Political nastiness: sadly, nothing new

Political nastiness: sadly, nothing new

By Ellen Ratner   
Wrong Way, Photo by Doug Christian
Wrong Way, Photo by Doug Christian

I’ve been concerned that the current climate of division and nastiness is the result of President Trump’s tweets. He certainly has taken to Twitter and blamed Hillary Clinton for so many things. It has allowed people to say things to each other that would never be OK in a modern society.

Some examples include:

  • “Crooked H is nasty to Sanders supporters behind closed doors. Owned by Wall St and Politicians, HRC is not with you.”
  • “How can a dummy dope like Harry Hurt, who wrote a failed book about me but doesn’t know me or anything about me, be on TV discussing Trump?”
  • “My plan will lower taxes for our country, not raise them. Phony @club4growth says I will raise taxes – just another lie.”
  • “Truly weird Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. He was terrible at DEBATE!”
  • “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”

One of our reporters was attacked after President Trump made the announcement of his pick for the Supreme Court. Our reporter asked someone on the front of the Court about Roe v. Wade. She had not heard of the case and then attacked him. She had no knowledge of what Roe v. Wade was, but was protesting nonetheless.

I have attributed this divide and nastiness to President Trump. It was President Trump, after all, who gave the term “fake news” that, in my view, allow reporters to be attacked. I blame much of what we have seen and heard lately on the chief of our country, because he’s the one who sets the tone.

However, as someone who adheres to my mother’s words that there are three phases in life – accumulation, stabilization and de-accumulation – I have begun as an older adult to de-accumulate. I have begun going through the papers and objects I’ve been saving for years. I discovered a treasure trove of materials, as well as nasty things from both sides of the aisle I’d saved.

Things from the past – nasty things – came roaring back as I sorted through my old stuff. For instance:

  • The opposite side made some non-wearable flip-flops that were given away at a conservative conference when Gov. Mitt Romney was running for president. They depicted changes in Gov. Romney’s positions. They were all different colors and they were not pretty in what they said. One said: “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard.” Of course, he took a different position when he was running for president.
  • When there was the famous battle at the Supreme Court between Bush and Gore, there were signs that said “Sore Loserman” for Joe Lieberman.
  • When George W. Bush was running for president, someone distributed a box of playing cards with the likeness of then-candidate Bush. The card deck had two photos of Bush as the Joker walking a rope with clouds in back of him. It had then-candidate Bush with his face imprinted on a French poodle, then his face as Queen Elizabeth, as well as several crossed-dressed as a woman.
  • There was a card handout when George W. Bush was in office was in saying senior people in his administration had violated their oath of office. It was called BushChainGang.org.
  • I had saved a cartoon that said “Ari Fleischer returns to private life” and it had him obviating when asked simple questions like “Cream or sugar? Ketchup or mustard?” He answered “On the ketchup-or-mustard question, we need to watch what we say because we can’t give you that kind of detail in this moment to decision, let alone confidently assert that we prefer one outcome over the other.”

These were not nice things, to say the least.

So … as much as this liberal would like to hang the nasty atmosphere of today’s political climate and its effects on human interaction on President Trump, I have to look at history. The negative climate has been around a very long time. Should the president do more and set an example for getting along? I think so; but let’s face it, political nastiness has been around for decades.

We all have to stop it. It gets us nowhere – as years of political nastiness have shown us.

  • Subscribe to Talk Media News


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.