In his novel 1984, George Orwell invented the Two Minutes Hate, whereby the residents of Oceania express their rage and vitriol towards its enemies. The daily ritual forged a powerful, even irresistible unified consciousness: “a hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness … seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current,” he wrote.
When Trump and Sylvi Listhaug attacs the media, or Jonas Gahr Støre, or islamists, it is not merely because such issues appeal to their base supporters. It is because anger and loathing in themselves unify and supercharge populism.
Vitrol is not just an extreme consequence of political beliefs, it is instrumental in building and mobilising rightwing populism globally as well as nationally.
Hatefulle ytringer er en del av limet i høyrepopulismen.
Når politiske opponenter og de som er sårbare blir dehumanisert og behandlet som fiender, så er verken debatt eller kompromiss mulig. Å håndtere hatet forutsetter at vi forstår hvor «nyttig» og virksomt det er.