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‘The Threat From People Who Hate’ | From the Archives
The following editorial was published in the Nov. 27, 1963 Kitsap County Herald, in response to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
SOME DAY men will look back at the times in which we live and wonder at the hatreds that consume us.
We are civilized people. We have a structure of ethics and morality that has survived for two thousand years. We have a system of government that has blessed Americans above all other people for close to two centuries. Our technical achievements are astonishing. Our wealth is the greatest in human history.
Beyond that, Americans have a sense of unity that few other nations have ever achieved. We are free as no other men on earth are free.
We have all these things, yet we are at the mercy of a hate-filled man with a gun.
The hate that tortured the man who killed our President is no new thing to our generation. We have seem the same hatred in others who bombed a church filled with children, who assaulted our ambassador to the United Nations, who accused the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court of treason.
There is racial violence in our cities. In our small towns there are nameless voices on the telephones, threatens from bitter, frightened people.
These things are all around us. Too many of us ignore them.
Americans have always had differences of opinions. The glory of our political system is its ability to allow their free expression while retaining a central unity and sense of purpose.
But such a system offers no comfort to fanatics.
It has no remedy for those who hate the risks and the awful responsibilities of self-government. It was created for moderate people with a common sense of values, and extremists of all persuasions find themselves united in their hatred for our American structure of government and their desire to change it.
No useful thing has ever been accomplished by people filled with hatred. They can only destroy.
They are a threat to the way we live. Their hatred threatens all of us.