If you’re a Democrat, Eric Trump is disappointed in you, but it’s not the kind of disappointment you might think.
It’s not the kind of disappointment you feel, for example, when the president’s son arrives at your barber shop and asks you for a Richard Spencer. It’s old news by now that Eric believes that Democrats “aren’t even people.” Styling your hair like someone with a long history of dehumanizing people is one thing. It’s another thing to claim that your political opponents are sub-human. Eric?
Sure, it’s fine to harbor some frustration about the harsh way that Democrats have responded to the Donald’s presidency, but all things being equal, are anti-Trump Democrats breaking new ground on the topic of political saltiness? Not at all.
Political Unity at an All-Time Low
Eric’s harsh words for Democrats come as a response to the multitude of critics who have held issues, ranging from collusion with Russia to tax evasion to sexual harassment, over Donald Trump’s head since before he even became president.
The dissent for this president is real, and it’s divisive. Two million more American voters cast their ballots for his opponent Hillary Clinton than did for the real-estate tycoon.
Critics characterize Trump as bumbling, racist and incompetent. His presidency has single-handedly vaulted Saturday Night Live into a new golden age of political satire, spurring blockbuster ratings just when the program needed them.
But for all the ugly nicknames and disputed accusations leveled at Trump, no one has so whole-heartedly endorsed the “eye-for-an-eye” philosophy as he has, and conservative America as a whole is far from innocent.
Blind to the Past
The Trump administration has adopted a media policy the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Watergate scandal. He has openly insulted American prisoner-of-war and member of Congress John McCain — a member of his own party — when the two disagree.
It’s not just Trump who has shown a lack of ethics in pushing back against Democrats. Before Eric Trump could even think of his name appearing in the same sentence as the words “White House,” Republicans were treating Trump’s predecessor with equal or worse regard.
You’ll recall that Barrack Obama was the first ever black president of the United States. What you won’t hear is Eric Trump recalling the way conservative supporters like Ted Nugent threatened to kill Obama and Hillary Clinton, and even burned Obama in effigy shortly after Obama’s 2008 election.
Doctors and staff at Planned Parenthood clinics around the country saw the number of protests and violent threats directed at them nearly double in less than two months following Trump’s inauguration. The number of bomb threats reported annually around clinics has more than doubled since 2015.
World Wrestling (Trump) Administration
Even President Trump’s response to the liberal media seems to promote a violent and immature approach to solving political problems.
Recently the former television star took to Twitter to share a clip of him brutalizing a man wearing CNN logos as part of a WWE wrestling tape. Trump’s tweet contained hashtags promoting his feelings that CNN promotes fake news.
With Republicans increasingly nervous about their ability to hold valuable seats in Congress following Trump’s win, Trump went out of his way to support GOP statesman Greg Gianforte, even recording a phone message that went out to Montana voters. When Gianforte’s name appeared in the news on suspicion that he assaulted a journalist just days before the political contest was to take place, there was no response from Trump.
Gianforte ended up winning the election despite pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault charges. Of course, the story wouldn’t be complete without the newly elected representative weighing in (no pun intended) on Trump’s Twitter powerbomb. “Would I have sent this tweet, I’m not sure,” was the best Gianforte could manage.
Nobody’s Perfect, but Violence Is Not the Answer
Democrats and liberals are not innocent when it comes to using extreme methods. Take, for example, the unruly protests that forced Milo Yiannopoulos to cancel a public speaking appearance at UC Berkely in early 2017 and caused more than $100,000 in damage to the surrounding area.
You may be reading this and thinking “so politicians are hypocrites, tell me something I don’t know.” However, the larger point is that we cannot go on with this kind of discord for four whole years. It simply is not sustainable.
When you have a nation so polarized as the United States is today, the number of extremists on either side swells. That drives up the frequency of heinous events like the ones we’ve covered here up, but it doesn’t make them okay. To treat these acts as acceptable behavior is to condone them, and that is a path that we cannot go down as a nation.
Kill ‘Em With Kindness
Imagine if maturity was not an understood concept at all. We’ve all seen movies that depict cheaters corking bats, sabotaging equipment and even injuring the other team’s players in an attempt to win. Sometimes these things even happen in real life.
Politicians have always flirted with the line between the desire to win and the importance of ethics, but that line is breaking down. If the dominant paradigm in politics shifts from what most people today view as ethical and mature to something less refined, something puerile, it will be because those of us who see the hypocrisy in Eric Trump’s words cave in.
Jim Jefferies is a comic, not a politician, but he sums up quite well the reason we can’t resort to hate:
“Hate doesn’t beat hate,” he declares, and then qualifies his next statement as possibly the most hippy thing he’s ever said.
“If you choose to show those who are hateful to you love,” the comic explains, “everyone around you will realize that they’re the asshole. Don’t be the asshole!”
And that is how we overcome the dangerous direction our political rhetoric is going in. Choose to be better than those who want to take the low road. Don’t be the asshole!