If you’re like me, you have two very opinionated beings occupying your shoulders. One has enough sense and diplomacy to handle people that insist on making the world an unbearable place for others. The other would probably rip those peoples’ throats out if they could. These entities have likely been more vocal than usual lately, what with the current climate we’re experiencing; where every single issue has two sides and merits a heated debate. What’s at the center of these debates changes from day to day but lately the issue of incivility seems to be the crux of many arguments. In general, incivility is being hefted around, throughout the media, from both sides of the political aisle.
Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy has resulted in the separation of thousands of immigrant children from their parents as they attempt to seek asylum in this country. Images of these children being housed in the cages of detention centers have rightfully caused a national uproar.
You would think that we would all be on the same side when it comes to blatant assault on human rights but think again.
Naturally, Trump’s die-hard defenders have spoken out to defend him and the inhumane regulations he has enforced; sometimes in the most ridiculous and barbaric ways. Two of the worst cases I have encountered includes Fox news anchor Lora Ingraham comparing detention centers to “summer camp” and Trump’s former campaign advisor, Corey Lewandowski, mocking an immigrant child with down-syndrome.
This is incivility at its finest. Being so caught up in one’s own bigotry that you don’t even have enough decency to admit that such obvious mistreatment of human rights is wrong and unacceptable.
This is the type of behavior that Trump’s never-ending confrontational and demeaning rhetoric has wrought, and his followers aren’t the only ones perpetuating it.
White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was actually kicked out of a restaurant last Friday due to her part in Trump’s shenanigans. Days earlier, Homeland Security Secretary, Kristjen Neilson, was heckled by protesters while she dined at a Mexican restaurant.
Needless to say, both sides are getting more than a little ugly.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters has added fuel to the fire by urging her supporters to confront members of Trump’s administration if they encounter them in public spaces. Many have argued that Waters is only making the already hostile political discourse worse by doing this. Now there’s the matter of “civility” being debated in the media.
As someone who is more than a little fed-up with Trump, his defenders, and everything that he represents I’m not sure whether I should feel triumphant or embarrassed by the way people are responding to him and his supporters.
On one hand, we could argue that it’s justified. Trump started this “uncivil” rhetoric a long time ago and only uses it more heinously as his opposers continue to grow and speak out against him. His supporters quickly adopted it, once their wannabe “Supreme Leader” proved that he could say whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted without consequences, no matter how despicable.
Now that Democrats seem to be following suit it’s a problem…
In a way, we can see it as fighting fire with fire, which may make it warranted to some.
On the other hand, it also means stooping to their level-which no one should be okay with.
Trump is a pretty sub-par human being, at best. So are the people misguided enough to echo his less than articulate speech and beliefs.
Lowering ourselves to this level, does no one any good, no matter how good it feels.
I’ll be honest, that justice-seeking bloodhound on my shoulder was doing cartwheels while I watched news coverage of Sanders being voted out of a restaurant by the staff and listened as protesters chanted “Shame!” at Neilson. A huge part of me even wanted to side with Waters on the whole being confrontational with members of Trump’s cabinet proposition.
But then, that other part of me, the part that is more human than disciple of vengeance, had to remind me that two wrongs don’t make a right. As hard as this is for me to say, no one deserves to be harassed while they’re attempting to live their lives and enjoy time with their families, no matter if they’ve made horrendous career choices.
Being as aggressive or as ignorant as Trump and his supporters puts us all on the same playing field. A field rifled with disdain and violence but little common sense. It also makes it easier for them to defend, or even intensify, their own savagery. I think we’ve all experienced more than enough of that through Trump’s tweets.
So yeah, while it may be hard not to want to punch the TV screen every time Trump’s face or the artificial beings that make up his administration, pop up to spew a bunch of words we all know is as valuable as a load of horse crap, we should all remember that, in the long run, it always pays more to be the bigger person.