"Hate her!" So said liberal activist and actress Susan Sarandon when asked recently about liberal Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.
"Hate her!" -- two words that open a window into the unfortunate mind-set of many on the left and right.
A well-known self-described liberal Democrat in Hollywood once said that the thing that bothered him most about some of his fellow liberals was their "hate." It's not enough, he said, "that they disagree with Republicans and conservatives, but they have to hate them and hate everything they stand for."
A number of liberal activists have stated that they hate President Bush. Just hate him and hate all of his policies. On hardcover nonfiction best-seller lists, there are four books that spew varying degrees of outright hatred for Bush and conservatives. Hate is something that not only sells, but can now be packaged and marketed.
"Hate" is a strong, obscene and destructive word, and yet it is being uttered with more and more frequency by many on the left and by many who should know better. The crass and childish name-calling directed at Bush by candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination not only creates more hate and anger but should bring shame to those in that party who would choose statesmanship and honor over insults and partisanship.
To be fair, hate was the fuel that energized many on the right during their diatribes against former President Clinton. And hate clouds the judgment of a number of Republicans today. Hatred of the left can also be found in a number of best-selling volumes by conservative authors.
On the left and on the right, hate is a powerful corrosive that is eating away at the foundation of our republic.
How quickly we seem to have forgotten that hate attacked our nation on Sept. 11, 2001. Extremists blinded by hate and ignorance murdered nearly 3,000 human beings on that day, and the same forces are responsible for the deaths of thousands more around the world. Hate spawns evil, irrational thoughts and deeds, unimaginable loss and nothing more.
Those who enter the political arena, as elected officials or as self-styled activists, must not hate. The American people cannot afford the luxury of such anger. Our nation is at risk as never before and we need all of our efforts, all of our energies focused on solutions. Solutions that ultimately will only be found by those willing to forget hatred and reach across party lines and ideologies to work together.
Hate is not only a threat to civility, it is a threat to our national security.
Get over it ... for all of our sakes.