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Let’s set that simplistic reaction to one side for the moment, and ask a different question: what happens when people decide that some common human emotion is evil and harmful and wrong, and decide that the way to make a better world is to get rid of it?
As it turns out, we have a very good idea what happens in this case, because a first-rate example of the phenomenon finally completed its historical trajectory on the edge of living memory.
If you want to slap the worst imaginable label on an organization, you call it a hate group.
That’s where the comparison begins to bite, because insisting that sexual desire was beastly, horrid, filthy, etc.
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.
If you’re speaking in public and you want to be sure that everyone in the crowd will beam approval at you, all you have to do is denounce hate.
At the far end of this sort of rhetoric, you get the meretricious slogan used by Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign last year: LOVE TRUMPS HATE.