Hatred enhances your self-esteem

The knitting site Ravelry, which dominates the online fiber community, recently banned expressions of support for President Trump, which it equates with “white supremacy.” Around the same time, TV preacher Paula White led the crowd in prayer before Mr. Trump officially kicked off his re-election campaign in Orlando, Fla.: “Right now, let every demonic network who has aligned itself against the purpose, against the calling, of President Trump, let it be broken, let it be torn down in the name of Jesus! I declare that President Trump will overcome every strategy from hell and every strategy from the enemy.”

We Americans are becoming ever better at vilifying people who disagree with us. This taste for hate seems perverse, an intentional pursuit of displeasure. Hate disturbs one’s inner peace, as does being hated.

But the compensatory pleasures of hatred—in particular its enhancement of self-esteem—are underrated. Hatred is self-congratulatory. It involves expressing superiority to its objects, and patting yourself on the back for not being them.