An age of ad hominem
Last week saw a major gaffe come from a well-known, albeit paltry, comedian – Kathy Griffin.
Early last week Griffin was photographed holding a dismembered bloody likeness of President Donald Trump’s head. Cries of disapproval were immediately hurled at Griffin, while sounds of applause were no where to be found – surprisingly. Many Conservatives, and some Liberals, called the display a threat against the president, and CNN dropped Griffin faster than you can say “D-List.”
While this news story could be brushed off as an isolated incident, it most assuredly is not. Whether it is Alec Baldwin using a gay slur toward a photographer, or Mel Gibson going off on an anti-Semitic tirade, this has been an issue for sometime. What we have seen over the last decade is an utter collapse of human decency within American society. This is not an issue of right or left politics, but a matter of character.
Imagine for a second that you are Barron Trump and you see a photo of a woman, whom you do not know, holding up a bloody likeness of your father’s head. Now imagine that you are Malia or Sasha Obama and you see that some woman named Pamela Taylor from Clay, West Virginia called your mother an “ape in heels.” Imagine that you are an racial minority in this country – which won’t have to be imagined for many – and someone yells at you to “Go back where you came from,” while you are walking down the street. Imagine you are a college student who is harassed by family members and called a “libtard” because you supported Bernie Sanders. Lastly, imagine you are a lower class worker just trying to feed your family, and you are constantly called a racist, bigot and homophobe, simply because you voted for someone different.
The mudslinging and ad hominem need to end. We, as the human race, need to be better than this. We can disagree – we should disagree – on many things, but it must never result in name-calling, harassment or any other form of personal attack. We need discussion, we need protest and we, sometimes, need disobedience to authority. However, our discussion, protest and disobedience need always be civil.
What Kathy Griffin did was wrong. What Pamela Taylor said was wrong. What racists say and do is wrong. And calling someone a racist, bigoted homophobe or “libtard” just because they voted for someone different than you is wrong. If we are going to call out hate, and we should, it needs to be eradicated regardless of which political direction it originates.
Lets strive to end the attacks. Lets end the ad hominem. We must be better.