Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sticks, stones, and words hurt, too

November 14, 2016 by  
Filed under Conversation


Louie Overstreet

While the results of the presidential election are not yet known, I am certain of one thing: name-calling will have an impact on the outcome.

I would venture to say we have all experienced episodes of name-calling, especially when we were young. Every time we shared this fact with our mothers — who were much more likely to be sympathetic listeners than fathers — they would say, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never hurt you.”

The 2016 presidential election has clearly demonstrated that name-calling can and does hurt as much as sticks and stones. And it can be far more consequential than the playground taunts we all experienced in our youth. The advent of the internet, Fox (Fixed) News, Twitter accounts, blogs, and Tea Party activities have allowed vulgarity to become a part of a political discourse that now includes the most vile sexist and racist remarks.

I can recall a time when leaders in the Party of Lincoln would never have allowed sexist and racist attacks to be associated with their party. Names that come to mind include George Romney, Everett Dirksen, Nelson Rockefeller, Chuck Percy, Jacob Javits, and Edward Brooks.

The climate today is such that followers of Republican “wingnuts” are taking bigoted liberties not seen since the 1960s. The terms that Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Newt Gingrich (nine wives between them) have used to describe women in general — and Hillary Clinton in particular — would have spelled political ruin at any other time in recent history. Instead, the election is still very close, just days before Nov. 8.

Understanding all that is at stake, it troubles me to no end to hear people utter the grammatically incorrect refrain, “My vote don’t count!” To me this remark ranks among the dumbest statements ever made. Suckers who make such a statement could be putting the future of our country in crisis.

Further, such ignorance is void of any appreciation for history. As Dean Inge noted, “The enemies of freedom do not argue; they shout and shoot.”

As it pertains to the Nov. 8 election, all that is needed to update Inge’s observation is to add “they name-call and vote too.”

Please don’t allow name-calling and voting by others rob you of your future and your freedom. Go vote, too!

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