The Coming Culture of Mean-Spirited Dissent

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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The Coming Culture of Mean-Spirited Dissent

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Mean-spirited dissent has replaced statesmanship as a guiding principle.  The maddening downward spiral of political retribution has become the norm.  The madness is magnified and given inertia in direct correlation to the speed of modern communications and the unleashing of vast amounts of money in SuperPacs.  There is no time for thoughtful reflection.  Every encounter is a duel to the death. Unlike the fabricated economic principle of trickle down dollars – the leadership behavior will trickle down to the general populace.

Civil disobedience was the guiding light of dissent for two hundred years.  Disobedient – but civil.  Henry David Thoreau and Abe Fortes were eloquent in their presentation.  Martin Luther King was eloquent in practice and speech.  Where is the nobility of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Madison?  Is Arron Burr the new model of leadership?  Slap the scoundrel with your glove and meet with guns drawn in the wallowing meadow of dishonor?

No – nothing so courageous or gallant.  Today the Superpac is sent anonymously to do the dirty deed.  the Superpac tests the waters of public acceptance for distorted aggression

Those seeking to lead understand the concept of statesmanship as wise, steady, reflective, curious, and willing to negotiate.  Statesmanship recognizes that a friend who disappoints is not an enemy to be crushed in the media.

Newt Goes Nuclear” reads the headline on the Huffington Post.  And this is within the confines of a single political party.  How bad will this get when the conflict is between parties?  Congressman Joe Wilson had the audacity to shout “You Lie!” during the 2011 State of The Union address by President Obama.  And people in the GOP actually defended this behavior.

When our leaders demonstrate such poor behavior as Joe Wilson, Newt, and Romney – we fear for the future of our culture in general.  With leaders advocating more of this mean spirited dissent we can only imagine what lessons are being learned by our children who are plugged in 24/7.

Values are not just those spoken by parents.  Many values are learned by osmosis – absorbing the culture by experience is a fundamental process of maturity and growth by young impressionable minds.  Those values become the guiding principles of a person’s life.  These are gut-check level principles.

I fear for the future of our country – the children of today will become the leaders of tomorrow.  Rather than learning values of Statesmanship by our leaders the children are learning that total destruction of anyone who disagrees with you is not only acceptable but necessary for survival.

Where are we headed?

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  1. “Many values are learned by osmosis – absorbing the culture by experience is a fundamental process of maturity and growth by young impressionable minds. Those values become the guiding principles of a person’s life…”

    “I fear for the future of our country – the children of today will become the leaders of tomorrow…the children are learning that total destruction of anyone who disagrees with you is not only acceptable but necessary for survival…Where are we headed?”
    * * *
    I think you have summed it up beautifully, I spend many hours contemplating the attitudes I see in the common work place, of our government officials, and the neighborhoods we live in; needless to say, I too am worried.

    Todays attitudes reflect a lack of social, moral, ethical responsibility and even a lack of self-respect. Society has devloped an unforgiving, winner take all, survival of the fittest, lack of personal accountability, do what it takes to get the job done regardless of who you hurt doing it, attitude.

    These are a far cry from the old fashioned united we stand, do unto others, its the moral or ethical right thing to do, attitudes of the past. As a result we lack trust in each other and in our institutions. We joke about the corruption in our sacred institutions. If we do not hold anyone accountable for their breach of trust, if we do not contrast the present with past, our children will grow up believing that life is like a season of “Survior”.

    I’m not that old but the profound changes I’ve seen since I was a young girl in the sixties has left me frustrated and often speechless as I struggle to accept how detached we have become from the notion of what the “right thing to do” is.

    Society goes through changes with every generation, but like you somehow I fear the changes we have made in the last fifty years will eventually become our ruin.

    When you say, “…values are learned by osmosis” I agree its so true.

  2. Well being a conservative I agree with you. I like Rick Santorum for the GOP bid and if he doesn’t win the primary I’m not sure there is a GOP candidate I would vote on.
    When Clint Eastwood did the super bowl commercial for dodge I thought, ‘heck ya America, put on the rally caps’ and I really, really want a new dodge truck. However, spin doctor Karl Rove has stated it sounded like a political ad for President Obama.
    I thought it was neither partisian or political at all just an American icon saying, “hey America, we’re back, don’t give up”

  3. Cole, I saw the Eastwood ad the same as you. The conservative pundits like Rove want to preach a message of gloom so they can blame Obama. Well – that’s what I think anyway.

  4. President Obama could have been among the best ever if he would have governed in the center, he may get another chance we will see but i hope not

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