I can’t stand any more vitriol.

What do people gain by denigrating others?

Do they make desirable changes in those whom they attack? I doubt it. Do they alter their targets’ perceptions, and get them to behave according to their own beliefs and principles? I don’t think so. Do they create an environment in which cooperation can exist, or better yet, flourish? I haven’t seen that.

Denigrating the weak is indefensible, of course… it’s bullying, and it destroys egos, relationships, and communities. It has been known to take lives.

However, people today seem to take great pleasure in denigrating the powerful… especially those with whom they disagree. I’d like to know what they think they’re accomplishing.

At the moment, our nation’s elected leader is a man who is totally despised by the genti cognoscenti. I can understand that… in recent years, our country was led by a man whose hubris, duplicity, and contempt for Middle Class America seemed to far exceed his accomplishments. I certainly had no fondness for him.

Was he attacked by members of the opposition? Sure. He was called some absolutely noxious things. His wife was, too (and I’m no fan of hers, either, since the day she visited a homeless shelter flaunting $600 sneakers). Did this change his policies? No. Did this lead him to be more open and truthful with the public? No. Did it lead him to initiate dialog with those who disagreed with him, to see whether they had any common goals, and to create an environment in which cooperation could exist, let alone flourish? Nah.

Eight years after assuming leadership of a land where people vigorously disagreed, he left a country in which warring factions absolutely despised each other.

His successor is certainly a flawed man. He seems to speak before he thinks, and he appears to put as much energy into fighting insignificant battles as he does into solving the problems of his nation and the world. He has attacked and offended large segments of the constituency, sometimes as a matter of policy, but occasionally, as a consequence of unrestrained testosterone.

He appears to have way too much money… so much money that even rich people turn into Jacobins at the sight of his homes, his golf courses, his plane. His wife is too flawlessly pretty, like a surgically enhanced Galatea whose smile keeps a hint of marble. His older children are too successful (perhaps because they work in family businesses); his youngest child is too much the well-guarded porcelain angel.

The man is far from perfect… but he IS the man who won last year’s election, because half the people of this country preferred his take on the issues. They considered him more patriotic, more national-safety oriented, more economically savvy, and more likely to create an environment in which the middle class could stop descending into debt.

The calls for impeachment began even before the man was inaugurated. The results of the election were (and are) questioned. His right to govern while retaining financial benefit from his businesses was probed. His choice of successful people to fill his Cabinet was criticized… whom should he have chosen, neer-do-wells? His outreach to foreign leaders was castigated; his attempt to slow the influx of anti-American entities was seen as xenophobic.

That’s fine. If you disagree with his policies, his alliances, his staff or his actions, go ahead. Complain. State your facts and provide your back-up.

But don’t use vulgarity and violence to express your discontent. Don’t applaud a so-called comedienne who holds a mock-up of his severed head; while I celebrate her right to speak freely, I despise her metaphor in an age when America’s enemies are beheading their own people, and those who work for peace among them. Don’t send me “funny” Facebook messages that infer the president and his daughter have an incestuous relationship; don’t expect me to laugh when you compare his son-in-law to a feminine hygiene product. Don’t call his wife a victim or a whore and then call yourself a feminist; you can’t demand respect for women and then choose some women to be exceptions to the rule.

I did not vote for this president, but the vitriol with which I see him attacked has turned me against his opponents more than against him or his supporters. I get the feeling that his opponents want him to fail so badly that they wouldn’t mind injuring the nation as they take him down. No one wants Congress to dialog and craft bills that would serve the nation while pleasing both sides of the aisle; they just want to make sure He Doesn’t Get the Votes. God help us if there’s another opening on the Supreme Court; Deborah herself would be voted down if he were to put her name forward.

I have stopped reading messages from friends whom I truly love because I am sick and tired of the bile they endlessly vomit. I miss the days when we disagreed in a civil way, and spoke about people with respect.

Sadly, I don’t expect this little rant to change anything… but this was a message I needed to express.

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4 thoughts on “I can’t stand any more vitriol.

  1. While I disagree with a lot of things you said, I wholeheartedly agree with your overall point! There is disgusting rhetoric on both sides of the political aisle that is only fueling the political divide.
    Without getting too deep into political arguments, I do want to make one point. I come from a very liberal state, and until last year it seemed absolutely impossible to me that any sensible person could support any of our current president’s policies–it was so contrary to everything I had learned my entire life. The outcome of the election forced me to realize that my version of “what is right” doesn’t match what a large portion of the country considers “right,” and even more disturbing, the people whose thoughts, values, and experiences were so different from mine were completely invisible to me. I literally had never had an opportunity to learn *why* someone might have a viewpoint so different from mine.
    I think a lot of people in our country are in the same position, and that’s why I want to explain this “Anti-Trump Fanaticism” a little bit. The people who are taking the most extreme positions are doing it not because they are bitter about the results of the election or “sore losers,” but because they see Trump as an analogue to Hitler–someone with dangerous ideas who must be stopped at any cost. They see his economic policies as disastrous trends that would enrich those already rich, strip social security, cut off benefits to the needy, and undermine the middle class. Economics is a difficult science that is open to interpretation, so there are naturally different opinions about the effects of his proposed policies. However, for people who see it the way I described, of course they would feel compelled to do everything in their power to stop it!
    I think at the root of all this political vitriol are people who earnestly and passionately want what is best for their country–even though they may disagree on what it is. I think our only hope for moving forward is to listen to each other and try to understand *why* our perspectives are so different, because so much common ground is getting lost in the noise.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still feel the lesson of “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it” holds true. I, too, am so tired of people not even listening to dialog, just because your political parties are different. What happen to compromise. I love what you’ve said. They are the echo that has been in my mind! Only you say it far better than I.

    Like

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