates who are running on the Republican side. Trump and Cruz, the current front-runners, make me wistfully nostalgic for John McCain (minus Sarah Palin), Mitt Romney, and even George W. Bush (minus Dick Cheney).

Loathe is really another word for hate. I find myself hating these people. In fact, I find myself feeling hatred for not just right-wing politicians, but also:

  • Outspoken same-sex marriage opponents, like Kim Davis and the Oregon bakers
  • Radicalized left-wing Marxist Christians who have a strong and vocal critique-heavy community on Twitter
  • Strong pro-gun proponents such as the NRA and much of Congress
  • LGBTQ activists who doggedly police language and are cruelly intolerant of would-be allies who truly want to learn and grow
  • People who denounce the Black Lives Matter movement and call it “racist”
  • Black Lives Matter activists who label all those who don’t subscribe to their tactics and ideology as “white supremacists”
  • Young, affluent, attractive, privileged A-list gay white males who dismiss women, people of color, and the less attractive
  • The New Atheists
  • Anyone in social media who is stubborn, arrogant, unkind, and lacks empathy and critical thinking skills
I could go on, but you get the idea: I carry a lot of hate. It is way, WAY too much for me to carry. I find myself being consumed by feelings of fury and helplessness. The only thing positive I can say about this is that I’ve never been tempted to act out any of these hateful feelings in a violent way. But you know what? If something doesn’t change soon, who’s to say that violence will still be off the table?

It’s a terrifying thought.

This year, I’m going to do something about. I resolve to rid myself of hate.

I will not hate Donald Trump. I will not hate Ted Cruz. I will not hate Kim Davis. I will not hate Suey Park. I will not hate Wayne LaPierre. I will not hate Richard Dawkins. I will not hate _________________. Fill in the blank.

I can’t do it anymore. I don’t like being an unsafe, unpleasant, unkind person. And honestly, I don't have the energy.

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