The other day at work, two coworkers walked by my desk, and one of them was saying that he thought Obama's health care plan was a horrible idea and would be financially ruinous. You've probably guessed that I'm a liberal, and that I support out president, yet his words made me want to run over and hug him. Which would probably have freaked him out a lot.
Why did I want to hug him? Because he wasn't saying Obama was a fascist (which he's not - buy a dictionary), or Hitler, or Satan. He wasn't railing about death panels (absolute nonsense). He was making an assessment of the plan based on actual facts and sound reasoning, and he was doing it without attacking or bitter sarcasm or thinly veiled racism. And you know what's crazy? He had a really good point. One I've never heard before, because the voices of the people shrieking about death panels have largely been drowning out the folks with logical and well-reasoned positions.
And he sort of made me realize why I get so upset when people speak hatefully of our president. It's not just that I support him or think that we should respect the office of the president. It's that I'm terrified of hate. I'm terrified by people who hate our president, people who hate Muslims, people who hate people of other races, people who hate gay people, people who hate other people in general. Every time we speak or behave hatefully, we put more hate into the world, and just lately I feel like the US is overflowing with hate. I'm terrified of what that could result in.
I'm not saying the left doesn't do it. Only that the right's doing it a lot more loudly just now. And it scares me.
*Coretta Scott King