You’re Gonna Have To Face It You’re Addicted To Hate

Broken heart symbol

Broken heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

With all apologies to Mr. Palmer (and I think I may be giving George Takei a run for his money in the earworm department now) but I think his song got it all wrong. The more I see the behavior of my fellow Americans, especially when it comes to politics, the more I think they are addicted to an entirely different emotion. When you can have some Americans actually planning sedition because they don’t like the color of our President’s skin, and people on the other side of the aisle sending around a petition seeking to charge politicians with whom they disagree with sedition what other conclusion can I reach?

I agree that the Tea Party Caucus have dangerous ideas. I also agree that they are complete jerks who would like to see our government toppled. Just wanting that however is well within their rights. When we tell people how to feel we start going to a very bad place. We then are the ones undermining the principles we claim to hold dear. The moment the TPC steps outside the bounds of law to achieve their ends you can bet I will be hollering louder than anyone to see them jailed, but until then all we can, and should, do is berate them for the hypocritical jerks they are and point out to their fans how they are working against their better interest.

I suppose we don’t want to do that though. We like being angry. We like feeling better, smarter, and more moral than others. We are enthralled not with making the world a safer place for everyone, but with throwing our enemies down and howling over their broken bodies.  Ten thousand years of civilization and two million years of hominid evolution and not much has really changed.

Oh, we’d like to pretend otherwise. We quote our Torahs, Bibles, and Qurans until we are blue in the face. Some of us paraphrase our favorite secular-humanist thinkers, exalting in our enlightenment. So quick is our grasping at claims of wisdom, intelligence, piety, righteousness and advancement, yet when it comes down to it, we are still snarling beasts. All of the opportunities to be better than that, and often even those that claim to be men of peace speak of “crushing” their ideological opponents.

I know we can do better than this. We have proven, again and again, that when it comes to things we want we can surpress our animal instincts. So why can’t we put this one on the back burner? Why do we so love to hate? I want to see some real change too. I am not naive, I know you cannot always hug your way to a solution. I understand that some people cannot be reached. Why, though, does that mean we have to reflect their cruelty with some of our own? It would be so much better if we did our work from a position of love for everyone, even our opponents.

Whether by divine grace or accident of chemistry we have become capable of more than just biting, clawing, and beating our way to the top. As a species we are capable of truly wondrous deeds. It will be exceedingly difficult to accomplish any of those deeds, though, if we keep giving in to our baser instincts. I know no one is perfect. I get angry, really angry sometimes, and I can do with a little of my advice here, but if we don’t solve this first problem, we may not be able to solve any of the others, and there are consequences far worse than not achieving our greatness at stake.

 

 

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