Some citizens do not merely dislike Donald Trump. They hate him. The term “Trump haters” has become part of the political lexicon. It is not just his policies they loath but the man himself. Hatred for the president did not stop during his recent bout with COVID-19. Sadly, some of his opponents explicitly stated they wished he would die.
Many people appeal to religious reasons for not hating others. Christians are commanded to love their enemies, rather than hate them. The Book of Proverbs enjoins us not to “gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice.”
There are also good secular reasons for not hating. If every human has inherent dignity and worth, no matter what they have done in life, then hating diminishes and dehumanizes both the hater and the person hated. It blinds us to any good another person may have accomplished. We become biased in our judgments and forfeit our impartiality.
Taking issue with a presidential candidate’s policy prescriptions is fair game. But good citizenship requires us to steer clear of expressing hatred for a presidential candidate, regardless of party affiliation.