I Dare You
I remember when I was a kid that if someone (usually my sister) yelled something nasty at me, I’d respond with “I dare you to say that to my face.” Luckily for my mother and father (and probably for us girls, too) we didn’t usually go face-to-face.
Seems that today we don’t even have to be within yelling distance to say something awful to another person. With the proliferation of social media platforms, we can insult, accuse or be vile to other people without seeing their faces yet assured that they heard every word.
“He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.” A quote from candidate Donald Trump about President Barack Obama. I somehow doubt that Trump would sidle up to the President and tell him that to his face.
“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it.” A quote from Hillary Clinton about Donald Trump supporters. Hmmm – if speaking at a Republican Club do you think that would be part of her speech? (Yes I know that the likelihood is slim that she would speak at a Republican Club, but I hope you understand my point.)
When did it become acceptable to denigrate people? When did we hit the “like” button on name-calling and character slaying?
This is not a new problem; it was of such concern that the ninth commandment in the Bible is “Thou shall not bear false witness” as defined by Wikipedia as 1. Speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbor. 2. Speaking unjustly against our neighbor, to the prejudice of his reputation.
While I would like to think that whomever we elect into our nation’s highest office would have a propensity to take the high road, the fact is that neither presidential candidate has demonstrated that inclination whether due to a character flaw or the need to respond to assaults lobbed at him/her.
Finally, remember that whomever is sworn in will be everyone’s president. I’m reminded of something said by my best friend several years ago when a Republican was in the Oval Office. Someone made a disparaging remark about the President, which she commented was disrespectful. Knowing that she is a devoted Democrat, the person said he was surprised by her comment.
Indignantly she replied, “Well, he’s my President, too.”