What do Donald Trump, Ed Sheeran and Israel Folau have in common? They all have haters, to hear them tell it. And when I say haters, I mean critics, because somehow in the past few years the words critic and hater have got conflated and confused. If you or I so much as disagree with someone who is even a little bit sensitive there is every chance we will be described as haters. Throwing that label at a critic is so much easier than facing the criticism and dealing with it.
It's a brilliantly effective argument ender. Who wants to be thought of as a hater? The very word conjures up visions of red-faced, flaming-torch carrying, pitchfork-waving, spittle-spraying vigilantes - the sort of people you see at eastern suburbs pub quizzes at the end of the night.
People who mocked Ivanka Trump's absurd G20 summit appearances? "Haters", according to the brilliantly named White House deputy communications mouthpiece, Jessica Ditto. People who criticised the iPhone X notch*? "Haters" according to Macworld.
Not all people labelled haters actually meet the criteria. People who criticised Harry and Meghan's decision to christen baby Archie in private were labelled haters by the couple's fans. Actually they were just people with far too much time on their hands.
The hater phenomenon means critics are no longer seen as people with a possibly valid point of view that needs to be considered soberly from several angles and discussed rationally in order to reach a well-thought out conclusion. Nah. Haters.
The brand extending slogan "Haters gonna hate" states that haters don't have brains. There's no thought behind what they say, just an instinct to hate.
But hate obviously has some appeal, which is why we have phrases such as "pet hate" and "love to hate". There's now a dating app called Hater which matches people based on what things they dislike in common. Yet no one professes to love hate itself. Is it really that bad? Should anyone take offence at being called a hater.
Some of the sweetest people you could wish to meet were haters.
Jesus? Massive hater. Hated hypocrites. Hated people making money out of religion. Hated people disrespecting children and treating each other badly.
Gandhi? Huge hater. Hated the British empire breaking the backs of his people and raping his country's resources. Hated a caste system which determined individual's fates at birth.
Buddha? Not so sure what he hated. Diets, probably.
My point is, these weren't bad people, and yet they were exploding with hate. It motivated them. To change things, you have to get a bit worked up.
Jesus, Gandhi and Buddha turned their energy on the objects of their hatred and changed things. Without hate, none of them would have got where they did or made lives better for so many people.
Hate has got us where we are today. Hatred of Catholic church corruption led Martin Luther to take a stand and undermine ecclesiastical power on earth. Hatred of injustice saw William Wilberforce driven to campaign against slavery and eventually see it abolished. Jonas Salk was no fan of polio.
If you don't hate you have no taste. You'll put up with anything. There's nothing more irritating than a blissed-out love monkey proclaiming that everything is beautiful. This is why hippies became extinct. They did not have the dollop of hatred that's needed to survive.
Hate's a bit like nuclear energy or social media. In the wrong hands, it can do a lot of harm. But used wisely it can also do a lot of good.
*I have no idea.