Don’t be an asshole.
It wasn’t that long ago that some Bernie supporters showed up to protest at a Clinton rally. Sorry people, kind of an asshole thing to do. You want to protest something specific like her voting for the Iraq war? Or her hawkish approach to being Secretary of State? Or taking wall street money? Go for it. All of those things are fair game for protesters. But don’t show up to ruin the party just because you like the other guy better. If you like Bernie, vote for him. Call. Talk to people in a way that they might actually listen to you. But don’t be an ass about it.
Protesters at Trump rallies. How can you make the argument that Trump and his supporters are assholes if you’re an asshole too? Protest. By all means. Show up and disagree. But let *them* be the assholes. You can’t make someone else look bad by behaving badly yourself.
Again, I don’t think there was a golden age of American discourse when people weren’t assholes. Congressmen have been known to beat each other with walking sticks. The asshole has been with us for a very long time. But other people are beyond our control. All we can do is not be the asshole. Being an asshole doesn’t win the argument. It doesn’t change anyone’s mind. It doesn’t make you look smart. It solves nothing, moves nothing forward, creates no value.
And maybe we could talk less about how awful the PC police are and how it stifles dialogue if everyone could stop being an asshole. And I mean everyone. The world is made up of people who don’t agree with you. People who hold beliefs and opinions that aren’t terribly considered or intelligent. They have as much right to air and bodily integrity as you have. Disagree. Talk about the pros and cons. Think about the other guy’s perspective. Bring a little respect to the table. Not everyone has to agree with you: the world will keep spinning.
And then don’t be an asshole.