It was in a training session, a session led by a counselor and good friend, that I first learned the origin of the word sarcasm. My counselor friend grew up the oldest of 10 children. In her family, sarcasm was common and was even a valid method of self-defense. Her husband, on the other hand, had been an only child. He didn’t use sarcasm, and he didn’t like when she was sarcastic, either. The husband went so far as to look up sarcasm in a dictionary and show his wife that it meant “the tearing of flesh.”
In short, sarcasm hurts. Sarcasm causes pain.
When D. Trump “joked” that he’d like Russia to hack into his opponent’s email server, he wasn’t funny. He wasn’t clever. His claim that he wasn’t serious, just sarcastic, didn’t excuse his statements at all.
As if the tearing of flesh wasn’t enough, Mr. T went on to announce something even more inappropriate. He went off script long enough to encourage “Second Amendment People” to do something (he didn’t state it; he didn’t need to) about the possibility of progressive justices and the presidential candidate that might appoint them.
This time, D. Trump didn’t claim sarcasm. He said he’d meant gun rights advocates should gather together, organize, vote. Heavens to Betsy, he didn’t mean shoot someone! Ha. Ha. Ha.
In a land where gun violence dominates our headlines, comments like this are far from funny. A speaker encouraging gun violence isn’t clever. He is, however, crystal clear in his motive. Just as in his use of sarcasm, he wants to harm his opponent, hurt her, cause her pain, no matter how it gets done.
When Hillary Clinton speaks, she speaks clearly. She says what she means, and she stays consistent. She doesn’t resort to sarcasm. Hillary Clinton thinks before she speaks; and thinking, analyzing, contemplating – all are strengths she has shown again and again. Sarcasm, the tearing of flesh, isn’t her style.
Readers, I started writing this post before the Donald pulled his stunt over the creation of ISIL. He just goes on and on, getting lower and lower.
On the progressive side of the ballot, we’ll do well to remember Michelle Obama’s advice. When they go low, we’ll stay high. Let’s stay away from sarcasm, the tearing of flesh.
I am hoping that Mr. Trump will be taking a long vacation from the spotlight starting November 9. e 19th Amendment people need to make sure of that.
About kindness: “Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.”
–– by Robert Brault