With the presidential election looming, a deciding factor to capitalize on is being sought by both parties. Could it be the determining factor in the forthcoming election is not an issue, but a feeling? Hate — not the economy, not jobs, not COVID, not civil unrest — may be the determining factor in the forthcoming election.

This column deals with only one of the many factors in the election. Numerous other issues are at stake. However, hate is a part of the equation.

First, in the Scriptures, the word “hate” can have several shades of meaning. It may denote intense hostility, sustained ill will, often accompanied by malice. That kind of hate may become a consuming emotion seeking to bring harm to the object of such hate. That describes a segment of our population.

President Trump has accomplished much that would encourage his reelection. Candidate Biden is lacking in many areas. However, Biden is leading.

President Trump has personality traits that are offensive to many. He has made himself an easy target by his abrasive nature, his braggadocio character and his arrogant airs and graces. Combined, these and other traits make him easy to dislike and by many to be hated. He is the type of person you might not invite over for dinner if he were not president.

Many are willing to endure these liabilities in order to have most of his policies. Others would hate him even if he were Mr. nice guy because of the policies.

The issue is, are there more who hate him than like him and which group is more highly motivated? Hate is a very powerful motivator. Take sports for example, often teams are motivated by their hate of the opponent. Ever hear of good, old-fashioned hate? Armies go to war because of hatred.

If the president is voted out of office, it will indicate the hate factor played a part. His opponents consider it worth forfeiting the accomplishments of the president in order for their hatred to be satisfied.

The “Star Wars” character Yoda notes a potential result of hate: “Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Conclusion: The human race would be far better off without it altogether.

From where did the hate for Trump come? The Bible tells us. The “root of bitterness spring up in our hearts.” (Hebrews 12:15) and that hate comes from bitterness. This hate came from the defeat of Hillary Clinton. The night the results of the election became final bitterness emerged and has served as the seed bed for hate.

As a sidebar, a truth worth remembering is: “Hate does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to the one on which it is poured.”

Hatred is a poison that destroys us from within, producing bitterness that eats away at our hearts and minds. That is not only true of individuals, but of a culture also.

Put Trump’s faults and Biden’s negatives aside and study the issues to determine for whom to vote. Are you going to vote for the man or for what he stands? There are so many differences the choice should be easy. The fork in this election road will take us down diametrically different destinations.

In this and all things I prefer to go along with Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “I have decided to stick with love, hate is too great a burden to bear.”

The Rev. Dr. Nelson L. Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.

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richard plent

I like a president who doesn't let people die.

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