How often did your parents freeze you with, “Don’t take that tone with me!”?
In that same vein, mocking the two current major party presidential candidates is so easy Hasbro should attach a “For ages 10 & under” sticker to the practice. But though it provides hours of family fun, it isn’t a game (or a tone) that should be so readily indulged.
Here’s why. We The People. See, there are many, many Americans, the number is in the tens of millions, who believe in what the Orange Crush and Hill The Pill are saying, whether it’s right, wrong, or simply Looney Tunes. So when you mock Mookie, you mock his or her followers as well. And all that does is push both sides farther and farther apart to the point where after the election when healing is needed for governing to begin, the wound remains open and infected. Then nobody wins and everybody loses.
We have already seen its beginnings through Obama’s two terms, but it’s a wound we can’t allow to keep festering.
Therefore, if you say you love the country at all, then all your mocking is doing is hurting the thing that you say you love. Because, no matter what the candidates say – and it’s funny how tricky truth is depending on where you are standing – America is her people bound by the ideals that formed her.
Arguing, even passionately, is fine and dandy. In fact, argument and debate is an import exercise in the expression of our rights guaranteed by the Constitution. But we have obligations as well as rights. And one of those obligations is trying to deliver a “more perfect union” to the next generation.
Mocking is destructive to that end. By its nature it walls off dialogue as it ridicules and belittles its opposition. Yes, it can be fun, and at times even serve as a potent weapon. But in the end it lessens the effectiveness of its argument as those being mocked turn off and simply harden their stance in opposition.
Then what? No matter who wins in November what’s left is the bitter taste of illegitimacy, which means we all lose, again.
The world is in the midst of a transformational phase, and change can prove disruptive. A strong America that believes in the potency and constancy of its founding ideals is far too important to damage with the self-indulgence that mocking represents. America needs to be bigger than that for our own sake as well as the sake of the world at large.
So, please, whether you are a Hillary Hater or a Trump Teaser, lay off the mocking tone. And might it be suggested that they do the same?
We’ve seen how destructive a polarizing opposition can be. We’ve been through a Civil War. Let’s not be the generation that fails to learn from that bloody legacy just for a few minutes of self-satisfaction.
If we fail in this effort and allow these two opponents to turn into bitter enemies, and with them their supporters, it will be us who deserve to be mocked for ages to come.
4 thoughts on “MOCKING MATTERS”
I see an enormous distinction between mocking the candidates and mocking their supporters. As voters, we are all in the same boat. But these are terrible candidates, not representative of America’s best. Are we supposed to praise the Democrats for falling back on the seniority system? Or the GOP for grabbing the nearest shiny object on impulse? The candidates, and two major political parties that nominated them fully deserve ridicule. They earned it.
You may see the distinction, but I don’t believe the majority of the candidates’ supporters do. They take the ridicule of their candidate personally. Didn’t say it was a particularly bright thing to do, just apparent. Don’t like the tone that it lends to what should be more of a straight debate. It tends to linger and infect the body politic.
The major parties will never get the message if we just keep bending over to take more punishment.
I’m very careful to respect opposing views from other voters. I go on popular sites, have extended discussions with those who don’t want to hear any differing opinions, and accept their insults and abuse cheerfully. I follow the same pattern in face-to-face encounters. The usual result is a greater mutual understanding that we ALL got screwed this year. Humor gets the point across better.
Let’s face it, we don’t even hold “straight debates” any more, just alternating infomercials. Lincoln and Douglas didn’t require a moderator!
Some may see your invoking the Civil War as hyperbole, but the level of vitriol is at an ugly & dangerous level. I pray both candidates have a plan to assuage the other’s constituency if elected.