Thursday, June 23, 2016
On Death Threats as a Tool for Proving One's Civility
I just wanted take a moment to tip my hat (well, more like my graying widow's peak) to my good buddy, Jared Yates Sexton. For those who don't already know, Jared wrote about some of the ugliness at a Trump rally he'd attended. When it went viral, some Trump supporters decided that the best way to counter his claims and improve their self-image was... you guessed it... to troll him and issue death threats.
For the record, like Jared, I don't think that all Trump supporters are bigots and cowards. In fact, what especially impressed me was how Jared treated his critics with respect and tried to reason with them like mature adults (including the raging anti-Semite who said he should be shoved into an oven). As Jared points out in this follow-up article, that approach (which I'd say is a total 180 from what Trump himself embodies) actually allowed him to reach a middle ground with some Trump supporters, to engage in something resembling civil discourse... and civil discourse is exactly what we need (deserve?) but so rarely get in this era of soundbites and e-warriors who think freedom and manliness are four-letter words.