Donald Trump, Jr. Compares Refugees to Skittles. Democratic Representative Says Trump Supporters Mentally Deficient. Just two examples of headlines I’ve seen in the last couple of days. Neither accurately reflect what the person actually said.
Until we’re more concerned with engaging what people actually say instead of attacking our perception of their views we’ll never have civil discourse in this country.
It’s quite popular to snip a quick quote from someone, create an inflammatory headline, and blow up social media with the perceived “lunacy” of the person. We can certainly count on all our like-minded friends to affirm our attack without ever once reading or considering the actual context of what was said.
An analogy is an analogy, a figure of speech is just that, and context matters. Willfully exchanging the originally intended contextual meaning for an easily misinterpreted sound-bite is lying at worst, disingenuous at best, and asinine at all.
Can’t stand Hillary? Fine. Just don’t misrepresent her words merely to score political points. Think Trump’s despicable? Great. But don’t falsely represent his words in order to rack up “likes” and “retweets.” Just be honest when critiquing what anyone says or believes.
It is no justification that they are “wrong.” If they truly are, then prove it by addressing their position, not by attacking their person.