Column: Bad Words Have Bad Consequences

Column: Bad Words Have Bad Consequences

There is no question in my mind that the tone of our national politics has reached an all-time low.

Once upon a time government was about the clash of ideas. Now it’s the unlimited battle of ugly words.

I recently remembered Liza Doolittle’s frustration in “My Fair Lady” when she sang “words, words, words, I am so sick of words. I get words all day through.”

We have a president who practices the art of hurling words like they were spears in an old gladiator movie. And regrettably those words are generally cruel, ugly and counter-productive.

Words can be responsible for intelligent discussion or they can be nothing more than a convenient way to duck from the responsibility of governing.

Tracing back in time when Donald Trump started his presidential campaign, dozens of public figures have been subjected to a torrent of abusive language meant to denigrate anyone who criticizes Trump’s conduct.

His debates with presidential candidates kicked off the war of words. Do you recall “Lyin” Ted Cruz, “Crooked” Hillary Clinton ,”Little” Marco Rubio, and “Pocahontas” Elizabeth Warren ?

One would think that after this president got elected the level of discussion would be elevated just because it is the most prestigious job in the world. But regrettably the insults and the diatribes just keep coming.

The president rarely agrees with the opposition party but why attack your own Republican supporters?

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker was one of the first senators to endorse Donald Trump. His reward for his backing is a torrent of insults ending with “Liddle” Bob.

There are so many issues stemming from a 71-year-old president’s continued use of insults. How does his conduct affect our children?

As a child, I remember school yard bullies insulting short or fat kids or children who appeared to be vulnerable. Our parents tried to insulate us by using that old expression “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me.”

Today we have social media as the new way for bullies to abuse their targets.

What type of lesson does the Trump war of words teach our children? Is it O.K. to abuse your classmate with mean spirited insults?

Some kids will argue that if the president does it all the time it’s fine to do the same thing to another person. How about those occasional stories about some young person who committed suicide because they could no longer handle taunting on the Internet?

Ten months into his four year term, the President has yet to score any significant victories in the U.S. Congress and chances are he will go a year or more with nothing to show for his craziness.

Insulting the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker may seem like good sport, but it won’t be easy to pass anything in a body where there are few precious votes to spare.
Words are the weapon that can destroy lives and maybe cause the next World War.

Over the years we have been blessed with presidents who knew how to energize, elevate, console and calm our greatest fears with the simple use of the English language. It’s time for this President to follow the example of his predecessors before his words kill us all.

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