Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What If We All Loved Bush?

When someone says, "I hate George W. Bush," do they mean the person or do they mean the politician?

If you hate the person, then you're being callous. If you mean the politician, then you might have some legitimacy. However, 'hate' is a strong word. A more appropriate word would be 'dislike.' And why would you want to hate George W. Bush, the politician? What did he do wrong?

Oh wait...

Seriously, if you're living in Baghdad and the President allows an air-strike that misses it's intended target and instead, kills your family, then maybe you have a reason to hate him. But if you're living in a swanky condo or your parents' basement (take your pick), eating Cheetos, drinking a can of Red Bull, and looking up Mr. Plow clips on YouTube, then what the hell gives you the right to say "I hate George W. Bush?"

Think about this, you're chilling in your palace (again, take your pick), balancing your laptop on your stomach, waiting for your significant other to arrive so you can have passionate sex, which means you're having more sex then I am. Life is good and you have the audacity to say that you hate the President of the United States?!

Look, if you want to hate him, that's your business. But at least have some justification for your hate. For example, health care, poverty, etc. But that still falls under the category of 'dislike.'

The Hek


Blake said...

Well said. As a politician, I dislike George W. Bush. No secret there for anyone who knows me well enough...

As a person, however, I don't really know enough about him to have an informed opinion either way. I've never met or talked to the man. Since most of his "personal" or "at home" interviews are staged to varying degrees, you can't really trust them to be genuine, heartfelt expressions of the man and his fundamental character. Even the "informal" soundbites are largely manufactured for public consumption and/or political brownie points.

Therefore, one could say I'm largely indifferent towards George W. Bush the man

Anonymous said...

If someone said, "I hate George W. Bush"....of course they mean the president. For one thing, the use of full names should have tipped you off. Second, we don't even know the person. Unless the person who said "I hate ..." knows the guy personally, then that's an entirely different conversation.

If you think about it, when most people say dislike it has a sort of rational calmness about it as if we can nonchalantly say, yeah, I dislike peanut butter or something like that.

But when you use the word hate, it has a much stronger impact as to the depth of what you feel for something or someone.

"I hate racism."
"I dislike racism."

There's nothing wrong with using the word hate. (Unjustified hate, maybe.) It's better than being tolerant of everything or being a relativist.

As for separating a person from which his or her profession is very much a part of his/her identity--in this case, I think it's unnecessary. Separating the man from the president? It's irrelevant. His ethos is very much tide to his presidency and it is also part of the reason why people voted for him.

Also, just because you're not in Baghdad or a part of the war doesn't mean you don't have the right to feel a certain way about a person's actions, decisions. Even feel strongly about a person's actions and decisions.

We are the public. He is the president and we are his audiences, his critics and however involved or not, people should always have the right to think/say, "I hate George W. Bush"

Of course, a statement of such vehemence should always be backed up with reason. As you said, justify it. Actually any claim should be backed up with reasonings.

Dislike is a very vanilla word. It's clinical. It's a clean word for a clean feeling. It's also a safe word. Dislike also doesn't compel actions. Change. If someone said, "I dislike X"--it doesn't mean anything to me. At most, I would think, "Okay, whatever. You might as well not have said anything." It's just one of those things you put in your profile: "So and so DISLIKES blah blah blah"

Yeah...I'm reading that sentence and I'm still thinking so what? It's like taking a poll.


Eric Rosenhek said...

What about the idea of respect? Do we take that into consideration when use words like "hate" and "dislike?" Should we even take it into consideration.

Anonymous said...

If someone used the word hate, there's already a lack of respect (in most cases). Or that respect is lost. Or that hate overpowers any respect.

Use the word dislike if that's how you feel. Use the word hate if that's truly how you feel. I'm just saying that you can't equate what other people feel--however strongly they do feel about a person, a topic--and think they should use the word "dislike".

Some people care a lot about poverty, about health care, the environment. You're diminishing the importance of their beliefs by saying they shouldn't use "hate" but "dislike".

You're talking about respect but you're not respecting the person with whom you're talking to by diminishing how they feel. Unless they said "I hate George W. Bush" and they didn't offer reasons or their reasons are not enough to hate a person at which point, you tell them that it's not a justified reason.

But if your point is that it's an unjustified reason because they're not directly involved in the war and they have a pretty good life going on--you're basically arguing why concern yourself with worldly affairs when you've got good things happening to you.