Since the 2016 Presidential Election, I’ve seen much that I find distasteful in how people are treating others, both on the news and my personal Facebook feed. Whether it’s people on the winning side acting like poor winners, taking a victory lap, or others, acting like poor losers, spewing hate and vitriol at the winners and their supporters.
I’m hearing from multiple people that they’re ignoring Facebook and Twitter, or they’re actively unfriending people because of the hate filling their timelines. I can’t blame them–they’ve been alienated, and they’ve taken a positive action.
The winners calling Hillary Clinton, Killary accomplish nothing positive. People calling Chelsea, Horse Face accomplish nothing positive. Hillary will have to account for her crimes and misjudgement at some point, which may not be before Congress or a judge. Clearly, Chelsea is Hillary’s daughter, and there’s nothing she can do about it.
The country faces very real problems that need solved.
The hate, vitriol, and, frankly, bullying from those who landed on the losing side of the election is particularly off-putting. Calling people racist because they disagree with the policy of person whose skin is black is problematic. Calling people misogynist because they disagree with the policy of person who is female is problematic. Calling people xenophobic because they desire a secure country where admitting people who will benefit the country while denying admission to people who have criminal backgrounds is problematic.
Why is it problematic?
The definition of racist, misogynist, and xenophobic don’t match the situation. Those labels’ meaning become diluted and will eventually become meaningless.
The mainstream media propagating such use of labels leads to many people distrusting them. The New York Times published a post-election editorial stating they were rededicating themselves to balanced journalism. Many people then asked what were you doing in the lead up to the election. Were you lying to your audience, even if they were lies of omission? For the health of the country, we need an active and honest media to keep our elected officials honest. Frankly, many feel that the reporters on the White House beat have to wake up from the eight-year nap and start doing their jobs again.
Worse yet, many people look upon those slinging wild accusations of racist, misogynist, xenophobic, etc. as being condescending and misinformed. They see the accusers as not educated but indoctrinated, mindless sheep who may have degree upon degree but choose to remain ignorant of what real racism and misogyny is. They see the accusers as ignorant of what works best, wanting only what will empower those on their side more.
For example, many people predicted Obamacare would fail. And now, not even a decade later, those predictions are coming true. While millions got insurance who never it had it, that came at a cost of millions losing their insurance, all of which didn’t appreciably affect net uninsured in the country. Factor in insurance companies leaving the market and the price increases for 2017, ranging anywhere from 25 to 100+ percent, and you have a program circling the drain.
Many see the federal government’s involvement as worsening the problem, not providing a solution. The law’s advocates say the detractors want others to die and propose more of the same medicine, which did nothing to cure the problem, but allowed the government’s operatives did gather more power for themselves.
People have awakened. They are recognizing that they are being lied to and accused of nasty things to which they are innocent. These people have power and not just at the ballot box.
They can say I won’t go see an entertainer’s concert or buy his albums because he has insulted me without cause. They can say I won’t buy tickets to this actor’s movie because he has insulted me without cause. They can say I won’t buy this author’s books because he has insulted me without cause.
Personally, I have a list of people I won’t support. For instance, Bruce Springsteen earned his place by calling George W. Bush stupid. Yes, a man who graduated Yale and Harvard is dumb. I’m sorry–that doesn’t track. And while he may have earned C’s, I suspect those are A’s at Ohio State, Penn State, and Maryland. He obviously disagreed with Bush’s policies. Many people, on both sides of the aisle, disagreed with him. He wouldn’t have run into much of a problem if he would’ve kept it to policy, but he had to go personal. And by doing so, he lost a fan. To this day, I turn the station when one of his songs plays.
Another instance is Alec Baldwin when he called for people to drag Henry Hyde from home on national broadcast T.V. because of the Clinton impeachment. Baldwin committed a crime (inciting violence) and should’ve been prosecuted. Plus, that’s not how democracy works–those are the actions of banana republic dictators. He could’ve simply argued that perjury didn’t rise to the level of impeachment. If so, I may’ve seen his later movies. But he didn’t, and I didn’t.
My sense is that it’s fine to hold strong policy positions and it’s admirable to advocate for them, but there’s a line where slinging insults at people (your audience) and being seen as a hate-filled bully is counterproductive. People will see movies, buy albums, and buy books from people with different politics, they won’t necessarily do so when those entertains slander, insult, and alienate them.
There’s always another musician, actor, and author who hasn’t alienated them.