Turn off the hate machine

Turn off the hate machine
Woman at a Trump Rally in Chicago mocking opponents of Mr Trump (E Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Go to social media, and you will find the America that terrorist Omar Mateen viewed: bigotry, anger, intolerance, self-centered behavior, hatred, radicalism, violence and fear and as a country, and a nation with little or no empathy.

In short, a place with not much in the way of morals filled with hate and loathing.

We speak a lot of American Values: fair play, equality, respect for the individual, hard work, the rule of law and yet those are not the values on display to one billion people around the world, with the click of a mouse.

Social media, Facebook, in particular, has become a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS, Al Qaeda and all groups who hate our free society.

Hate is transformative. It turns people into something unnatural and ugly. People who hate start calling evil good and good evil that is apparent on social media on a daily basis. One would think people would grow weary of hate and eventually put it aside. It seems to continue growing, though.

Here is an example of just how deep hate has a grip on American Politics and a case of calling evil good, and good evil.

In the wake of the shootings in Orlando, Donald Trump called for a ban on immigration of people from nations with a proven history of terrorism. The shooter in Orlando is a natural born citizen of the USA, but he is the first generation born in the USA. His family is from Afghanistan.

I guess there will be no Irish Immigrants under Mr. Trump’s proposed policy since the IRA is still in existence although they haven’t blown up a London bus of late.

Mr. Trump’s proposal is aimed directly at Muslims, who are a favorite target of his. His base loved the ban on travel to the USA by Muslims, its constitutional questions notwithstanding.

Mr. Trump’s proposal, like his views on Mexicans and others, are the views consistent with bigots who applauded the proposed policy.

Secretary Clinton’s supporters countered pointing out the obvious bigotry in the proposal and reminding people all Muslims are not terrorists any more than all Christians are not members of the KKK.
Trump supporters then took to social media with the false accusation that Mrs. Clinton cared more about the hurt feelings of Muslims than terrorism against the USA.

There is not a bigger lie, and one would be hard-pressed to come up with a viler, evil statement than that one. Anytime anyone, regardless of party, speaks out against a lynch mob mentality it is something good, and not something bad.

When I was a young man casting my first vote in 1972, our major issues were the war in Vietnam and how to end it, Civil Rights and how to implement the Civil Rights Act, air we could not breathe, and water that was so polluted there was real concern that the Great Lakes were dying.

We had hate then, too. However, we didn’t have a candidate of a major party win his nomination on a platform of hate, bigotry and xenophobia. Such an idea was beyond the realm of comprehension. Yet today, we have Donald Trump whose very foundations are those very things, and he wraps that hate in the American Flag.

America has always had the image of the land of the free and the home of the brave. The place where people who were oppressed could go to breathe the sweet air of freedom, the place where if one works hard they can succeed, where people are given a chance and where ingenuity and hard work are the keys to a good life.

That image is being destroyed. It isn’t being destroyed by an outside force, or an enemy, or a rival, this is a self-inflicted wound. There are a lot of old political sayings and one of the best is: “self-inflicted wounds are nearly always fatal.”

Mr. Trump’s hate machine is in high gear. He has a lot of help in churning out his vile message to the world. Since 9/11, Muslims have become the targets of hate and scorn in the USA. Innocent people, the vast majority of whom are good upstanding citizens in our communities are mocked some live in fear, just because they are of a different religion.

That is not the America we should be. That is not the Constitutional America that conservatives get all teary-eyed over. I guess the tears dry up and they forget all about the First Amendment when it comes to Muslims?

The biggest complaint I hear from the bigots is Muslims don’t speak out.  That is just not true. Muslims condemn the acts of the terrorists and the perversion of their own religion. The bigots just don’t care to read it because it doesn’t fit within their own hate narrative.

The LGBTQ community has stood side by side with the American Muslim community during challenging and difficult times. We stand together against hatred, violence and demonization of entire communities. Today, we stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Your grief is our grief. Your outrage is our outrage. We are all one family,” executive director Farhana Khera , of The Muslim Advocates, a national legal aid society said in a statement.

Muhammad Mursi, a local Imam from Orlando, was part of a press conference by law enforcement where he condemned the acts in the strongest of terms. Muslims are speaking out; we just don’t care to listen.

How the Republican Party became the party of hate is a mystery.

Blaming the Democrats and President Obama is the usual response from a member of the GOP. Even that is an abandonment of the GOP principle of taking responsibility for one’s own actions.

It needs to stop, and the Democrats don’t need to follow suit.

The entire Bernie narrative is built on hate. The end of the primary elections, and an end his constant diatribe about the evils of the rich has been a welcome change.

Any political movement, or candidate, whose movement or ideology is built on vilifying any group of people is not worthy of our support. It takes all of us to make up society, and there are roles and places for each and every one of us.

The politics of division is making us weaker as a nation, and the world less safe.

We need to end it and replace hate with meaningful dialogue about real issues and real solutions.

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