Love & Hate – the dichotomy

Love & Hate

by Richard @ Flexible Reality – Dec. 2nd 2019

The affection slope between love and hate has many intermediate stops, from love, to care and concern, to compatibility, to compassion, to neutrality, to preferences, to biases, to prejudice, to discrimination, to obstruction, to rejection, to hatred.

As every dictator and family court participant learns once distrust and betrayal enters a relationship the outcomes can easily degenerate rapidly. The covalent bonds which form between man and woman, or between a ruler and his subjects depend for their existence on a shared affection, affiliation, admiration, and a feeling of mutuality between participants.

Once that bond is fractured by an unfaithful spouse, or detection of corruption the decline in affection differs only in degrees. As has been shown in several studies, those with the strongest bonds migrate to the strongest rejection once the link between them is shattered by betrayal.

Members of minority communities and politicians are frequently the recipients of this cancellation of affection when the acted-upon perceive their faith and trust has been corrupted or defiled. In the political realm, this can be seen in the recent migration toward, and away from Marcio Rubio during the 2016 election as noted in Matt Taibbi’s piece in Rolling Stone:

“Thus it was no surprise that after Iowa, columnists tried to sell the country on the loathsome “Marcomentum” narrative, a paean to the good old days when reporters got to tell the public who was hot and who wasn’t – the days of the “Straight Talk Express,” “Joementum,” etc. “Marco Rubio Was the Real Winner in Iowa,” blared CNN. “Marco Rubio’s Iowa Mojo,” chimed in Politico. “Forget Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio Is the Real Winner of the Iowa Caucuses,” agreed Vanity Fair. Rubio, we were told, had zoomed to the front of the “establishment lane” in timely enough fashion to stop Trump.

…But then Rubio went onstage at St. Anselm College in the eighth GOP debate and blew himself up. Within just a few minutes of a vicious exchange with haran​guing now-former candidate Chris Christie, he twice delivered the exact same canned 25-second spiel about how Barack Obama “knows exactly what he’s doing.” Rubio’s face-plant brilliantly reprised Sir Ian Holm’s performance in Alien, as a malfunctioning, disembodied robot head stammering, “I admire its purity,” while covered in milky android goo. It was everything we hate about scripted mannequin candidates captured in a brief crack in the political façade.”

The speed of rejection for Rubio was a direct example of the principle I wish to posit. In divorce courts, as in the public spectacle regarding Hillary’s reaction to Bill’s indiscretion, many observers had difficulty conceptualizing the intricacies of the bond between participants.

Typically it is the weakest element in the link that suffers the greater harm. Within weeks of his St. Anselm College collapse Rubio was out of the picture in the 2020 race. For weeks after Bill’s admission, he got to sleep on the couch, and the public reaction to him hindered his remaining days in office, and how he would be treated by historians, peers, and the general public.

A tangential corollary to this principle can be seen in the initiation and subsequent public reaction to affirmative action and the “Black Lives Matter” movements. In the beginning, both were given generally favorable responses; but as soon as a degree of distrust was inserted into considerations it was not long before the appearance of counter-narratives appeared suggesting unfair consideration and the “All Lives Matter” refrains.

In the efforts to legitimize LGBTQ concerns the general public has been essentially supportive of expressed efforts toward normalization of gender identification and expression. But again, the counter-narratives appeared in the “Religious Freedom” and the “Defense of Marriage Act”. Political moderates began questioning the proliferation of public considerations which focused on LGBTQ issues, which some took as an attack on the validity of being straight.

Also in the public arena, Dr. Martin L. King Jr. and Elizabeth Warren experienced the fracturing of bonds which saw their support decline once they stepped out of their previously defined orientations. Even in the black community that praised Dr. King from Selma to the March on Washington, he was strongly encouraged not to go to Memphis to participate in the sanitation strike.

In Warren’s case, her attacks on wealthy privilege were well received and gave her a temporary lead in Iowa; but then the counter-narrative appeared lambasting her for not responding satisfactorily to the question of whether people’s taxes would go up to fund her “Medicare for All” proposals.

It could be argued that humans are very touchy about their affections and affiliations, and the subsequent ease they have in transitioning between support and rejection, between love and hate. Gandhi, Mandela, and King proposed that love is the greater bond, while Trump and the right-wing media emphasize the primacy of “us” and “them”.

Meanwhile, Havel, Sanders, Wolff and others assert there is a viable middle ground which we ignore at our peril.

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