The Gross National Debt

Monday, August 1, 2016

So tell me what you want, what you really want

I'll tell you what you want, what you really really want.

You want invective, rhetoric and insults. As long as you're doing the hurling at other people.

If it's aimed at you, different story.

This survey from 16 years ago rings true today. It's most common in the political campaigns we're seeing, but it's found everywhere. An extremely scientific poll of myself and what I see in my FB feed shows this survey is accurate. A bit more than half the stuff I see in my feed about the campaigns is attacks. Insults. Profanity and obscenities.

Stay in a thread long enough about a hot topic and it will degenerate into name calling, insults and profanities.

Issues? Nah. Gets in the way of ripping insults, one liners and reducing the candidates to sub-human entities.

Calling someone the illegitimate offspring of a hamster and a woman with the scent of elderberries is far more fun than trying to understand a policy position. One takes brains (well, in this particular insult, both take brains) and one takes the mental ability to find humor in someone slipping on a bananananana (then you spell it) peel.

It's far easier to insult someone than to understand them. You can insult and dismiss someone in a few seconds. May take you a while to understand what they are really trying to do. Understanding why takes longer. Understanding how, yeah, pack a lunch.

This post was sparked by a TV personality (I do not know which one and I do not intend look it up again) in a meme. The personality was directing a question to a candidate. The personality wanted to know what flesh tasted like. The inference here is the candidate engaged in a sexual act with someone other than the candidate's spouse.

Way to keep it classy. Way to keep this on the issues. Way to drive voters to the polls. Way to ... yeah well.

If these things were said about you, what would you do? How would you react?

And you wonder why really good and very qualified people will not run for office.

Debate is awesome. Get to the issue. Hash it out.

Other people have given me information that made me change my mind. Yes huhn.

Insults? Just reinforces what I already think. Dig that trench deeper.

Insults, invectives, ad hominem. As I've said before, we attack what we fear. That kind of behavior is an attack, make no doubt. Sometimes, that fear may be justified. Most often, not.

As a human, you have the ability to stick to the issues and leave personality out of it. You can rip an argument to pieces without resorting to name calling.

Will you?

Me? Yeah, I do the same bloody thing. I have GOT to do better.


1 comment:

  1. I wrote an article some time back on civility. The city and county were engaged in negotiations and suddenly the name calling began. End of negotiations. I think we all have a mean streak that gets control of us on occasion then we ignore both the consequences and the long term loss of relationships .
    Mike Geoghagan


Hi. I welcome lively debate. Attack the argument. Go after a person in the thread, your comments will not be posted.