In George Orwell`s novel 1984, one of the few outlets granted Party members from the stultifying regime of political correctness were the periodic Two Minute Hates: the face of Big Brother`s mythical enemy Goldstein, the official personification of evil, would appear on the screen and everybody would scream at him in rage.
Today, as always, there is much free-floating hostility surging around. And Americans, like all humans, tend to respond warmly to men who are good haters, since they have what it takes to lead us to crushing victory over our foes, those evil subhuman bastards. Senator John McCain`s appeal stems in large part from the fact that nature and cruel nurture have fashioned him into the Senate`s finest hater. He hates the "gooks," the Serbs, the special interests, the cigarette makers, anybody who opposes him, and on and on.
This kind of man can be hugely useful. If, say, extra-terrestrials bearing "To Serve Man" cookbooks were invading, there is no one better suited to lead us Earthlings against the space gooks in a war of racial extermination. In these less-desperate times, though, most of his longtime colleagues in the Senate seem to dread the idea of such a hate-filled man becoming President.
On the other hand, the bigfoot reporters who ride with him in the back of his campaign bus and listen to Senator McCain`s non-stop John Rocker-style diatribes have fallen madly in love with him, on the Straight Talk Express they get to hear those meaty truths that can`t be uttered in their own feminized, racially-sensitized newsrooms. The reporters don`t report 95% of what the candidate tells them because, of course, the hoi polloi couldn`t be trusted to listen in on such inflammatory statements.
The problem McCain has faced is in finding a socially acceptable target for his vast talent for hatred and intolerance. Fortunately, our culture has already solved that problem for him by declaring zero tolerance for the intolerant. Thus white males like Rocker, Joerg Haider, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, and the various Bob Joneses (there have been three) are held up in front of us for us to curse and spit upon 1984-style.
Being just about the whitest, malest, and most intolerant politician around, McCain is always at risk that the enraged forces of love and acceptance will devour him next. Thus, like a Russian peasant throwing his sleigh-mates to the pursuing wolves to buy time, McCain has taken to tossing his fellow white males to media wolf pack.
Thus, Senator McCain excoriated Falwell and Pat Robertson as "evil," due to their "intolerance." Similarly, he has denounced George W. Bush for making a standard campaign speech at Bob Jones U., an evangelical college in the fever swamps of South Carolina, on the grounds that the multitudinous Bob Joneses have said unkind things about the Vatican. And Senator McCain has revived the ancient but long-dormant hatred between Catholics and born-again Protestants, all in the supposed interest of fighting hatred and intolerance.
Obviously, the fact that the media is attacking anybody for disrespecting the Catholic Church is so wacky that it`s not funny. Roseanne can say whatever she wants about Catholicism, but she`s entitled to because she`s a woman, a victim of child abuse, a feminist, and possesses lots of other victimist credentials. Bob Jones I, II, and III can`t criticize the Church, however, because, well ... because they fall even lower on the victimism totem pole than Catholics. And, oh yeah, did we mention that they`re evil?
Yet there is much to be said in favor of good honest hatred. Somebody once explained why the painters of Los Angeles are not particularly good, despite the vast wealth of the local art collectors: "Lots of people in L.A. love good paintings, but not enough really hate bad paintings." Religion is far more important, and thus requires even more scathing critiques.
For example, as a Catholic, I am all for harsh criticism of Catholicism, because, when my Church acquires too much unaccountable power, it starts burning dissenters at the stake. Or at least it starts keeping Irishmen from buying condoms. In contrast, when my Church is down and out, as in Communist Poland, it can do noble deeds.
The solution is of course to hate the sin, not the sinner. But that requires some logical thought, objectivity, and disinterested reasoning. Hating people designated for you as "evil" is just a lot easier.