Mom always taught me that hating anyone was a step too far. One shouldn’t hate, she said.
OK, Mom, but you won’t mind if I declare my unabashed, unapologetic hatred for the political climate that has infected the atmosphere. I’m glad Mom and Dad aren’t around to see what has happened to our nation . . . not that either of them were particularly political.
Who’s to blame for this? I’m going to lay most of it at the feet of the man elected to “unify” the country. The president of the United States promised to be a unifier once he took office. Donald Trump touts his “promises made, promises kept.” Mr. President, you have failed miserably at keeping this promise.
Trump doesn’t own this poisonous atmosphere exclusively. I’ll concede readily that his political foes continue to whip up the frenzy against him. I also will concede that many of them — I include myself — were stunned speechless Election Night 2016 when the TV networks and other news outlets declared Trump the winner over Hillary Rodham Clinton.
At one level, it’s hard to fathom that event happening. Thus, it well might be that we haven’t gotten over it.
So, Trump knows that. Has he done anything to reach out? Has he sought to mollify the concerns of those who opposed him at the ballot box, those who comprise a solid plurality of Americans who voted for the candidate who lost the Electoral College?
No. He hasn’t. Indeed, he has fanned the embers, whipping them into a firestorm. He speaks only to his “base,” the roughly 38 percent of Americans who stand by their guy. He fires ’em up! He speaks of waves of criminals pouring into the country to commit mayhem; he talks about building that damn wall across our southern border; he threatens to shut the government down if Congress doesn’t pay for it (he has given up trying to get Mexico to pay for it).
The president had the utter gall to say that there were “good people on both sides” of a riot in Charlottesville, Va., in which one of the sides comprised Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists. How in the world does that unify anyone?
The debate atmosphere has become toxic to the max. There appears to be no end to it. Democrats and Republicans detest each other. The president detests Democrats, accusing them of wanting a nation full of lawbreakers, of wanting to take people’s guns away from them.
Donald J. Trump is largely responsible for fomenting an atmosphere of poisonous rhetoric.
It is worth every ounce of hate I can muster.