Do I Hate Donald Trump?

Just after that election, someone wrote to me: “We get it. You don't like President Trump. You post cartoons, you criticize him, you go out of your way to mock and make fun of him. You are obsessed, and it's not healthy.
You have cancer, and that kind of hate will not help your healing. 
I know you won't respond, or you'll just dismiss me a right-wing fanatic, so I'm not even going to hang around." 

Personal Note: I don’t disagree with the connection of attitude and physical health. I think emotions like bitterness, resentment and hate take a toll on our physical well-being. However, I'm fairly certain she wasn't as concerned about my health as she was about my anti-Trump messages.
And though she didn't choose to "hang around," I am going to respond!

hate-question-headshot2.jpg

I hear this "You hate Donald Trump" accusation regularly.
People read my opposition to the Trump regime, and interpret it as hatred.

Apparently, it’s not just me.
Recently, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters: “Look, at some point, Democrats have to decide whether they love this country more than they hate this president.”
(There is so much wrong with that statement!)

Each time someone reads my comments as hatred of Trump, I assure them that I don’t hate the man.
I’m quick to point out that though I vehemently disagree with his plans and policies, that’s not the same as hate.
Criticism is not hatred.
Ridicule should not be equated with hate.
I don’t hate him; I just really, REALLY dislike everything about him!

I cringe when I hear him speak; his personality is altogether revolting to me. 
I find his egomaniacal superiority insufferable.
I detest his snide condescension and arrogance toward those who disagree with him.
I’m appalled at the way he demeans others.
I am disgusted by his obvious misogyny and blatant sexism.
I despise his racism and his blasé acceptance of white supremacy.
I loathe the extreme nationalism he promotes.
I am terrified by his petulant, unstable temperament.
I am sickened by his complete ineptitude to hold the office POTUS.
I think he’s uncouth, coarse, bad-mannered and crude.  

Do I hate Donald Trump?
No, of course not.

And that’s what I tell myself.
To console myself.

To be safe, and to satisfy an internal nagging, I've done my share of mental, spiritual and emotional gymnastics to rationalize the intensity of my negative, not-hate feelings. I sometimes wrap it in my sense of patriotic duty—my disdain for all he’s doing to our country.
My intense feelings for Trump are merely in contrast to my great love and respect for America.
That's it. I'm a patriot!

I remind myself that my disapproval and hostility are shared by seasoned journalists (those deemed “Fake”), sincere people of faith, sensible politicians of both Parties and many average citizens.
We don’t hate him.

I’m careful to use appropriate synonyms, designed to make it sound more…palatable.

Loathe.
Detest.
Despise.
Abhor.

I always draw the line at calling it hate.
It gives me comfort.
Momentarily.

Then he does something else.

A Tweet...
A speech...
An executive order…
A cabinet appointment…
A rant on Fox & Friends

And those severe, difficult-to-deny feelings rage back to the forefront.
Along with that nagging accusation: Do I hate Donald Trump?

So, when I’m alone, with my innermost, unfiltered thoughts, I allow myself to candidly address that recurring, uncomfortable question. (Remember, I listen to my critics!)
In the quietness of my heart, as I hold myself up to the cleansing light of the Indwelling Divine, praying for the darkness inside me to be revealed, I’m compelled to ask: Do I hate Donald Trump?

Please know: this is not something I take lightly.
Hate goes against what I hold to be the essential premise…the founding premise…of my faith.
Jesus called His followers to Love!
God is love.

Do I hate Donald Trump?

For me, hate violates what it means to be a Christian.
Hell, it violates what it means to human!
Such an emotion in me is frightening!
One human, hating another human, is dreadful.
Owning up to hating someone is distasteful for me.

Do I hate Donald Trump?

Admittedly, I don’t find him a lovable man.
I can't point to a single quality in him that merits my respect. (That's what I tell those who insist I respect the office of President!
I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, and have limited mental health training; I can’t adequately or accurately analyze him.
Nonetheless, I do believe he’s a sad, insecure man who lives a persona of outward confidence.
I see dangerous aspects of narcissism.
I think he’s a pathological liar.
I also believe he’s a sociopath.

That's just more justification, isn’t it? 
Trying to make my feelings towards him more…acceptable.
Love shouldn’t be based on the merits of the other person, should it?

This is about me!
Do I hate Donald Trump?

trump-voodoo-doll.jpg

Unlike his hateful attitude toward so many, I don't wish him harm.
(Did you get that, NSA?)

I’m a pacifist, and don’t promote or condone violence.
I don’t muse about him choking on a giant donut, dying of a coronary on the golf course, being killed by one of his rabid gun-loving zealots, or assassinated by a rival demagogue or jealous oligarch.
I also don't allow such discussions about Trump on my Facebook page
(Following the election, I made a promise about how I would talk about him.)

Do I hate Donald Trump?

Let me be brutally honest.
If I don’t hate him, I’m probably as close to hate as I’ve ever known myself to be.
I hear echoes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in my head; I (objectively) understand that kind of internal conflict.

hate-adjacent-houses.jpg

It's not a confession that brings me pride, or comfort.
I am disgusted by this reality!
It's an admission I usually reserve for my private meditations, heard only by my judgmental conscience and my gracious, forgiving God.

I may not hate Donald Trump, but I’m clearly hate-adjacent.
If “Hate” was a house, I’d (at least) live in the shanty next door.
If “Hate” were a campground, I’ve pitched my tent as close to the fire as possible.


God, grant me grace to be an expression of your love!
(Even to Donald Trump.)

 

Author's Note: For the record, I do not see criticism, disagreement or opposition as the equivalent of hate. I am not agreeing with those who try to make them synonymous. (That's a deflectory tactic.)
For me, this is a deeply spiritual exercise; I'm seeking to honestly examine and evaluate my own feelings when I engage in those activities.  

Furthermore, I want to make it clear that recognition/acknowledgment of my feelings should not be interpreted as capitulation or resignation to the reality of Trump. This public transparency definitely should not be seen as ammunition to throw at me when I crticize and mock Trump. As I pray for divine grace in my heart, I will continue to stand up and speak out against this horrible man and all the damage he and his regime are doing to my country.
Trust me: I can multi-task!