Most people have interacted with an unusually prejudiced, spiteful, or maliciously ill-willed person whose hostility towards other human beings raises questions about their humanity. In America, there is a scourge of malevolence towards other citizens based on all manner of bigotry, but bigotry does not explain the aspirations of some Americans to increase the suffering of their fellow citizens that are likely in the same socioeconomic demographic and share the same political ideology. Republicans typically support policies that favor the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the people, but it is a mistake to attribute growing conservative animus towards other Americans solely as collateral damage of the GOP’s deference for the rich. However, there is deep-seated malice among Republicans for the American people that is not founded solely in economic policy, and it informs that conservatives are callous human beings driven by seemingly sheer hatred toward humanity that Republicans have tapped into and propagated among their supporters for political expediency.
The level of hatred among conservatives, for what seems like all Americans, can reasonably be attributed to Republican politicians, right-wing media, and more than anything, a long-festering fear of change in a rapidly-changing America. It is true the election of Barack Obama in 2008 brought out racial animus endemic to white supremacists and bigots in the population, but it does not explain increased expressions of hate elicited from religious fanatics toward gays and women, suspicion and open hostility towards Hispanics, denying food and healthcare to people in need, and increasing calls for civil war.
In a West Point study on the growing danger of violence from right-wing extremist groups, they laid out three major ideological movements; a racist white supremacy movement, an anti-government movement, and a fundamentalist Christian movement that have always existed in this country, but they became the purview of the GOP represented in the RNC’s platform for the 2012 general election. This is not to say that Republicans promote right-wing extremism with a view towards violence against the government or other Americans, but their support for policies the extremists hold near and dear to their black hearts lends legitimacy to hate movements that are becoming mainstream among conservatives and having deleterious effects on the population.
Although the West Point study isolated three ideological movements threatening violence, combined they represent Republican policies conservatives gravitated towards after four years of rhetoric against the perceived Obama threat; change. For example, white supremacists and racists are concerned with what they perceive as the natural racial and cultural hierarchy that defined America up until the Civil Rights Movement and persists today, and their goal of reasserting control over African Americans and minority communities is co-opted by Republican complaints that President Obama is stealing from white people to give to African Americans. When Republican supporters advocate cutting food stamps, healthcare, and any other assistance the GOP hates, racist groups assume they are cutting assistance to minorities regardless that a higher percentage of white people use food stamps than African Americans and Hispanics combined. Republicans understand the demographic distribution of food stamps, but they know the quickest way to inspire support for cutting them is inspiring underlying racial hatred permeating the right.
Republicans have also tapped into, and garnered support from, the anti-government advocates whose main interest is undermining the legitimacy and effective sovereignty of the federal government over a wealth of issues from religious hatred of non-conformity to immigration to guns. Whether it is anti-gay sentiment, anti-women’s reproductive rights, or teaching religion in public schools, Republicans in Congress and state legislatures instigated a level of hate among so-called “Christians” that is wreaking havoc on women and gays in primarily Southern states. Of particular note is the religious-right’s opposition to women’s choice and the ardent support of Christian women for policies that adversely affect other Christian women with invasive probes, forced birth, and having to prove they were “legitimately raped.” It never ceases to amaze how a woman, a good Christian woman, could support a policy demanding a rape victim confirm they were assaulted or be forced to give birth, or deprive them of cancer and health screenings. What kind of deep-seated hatred for another human being drives a woman to help incur suffering on a victim of a heinous crime, or deny cancer screening? Unfortunately, the depth of hate among alleged “Christians” is beyond quantification, and on myriad issues from supposed “pro-life” advocates supporting gun proliferation, to “personhood” advocates denying assistance the moment the baby is born, hatred is the driving force.
It is not just right-wing extremists, racial hate groups, or religious extremists projecting hate on their fellow Americans, it is the entire conservative movement. There is little difference between Paul Ryan decrying wasting good government money on feeding the poor and the millions of Americans who support slashing safety net spending to provide healthcare and food aid to their neighbor, grandmother, or brother. It is hatred of humanity and nothing else.
Republicans have assailed the federal government for myriad sins from immigration lapses to gun control that is driving Americans filled with hate to start shooting at the drop of a hat, or mistaken address. In Georgia, a man walked out of his home and opened fire on a car that pulled up to his house after the car’s GPS gave the driver the wrong address. One young man was killed and the man was arrested, but the point is his first reaction was to go out shooting and it is an increasing problem driven by fear-mongering, the NRA, and ALEC’s incitement to shoot first. A human being must have an inordinate amount of hate to pick up a firearm and gun down another human being in cold blood as an instant reaction.
What Americans are witnessing today is the culmination of four years of ultra-right wing propaganda inciting fear of change and hatred for other Americans; all Americans. There is no doubt that people who might have been decent human beings at one point, have been poisoned by the incessant fear mongering and attacks on “the other” that represents a changing America, and America is changing and that is conservative’s problem. There is no doubt Republicans in Congress hate Americans, they prove it with every proposal, obstruction, and Draconian legislation they attempt to pass, but they would never attempt such inhumane measures if they did not have a large segment of the population sharing their hate for their fellow citizens. But as America changes, those who either cannot let go of the America that kept minorities and women in submissive roles, or harken back to a fallacy era where the Ten Commandments were immutable edicts on morality, are finding themselves in a fearful situation. The danger is when frightened people feel loss, and when your politician, television news, and church tells you change endangers your way of life, fear and loss give way to hate and anger; the result is America with a large segment of anti-government religious racists with guns and four years of hate looking for an outlet they are finding in Republican policies and on America’s streets.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.