Every day we’re exposed to the ugliness of hate and war. What was once beautiful Ukraine is now the scene of death and destruction. Most extraordinary is the strong unity and loyalty the Ukrainian people have, no matter the sacrifice.

I have seen too much of the damage humans have heaped upon each other. Hate and fear, fueled by repetitive racist and bigoted rhetoric, have caused great division between people. Add to this greed and the desire for power, and you have the formula for violent action and possibly even war.

I was extremely alarmed over the weekend of Feb. 25, learning that a “National Day of Hate” had been proclaimed. It was organized by domestic violence extremists, including, but not limited to, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. I was especially shocked because this was the anniversary of the first bombing of the World Trade Center. In 1993, six people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured.

Some years later, at the same site, the 9/11 horror took place, killing 3,000 people and injuring thousands more. Andrew Collabelle, who worked in the building, personally experienced both of these tragedies. Poignantly, he said, “These events should be instilled in our hearts and minds to think united and be united.”

Following the traumatic 9/11 events, Americans seemed to come together. We were more united than at any other time, according to sociologists studying this. Of course at that time, we had a common enemy — Islamic extremists led by Osama bin Laden — whom we could collectively damn. We stood proud and courageous; our democracy was strong. We embraced the Statue of Liberty, the symbol of our nation, representing love and open arms.

It is difficult for me to understand the mindset of Americans who hate. Who are these haters and what motivates them? We certainly know of two groups that spew hate — neo-Nazis and the Proud Boys. They boast about their racism and bigotry. Along with them, of course, I must include ex-President Trump who made vicious and demeaning rhetoric commonplace. Trumpettes, such as elected member of the House of Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene have followed his lead. I believe her anti-constitutional ideas qualify as treasonous. She declared our United States should “divorce” and become two sections, red states and blue states.

Did she forget the oath she took when elected to office? She swore to uphold the Constitution and be loyal to the United States of America. Greene is also accepting payment from our government, which she is not supporting. Is this fair?

She is not alone in her extreme radicalism and hate. There are other members of our legislature who follow these footsteps. In my opinion, all should be removed from office. These anti-Americans have created mistrust in our elections, furthered hate toward people of color and immigrants, spread lies, and caused more disunity. Do these folks really desire a militaristic, autocratic dictatorship for their government?

I believe they could use some of my dear mother’s advice. “Be careful what you wish for. It just might come true.” The consequences of their wishes would be disastrous, and they would certainly miss the freedoms democracy offers.

One of the tragic incongruities for me is that these hate-based leaders identify themselves as Republicans. The once proud and conservative GOP is being destroyed by the hate-mongering Trumpers. I refuse to call them “Republicans.” Our forefathers and writers of the Constitution planned that our nation would have opposing viewpoints, and would debate them in respect and support of our democracy. They trusted that the oath of office would be a sufficient pledge of loyalty to the nation.

Shamefully, in recent years, the oath of office has been trivialized. Truth has been abused and some consider our principles to be valueless. Our nation cannot survive with these eroding circumstances.

I should probably apologize to my readers for acknowledging that a “day of hate” was designated. However, I found it so appalling and antithetical to our nation’s ethos, I felt compelled to write about it. May honest and open-minded people, who are the vast majority of folks in our nation, nurture our democracy, support unity among people, and truly love our neighbors.

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