Why the need for all this hatefulness?

Published 6:50pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

And that is my point.

Not one, not a single one of the negative emails I received were remotely close to being civilized in tone and content. No, “Dear Ms. Stone, I respectfully disagree with the points you made on your appearance this morning,” etc. I had been relaxed and thoughtful in my television appearance. I had not raised my voice or taunted one candidate over the other with a roll of the eyes. I had maintained a respectful posture throughout. I did not deserve to be the recipient of such language and hate. Therefore, I did not bother to read any further and deleted the rest of the emails. And by doing that, I perhaps missed a good point made by an opposing view.

Scroll through any ‘comment’ section of your favorite political (or even entertainment or sport) site. Read the exchanges back and forth. Note how small the percentage is of those who refrain from name-calling and continue their argument in calm, measured, tones.

What has become of us?

In reading an entertainment piece about the divorce of the actor Danny Devito and his wife, Rhea Perlman, I glanced at a photograph of Ms. Pearlman and her daughter strolling through Beverly Hills. Beneath it, in the comment section, the first one I read stated, “OMG, they are soooo ugly!!”

A good suggestion might be, “Well, don’t read the comment section, then.” It’s right up there with, “Then change the channel.” But what that doesn’t address is why is there this compulsive need to articulate such hostility in the first place? Why are so many people around the world filled with the overwhelming desire to be hurtful? By not even considering to take a good, hard, look at ourselves and our beliefs and instead dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree with us as “idiots,” than we remain willfully ignorant to any potential revelations.

Perhaps we really have lost our intellectual ability.

And that is a far, far, greater problem than whomever wins an election.

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