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didn’t make it go away, or deprive it of its substantial role in motivating human behavior.It just meant that people got hypocritical about it. Some insisted that in certain sharply defined contexts—for example, within the bounds of legal marriage—it wasn’t the same, no, of course not, how could you suggest such a horrid thing?If you want to slap the worst imaginable label on an organization, you call it a hate group.If you want to push a category of discourse straight into the realm of the utterly unacceptable, you call it hate speech.I hope that none of my readers are under the illusion that Clinton’s partisans were primarily motivated by love, except in the sense of Clinton’s love for power and the Democrats’ love for the privileges and payouts they could expect from four more years of control of the White House; and of course Trump and the Republicans were head over heels in love with the same things.The fact that Clinton’s marketing flacks and focus groups thought that the slogan just quoted would have an impact on the election, though, shows just how pervasive the assumption I’m discussing has become in our culture.It was also something that all of them experienced.That’s where the comparison begins to bite, because insisting that sexual desire was beastly, horrid, filthy, etc.
To them, hate was an ordinary emotion that most people had under certain circumstances, but sexual desire was beyond the pale: beastly, horrid, filthy, and so on through an impressive litany of unpleasant adjectives.
No political campaign back in the day, as far as I know, used the slogan PURITY TRUMPS IMMORALITY, but then political sloganeering hadn’t yet decayed into the kind of empty mouthing of buzzwords on display at present. By the way, yes, I know that comparing current attitudes toward hate with Victorian attitudes toward sex will inspire instant pushback from a good many of my readers.
After all, sexual desire is natural and normal and healthy, while hate is evil and harmful and wrong, right?
In a very real sense, these days, hate is the new sex.
If you have any doubts concerning this, dear reader, observe the way that the same people who were sporting LOVE TRUMPS HATE bumper stickers a year ago talk about Donald Trump and his supporters today.