Last week a very popular political figure had to be rushed to the hospital. No, he isn’t a senator or congressman. He isn’t even a politician. He is a conservative talk radio host.
Though I prayed for his recovery, it isn’t his illness that brings me to write about him today; it was the reaction of some of those who disagree with his political persuasion. It was the message they sent and the way in which they chose to communicate it. But more than anything else, it was their rush to hatred and the language of hatred that I wish to discuss.
Several blogs and internet news media reported last week that Rush Limbaugh was taken to the hospital with chest pains. He was reported to be in serious condition. I found out about it on Twitter and went to the various links provided to try to learn more. What I found was something that saddened me.
Among the well wishes and prayers were comments calling for his death and requests for him to suffer. I won’t include here the actual words used as I find them horrific, but I wonder why people, these days, feel the need to spew hatred on those they disagree with. Why they wish them harm?
I disagree with many people including those who have the power to affect my life in a very negative way. I don’t wish ill upon them. I disagree with most of what President Obama is trying to accomplish, yet I was appalled to hear that someone had plotted to kill him during the time he was running for office. I was horrified to learn that there was a security breach in the White House when a couple crashed a party where they had access to the President and Vice President!
If you disagree with someone, what is the purpose in publicly wishing them harm? Do people think words of hatred will endear the other side to their cause? Show them the error of their ways? Not likely! Do they think that simply because they believe something different from what they believe that they are not human? Have feelings with families who care about them? Or is the idea just to inflict as much harm as possible?
If you truly believe in something, isn’t it your purpose to try to affect change so that others will come to adopt your beliefs? I have never known a time when the language of hatred had caused someone to adopt the opposite opinion. Ever! Wouldn’t it be better to speak with civility and grace to appeal to those who disagree with you so that they will listen to what you have to say? I have noticed, too, that many of those who speak out against “Hate Speech” are the very ones rushing to speak hatred of others simply because they disagree with them.
What we need is an effective way of communicating our beliefs. Art of Eloquence believes it is far more effective to speak to others in love and with respect. It isn’t a rush to heated words or stopping another from speaking that will gain the hearts of those who oppose you. I think, instead, what some are trying to do is kill the others’ argument. But you will not persuade another by cutting off his argument. You will only stifle your understanding of how to answer him.
Some thoughts on the language of hatred from the folks at Art of Eloquence.com.