We can do better than this…

Polity: A particular form of political system or government.

Compliments of the kids at Mabel I. Wilson Elementary School in Cumberland, Maine.

I have read that the reason certain people tend to use profanity to express themselves is often because they simply do not have the intellectual or educational capacity to better articulate their disdain for one thing or another. It seems to me that those who revert to name calling, as one might hear during an elementary school recess, are similarly challenged:

“I don’t agree with you and, therefore, you are a:

moron/idiot/liar/traitor/bimbo/ideologue/hypocrite/dummy/loser/fearmongerer/political hack, and a rich SOB!”

Well, okay, it’s unlikely that we would hear such things out on the playground (I hope). But you get the picture.

 I was inspired to write this article upon reading a few such abusive remarks on FB aimed at Governor Romney over the past few weeks. The persons who posted these zingers obviously don’t agree with some, maybe many, of the Governor’s positions that he proffered during the course of the election season (some of which I don’t either, for what it’s worth). However, if one were to actually invest the effort to have a look at his curriculum vitae, one would find that to suggest that he is a “[freaking] idiot” is disingenuous at best. That is to say, one may not agree with his ideas regarding the role of government in America, among other things, but it would appear to me that his intelligence, morals, business skills and grasp of macroeconomics are unimpeachable.

I have a couple of folks who I have “friended” on FB and who have since been bombarding me with similar disparagements on the character of our incumbent commander-in-chief. The postings from one of these have been incessant. I had hoped that after the election she might calm down. Not. Alas, I felt I had no choice but to, begrudgingly, “unsubscribe” to her this evening. Now she vents to the “cloud.” Enough is enough.

I have no doubt that the various persons to whom I refer certainly have the ability to express their opinions without reverting to such infantile remarks. Importantly, they should also realize that such personal insults are an indirect slap in the face to those who feel differently about the individual they are disparaging, which consists of approximately fifty percent of the electorate, and, therefore, which likely includes friends, family members and neighbors (keep in mind that Mr. Obama won the election by a mere 3% of the popular vote). That is to say, one must be alert to the unintended consequences of one’s words–you never know who you may be insulting.

A name caller may experience a brief rush of smugness as he or she hits the “send” key. But, in the end, those words only further alienate those who happen to be on the other side of the equation and push us all even further apart.

Stop it.

Clyde’s dale

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