The catalogue of GWB’s crimes against America and the planet is virtually endless.
(From, The I Hate George W. Bush Reader, edited by Clint Willis, 2004)
One evening some years ago in those dark days when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were making America into a 21st-century imitation of the Third Reich, I was in a Barnes & Noble book store slouched in front of the “Politics” section. There I came upon a remarkable publisher series, a collection of I Hate titles. Really. For sale were: The I Hate George W. Bush Reader, The I Hate Republicans Reader, The I Hate Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice. . . Reader: Behind the Bush Cabal's War on America, and The I Hate Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity. . . Reader: The Truth about America's Ugliest Conservatives. No redeeming qualities for the boys and girls on the right – ugly as well as stupid and immoral. Ann Coulter?
I was bowled over by the irony. These “hate” books came from the Left, the same folks in in recent years who have criminalized hate and smeared their opposition as haters. The Left exudes compassion and toleration, the Right? – “antipathy for people who are not like them.”
Thus, we are now in the age of the hate smear, a variant of the Fascist-smear invented by the Stalinists in the late 1920s and 1930s. During the Spanish Civil War, the Left perfected this smear and passed it on to their progeny. Today those on the Left routinely resort to the F-word or its equivalent to describe those who displease them.
The Fascist-smear tactic of the Stalinist Comintern became the model for today’s hate-smear. It works like this. The accuser attaches to the opponent an opprobrious label (e.g., Fascist, Nazi, or hate monger) while at the same assuming the opposite mantle of virtue. The attack creates morally and politically dichotomous spaces occupied by the virtuous and the villainous. The morally opprobrious villain then gets turned into a cretin, a criminal, a mental case, and as such can be marginalized and excluded from any conversation or civil exchange. You don’t talk to cretins or criminals. You ignore them or lock them up.
The hate smear is a handy way to soil the opposition for a host of reasons. First of all, hatred is an ugly, visceral emotion – even physically distorting. It is easily associated with mental derangement and emotional unbalance and thus signals the presence of a personality both irrational and dangerous who is loose and at large.
Hatred is also closely associated with racial and other forms of bigotry and prejudice. The Nazi imagery with all of its rich hate-drenched propaganda and rituals is a quick and easy link. People who hate people, as the Nazis did, therefore are likely to be bigoted, dangerous, and crazy. What they say and think must not be taken seriously as rational comment or opinion, but very seriously as an indication of clinical aberration or even criminal inclination. Thus, there is no place in the political or social arena for people who hate: if dangerous, they should be sequestered and forcibly separated from “normal” people. If not they should be scorned and ridiculed, then ignored and marginalized.
The hate smear also covertly slides into an insidious “medical” ad hominem attack to use against the opposition. Haters, it is argued, are mentally ill. Their antics are betrayed by emotions which suggest that they are unstable or possess defective personalities. The hate smear aims to eliminate opposition and dissent without having to deal with it on a rational, polemical plane. To the extent that the accusers can make their case and convict their critics of irrational hatred, they are not required to persuade and do not have to articulate and defend their own principles and ideas with arguments and facts. From their own lofty perches of sanity and normality, they condescend to attach the irrational disqualification to their critics and move back to their protected regions of normality and high principle.
Second, by tarring the opposition as irrational haters, today’s Leftists artfully counterpoise themselves as the morally immaculate, the party of compassion, people of tolerance, moderation and reason. This is consistent with the self-presentation of the Stalinoid Left from their beginnings as they have always claimed to be a historically destined vanguard, leading the march of humanity into the new and morally immaculate world they want to create. The critics in marked contrast are deeply flawed -- irremediably so. Their thinking, perceptions, and judgment cannot be other than distorted by the untoward emotions of hatred and fear. When in power, as we have seen with GWB, unlimited crime, the planet groans.