Saturday night, there was a four-alarm fire in a residential apartment on the 50th floor of Trump Tower in New York City. Tragically, one person was burned to death and six firefighters were injured putting it out. Fires high up in skyscrapers are a nightmare scenario, so while we pray for the victims, let’s also thank God that it didn't become even worse.
Unfortunately, ‘60s rocker David Crosby seemed to think that the deadly emergency was a proper event to politicize, since he tweeted at the news, “Oh boy…Burn, baby, burn.” He quickly deleted it. Sadly, some other people who don’t have the excuse of decades of drug use affecting their brains had similar reactions.
This came on the same weekend that Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity got into a Twitter feud that started when Hannity criticized Kimmel for ridiculing First Lady Melania Trump’s accent, then turned very ugly when Kimmel started making gay sex jokes about Hannity and Trump. Kimmel apparently forgot that he’d made the fatal mistake of being a comedian who’d aligned himself with people who have no sense of humor. His newfound fans, as the left always does, turned on him in an instant and blasted him for making derogatory homophobic jokes. Kimmel quickly apologized, issuing a statement in which he admitted that such vitriol and hatefulness “from both sides” (but I notice it's mostly from your side, Jimmy) is harmful to our country, and he’ll give more thought to his words in the future. It would’ve been nice if he’d recognized that simple fact before attacking the First Lady and not after he was attacked by LGBTQ activists, but at this point, any step toward civility is welcome.
I hate to keep repeating myself, but I find that I have to keep using the phrase “basic human decency” over and over, to discuss all the stories that are based on the lack of it. Maybe I need to write a primer on the subject for celebrities, politicians and people on social media, to remind them of things they should have learned in kindergarten, like the Golden Rule. That doesn’t mean never speaking your mind when you disagree with someone, just keeping the disagreement on policy, not the personal. For instance, Lesson One might be: Some things are bigger than politics. So don’t wish for or laugh about death, injury, violence or disease striking someone you disagree with politically. That doesn't make you "brave," it just makes you a boor.
I disagree with or make jokes about many things that Hillary Clinton says (she just gives me SO MUCH material!) But I don’t wish harm on her, and if her house caught on fire, I’d offer prayers, not run to fetch marshmallows. When I disagree with someone, I want to talk to them and try to persuade them, not threaten to punch them in the mouth (I’m looking at you, Robert DeNiro.) I disagreed with virtually everything Barack Obama did, but I always referred to him as “President Obama” and showed respect for the office he held. Those are just basic acts of decency and civility. When did they become obsolete?
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