Of all the people

One of my favorite bosses had a unique way of not saying something bad about another person, while getting his point across. He would say about the person who consistently wronged others, “Of all the people in the world, he certainly is one of them.”

This comment would draw the appropriate chuckle. I mention this as name calling and insulting folks are becoming too much the norm. Civil discourse is increasingly rare. It is important to respond to some criticism, but do so without stooping to the level of the offender, who is baiting you. And, sometimes it is best not to respond at all.

A good example is arguing with folks like Donald Trump. He wants a mud fight, as his arguments are so poor. He would rather engage in a Twitter fight, so he can feign being insulted and attack back. Plus, with only 140 characters, it is easier for him to call someone the devil, crooked, stupid, weak, loser, ugly, etc. than actually debate points. Like many narcissists, he has a hard time seeing his role in the argument.

The best thing to do with folks like a Trump is push back with civil disagreement. I have said before being politically incorrect does not give anyone the right to lie or be a jerk. It does not give anyone the right to name call or demean people. A disarming comment is to say “I understand your points, but do not agree with them.” This works with many who feel if you just understood their arguments, you would agree with them, so it is an unnerving comeback.

Yet, when faced with such a mean-spirited and divisive person, we cannot be silent. Trump is relentless in his attacks and uses a false bravado that carries more weight than it should. My grandmother said the louder someone shouts, the worse his argument. Also, be very respectful of quiet strength. My grandfather said little and rarely raised his voice, but you listened when he talked.

We must stick to the issues and when Trump attacks with venom, focus on the attack and push back with data and conviction. His attack on Muslim American parents who lost a son in Iraq was not only wrong and spiteful, it also revealed extremely poor judgment that he actually thought it was a good idea to attack a family who lost a son fighting for our country. Yet, that is the nature of the man, as for some reason, he will not argue points, but prefer to attack the person making the arguments.

There is one thing for certain, a President is going to hear a great deal of dissent, so temperament and judgment are key attributes, that this candidate seems to lack. And, a final piece advice he should heed is when you dig yourself a hole, stop digging.

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13 thoughts on “Of all the people

  1. Note to Readers: During Michelle Obama’s superb speech last week, she noted correctly that our issues are to complex to be discussed in 140 characters or less. The point may be missed entirely with that limitation.

    Here is an example. “The economy is doing terrible because the labor participation rate is falling.” First that is one data point and it is often taken out of context. The Labor Participation Rate include non-working retirees in the denominator, so it is declining because we are aging as a society, and it will continue to decline regardless of who is our next President. We are much better off than places like Japan, Greece, etc. I read today China has a huge aging population exacerbated by their past 1 child policy that was in effect for thirty years or so. To judge our economy, we must look at multiple measures and the story is we are doing pretty good, especially relative to the rest of the world.

    • Thanks Hugh. Would he listen to anyone? His son said he hears them in meetings to tone it down, but then he flies off the handle as he cannot take criticism and holds grudges, as in evidence with his lack of endorsement of Paul Ryan. Ryan retorted “I did not ask for his endorsement.”

    • Janis, they have rationalized far too many mean-spirited or flat wrong statements. And, they’ll have many more in the future campaign to rationalize. The GOP leaders will start to bail on him as Congressman Hanna did yesterday, in my opinion. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: John Oliver noted on his show “Last Week Tonight” that Trump’s lies and hateful comments are like a bed of nails. One nail would puncture your foot, but with so many nails they do not harm you. He said Trump says so many awful things, people grow numb to them.

    Oliver did strongly condemn Trump for his hyper insensitive attack on the Khan family. Oliver said if this man cannot show empathy for a family who lost a loved one fighting for us, he has no business being President.

    • Susan, I agree. We would not tolerate someone like this man around our children. And, the question that is not asked, why would you believe anyone who brags on himself and puts others down? To me, that would be sure signs of lying and shallow arguments. In business, if someone bad mouths their competition, it should give you pause. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: A story was written in the Huffington Post today about the disarray and confusion in the Trump camp. It was confirmed by a second source. Manafort, his campaign manager, is counting the days to the end, as he cannot control his candidate. And, Trump is not heeding cautions and advice from his kids or advisors. The article said Trump watches TV when not on the phone and will tweet at any slights, perceived or otherwise, attacking the criticizer. I just read where friends are going to do an “intervention” which should go over like a lead balloon. It is hard for a narcissist to admit they have any fault, as evidenced by his “rigged” system remarks, which is both offense and defense. The defense is I am only losing because the system is rigged, not because I am a toxic person and candidate.

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