I’ve never been a Hillary fan. I think Obama was wrong in 2008, when he told her, “you’re likable enough.” She’s not. Regardless of anything else, I don’t like that she’s Bill’s wife. It seems so “banana republic” to put an ex-president’s wife in power. I think Hillary is pretentious and paranoid and opportunistic. . .but I don’t hate her.


In another place, I said that protesters are stupid. They turn people off, and they usually bring about the things they say they are protesting against. Yes, there is a place for protest, but it’s about ideas and programs, not people.

When I was a kid, I joked about the president my parents didn’t vote for. My dad stopped me in my tracks. He said we respect our president, regardless of party. That’s the way most people thought, until Lyndon Johnson. Although he pushed through many stalled JFK programs, declared war on poverty, and advanced civil rights, liberals hated him because of the Vietnam war.

The result? Voters elected Richard Nixon, who expanded the war.

Then there was Ronald Reagan. Liberals hated him for his “trickle-down” economics, and clamping down on environmental programs, and social issues. They hated him.

The result? Voters re-elected him. Comfortably.

Then there was Bill Clinton. Conservatives hated him, primarily for taking their issues and claiming them as his own. They mostly got what they wanted, but still, they hated him.

The result? Voters re-elected him. Comfortably.

Then, there was George W. Bush. Liberals hated him, primarily for the Iraq War, his “signing statements,” and for his failure to be a “compassionate” conservative. They hated him.

The result? Voters re-elected him. This time, with more than 50% of the vote.

Then there was Barack Obama. Conservatives hated him for Obamacare, and for his “executive orders.” They hated him.

The result? Voters re-elected him. Comfortably.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Americans don’t like hatred. While it may rile up your base, a party’s base is no longer enough to win—and independents are becoming a larger portion of the electorate. Independents hear screaming, hateful people, and they don’t think, “I wonder why they’re so upset?” They think, “what obnoxious people, I don’t want to be with them.”

Angry people quickly become tedious. So why don’t they catch on?

It’s been said that anger comes from fear. If you feel powerless, you want to strike out. But if you feel safe, and in control, you don’t get angry. When confronted with something or someone they don’t like, the person in control makes a plan of action. They know ranting doesn’t help.

But even if you get angry, you don’t have to hate. You’d think Bernie Sanders would hate Hillary Clinton and the entire Democratic Party. It’s obvious that the deck was stacked against Bernie, even before the campaign began, such as a primary system that front-loaded the most conservative states, to discourage liberal candidates. What was Bernie’s response? Yes, he was angry, but he didn’t hate Hillary, according to the Washington Times.

At a rally this week, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said Mr. Sanders “hates” Mrs. Clinton.

“He has read my mind. What a man. What a genius,” Mr. Sanders said sarcastically. . .

“No, I do not hate Secretary Clinton,” Mr. Sanders said in an interview that aired Thursday evening on MSNBC. “I’ve known her for 25 years. I have a lot of respect for her. We’ve worked together. We have disagreements on issues, but to say that I hate her is absolutely untrue.”

As it turns out, hating Hillary is an avocation for many people.

In 1996, the New Yorker published “Hating Hillary,” Henry Louis Gates’ reported piece on the widespread animosity for the then–first lady. “Like horse-racing, Hillary-hating has become one of those national pastimes which unite the élite and the lumpen,” Gates wrote. “[T]here’s just something about her that pisses people off,” the renowned Washington hostess Sally Quinn told Gates. “This is the reaction that she elicits from people.”

. . . over the last two decades, the something that pisses people off has changed. Speaking to Gates, former Republican speechwriter Peggy Noonan described “an air of apple-cheeked certitude” in Clinton that is “political in its nature and grating in its effects.” Noonan saw in Clinton “an implicit insistence throughout her career that hers were the politics of moral decency and therefore those who opposed her politics were obviously of a lower moral order.”. . .

In trying to understand the seemingly eternal phenomenon of Hillary hatred, I’ve spoken to people all around America who revile her. . .Strikingly, the reasons people commonly give for hating Clinton now are almost the exact opposite of the reasons people gave for hating her in the 1990s. Back then, she was a self-righteous ideologue; now she’s a corrupt tool of the establishment. Back then, she was too rigid; now she’s too flexible. . . [Emphasis added]

Motives for loathing Clinton have evolved. But the loathing itself has remained constant.

The Weekly Standard reviewed a number of examples of political anger. But ended philosophically.

Given these different passions and various kinds of anger, how should they be managed?

The Stoics, concerned mostly with the peace of mind of the individual, advised never letting anger enter one’s consciousness in the first place. “Once it begins to carry us away, it is hard to get back again into a healthy condition,” Seneca argued, “because reason goes for nothing once passion has been admitted to the mind.”

Few of us can avoid anger, Grasshopper. But we can avoid hatred, especially in a situation when we are hoping to convince others. Name-calling and hyperbole might earn you high-fives from people who already agree with you, but it will turn off independents, and suggest to your opponents that you are unsure of yourself or hopelessly out of control.

In most cases, as noted above, hatred leads to failure. Do you want the fun of name calling today, or hope to sway thoughtful people for tomorrow?

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