After calling out several people for spreading hate around through their postings, I have received just as many replies that the sender didn’t have a “hateful bone in his/her body” and that they were just exercising their right to free speech. I am unable to reconcile these actions. Because much of our Country is partaking of this kind of hate we should understand what’s happening.
The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology defines hate as a "deep, enduring, intense emotion expressing animosity, anger, and hostility towards a person, group, or object”. This is certainly the kind of thing I was calling out and that we see every day in the media. Many will blame the internet for this dumbing down of America and it certainly is doing its share. We citizens are the real ones to blame as we would rather read about some famous person’s personal problems than what that person is doing to help the world. Politicians have learned that they can win an argument when logic won’t prevail by name calling. The media have learned that they can sell more if they lead off with one famous person insulting another famous person. This is a lot more entertaining than learning about centrifuges in Iran.
Most in this country agree that it is heading in the wrong direction. What we must understand is that once someone is endowed with power, it is more important to them to keep their power than to use it as previously promised. It’s also much easier to be against something than to be for something. It’s easy to point out all the problems with an idea and to even make up some. Proving an idea is right can only be done by implementing it and with many wanting to prove it wrong, nothing happens. It’s now so bad that even good ideas that have been implemented with positive results are the subject of many lies about how bad they are.
The Center for Responsive Politics put the total cost of the 2012 campaign at over 6 billion dollars. While we pay much attention to who gives this money, (even if we can’t find out), we tend to ignore who receives it. Every penny of these funds end up with the media. With no assurance that this annuity will be received every two and four years the media has a lot of interest in not reducing or changing the way that campaigns are financed. By focusing on hate, anger, and blame, the media can keep our eyes turned away from the fat cats that are busy collecting the wealth of this nation. The status quo is what those in power want and by using a divide and conquer tactic they are assured of keeping things just as they are.
Just because we have a “right” is no reason to use that right. Each right carries with it the responsibility to use it properly. Hurling insults and calling names may be a right (freedom of speech). What purpose does it serve? One person gets something temporarily off their chest, but others are incited to hate. We still have many in this world that believe in an eye for an eye. We must make everyone understand that this just leads to everyone being blind. The issues are different from the people behind them. We must learn to criticize the issue not the person. We must learn not to vote for the bullies that are good at throwing insults but refuse to provide their own answers.