Incivility, bad manners, hurtful speech has taken over. At one time people were judged by the way they talked and while crude language and boorish behavior was the way of the street in the bad part of town, it was not the way of those who aspired to lead our nation.
(Well not in my time — I know some historian will bring up something.)
But apparently it is quite acceptable now.
While I have already written that I am hopeful with the new President Donald Trump administration (one has to hope), I can’t get that awful video clip out of my mind where he is mocking a disabled reporter with broken speech and flailing arms and jerky body movements. I did not see it live but read about his mocking a lot and then yesterday chanced to run across the real thing on an internet video. Someone had posted it on Facebook and said he wondered how that in and of itself did not disqualify Trump to be president.
But I also heard a TV reporter muse that maybe we are in a “post decorum” society. That’s pretty ugly folks.
But you know for years now so many people have let the F-bomb ring out in all manner of public situations, including on the public airwaves. Vulgarity is common among all classes and in all places.
And to think, when I was maybe about ten or eleven I was in a little country store with my mother and a man looking for something down the aisle let loose an obscenity and then looking around and seeing my mom said: “oh, sorry mam.” Could you imagine anyone apologizing today?
So how do parents teach their children manners nowadays when there are no norms of social behavior?
I’m no purist or prude. I’m no saint. I myself have often been guilty of bad manners. But I am nobody. When the somebodies let us down, that is depressing.
It is a sign that our civilization is in danger.
And really, mocking someone with a disability. I guess he was criticizing the reporter. Now that is fair game. But how did Trump himself feel when Marco Rubio suggested that Trump’s relatively small hands suggested something else in his anatomy was small? He was visibly upset and fired back calling Rubio names — so childish, so undignified, and so scary for someone who would become — leader of the free world?
This is our leadership?
Yes, I’m still hopeful. And I even think Trump and his new administration could do great things but then again, if we as a society fall into the abyss of hate and disrespect and intolerance and inhumanity — I’m not sure this can work out.
No matter what people thought of the competition, Mr. Trump should have been shunned after he did what he did. He did not just insult one disabled reporter, he insulted all disabled people and all of society itself. He could have apologized. We know he has a thin skin and might have just got carried away — we could maybe understand that. But Trump does not apologize. At least I have yet to see him do so on any issue or statement he has made.
I’m hopeful for our nation and sad for the state of society.