I hope for a change in tone – as in a time when we can make a deliberate decision to remember the dignity of each individual person and drop the gotcha insults. It is only when we stop the ad humanem attacks that we can build one another up or maybe, just maybe, engage in constructive conversations to make good things happen.
Earlier this year, a commentator went off on a woman he disagreed with and called her names. Now a political operative tried to re-ignite the Mommy Wars by saying a mother of five had never worked a day in her life.
What? Both were wrong and out of line. They are on other sides of the spectrum but are using the same destructive tactic.
It’s common sense 101 that name-calling and insults don’t set the stage for productive dialogue. A name-calling, insult-driven rant may make for good television ratings, but it also builds walls between people and has no productive outcome.
Why do professionals who should know better stoop to conquer by insult? They do it because we watch it. We clamor to give a Jerry Springer “fight fight fight” tone to every debate. When we watch the shows, the ratings go up, ads are sold, and our national conversation stoops to even lower levels.
So what can I do to change the tone and raise our level of national dialogue? What can you do?
We can resolve to personally remember and respect the dignity of every single person we know. If we raise the level of our personal conversation, perhaps that can inspire others to do the same. Then we can get something done and make a difference – as in a positive difference.
Leave those who prefer to mud wrestle and insult to play their game, call their names, and fight with each other.
I choose not to.