• Charles A. Smith

The politics of hate?



Now that I am retired I have the freedom to talk about political matters. So here we go.

With all the demonizing of Hispanics by the Donald, I want to talk about the struggle between the politics of hate and the politics of caring. What stands out in my mind is the video that captured one of the Donald’s cowardly North Carolina supporters sucker punching a protester in the face as he was being led from the auditorium. The Donald supporters cheered. That’s what the Donald does. Success by arousing hate terrifies me. Hate arouses hate in a continuous cycle of violence. Please take a look at the Washington Post article, especially the video of the assault and the horrible comments of the unrepentant attacker afterwards.

Quoting from that Washington Post article:

Trump himself has not been quick to criticize the violence. After a fight erupted between protesters and police last year in Birmingham, Trump said: “‘Maybe he should have been roughed up.” Of a protester in Nevada last month, Trump said: “I’d like to punch him in the face.” In Kentucky, he said: “Get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I’ll defend you in court. … Are Trump rallies the most fun? We’re having a good time.”

My goodness. Arousing hate is dangerous. Do we want a President who sweeps up his supporters with hateful diatribe? Historically, other countries have followed this path. This man could become our next President.

By the “politics of caring” I do not mean holding hands around a campfire and singing cum-boy-yah. Being compassionate to another’s difficulty does not mean being a feeble pushover. If you want to better understand my view of combining caring and power, take a look my video about the origins of caring and the origins of conviction as part of my online course on the Development of Ethical Reasoning in the Emergence of Caring and Integrity.

As an example of the politics of caring I believe there should be a pathway to citizenship based on what I believe is a litmus test of good sense. My proposal:

1. The person should have no criminal background in the USA or his or her country of origin.

2. The person should be capable of speaking English at a level that makes common discourse possible.

3. The person should be constructively employed.

4. The person should have at least one American citizen endorse him or her for citizenship.

Nothing wimpy about this path. What other expectations would you have for granting citizenship?

Many years ago I visited my parents living in an HOA community in Florida. My stepfather had mellowed some in his old age but would have been an enthusiastic Mr. Donald supporter if he was alive today. As I sat in their air conditioned home, I could see a Hispanic man working continuously hard outside on my stepfather’s lawn in the miserable heat, sweat pouring down his face. I had nothing but great admiration for that man. He certainly would qualify for #3 on my list. Isn’t he the kind of hard working person we want as a citizen? If he passes the other three requirements, I do because I care about what makes my wonderful country great.

#anger #violence #community #fear #compassion

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My email:

casmith@ksu.edu

My location: 

Olathe, Kansas