Please Criticize Better

I don’t really like President-elect Trump, but I’m very frustrated with the ignorant opposition to him.  There are lots and lots of reasons to dislike and oppose this presidency, but all the garbage I keep seeing is not it.

For example, I saw a meme supposedly calling out Trump for talking to world leaders on an unsecured line, and claiming that “suddenly, nobody cares about security when it isn’t Clinton.”  That’s not true.  One of the major questions about Clinton was focused on her handling of classified information, not just her use of unsecured communications.  Trump talking to world leaders on an unsecured line would only be an issue if he was discussing classified information.  All the important details are missing, so the two events are not parallel at all.

And I think that’s the problem: criticism of our leadership is more focused on who they are than on the specifics of what they are doing.  There’s less careful thought and more ignorant name-calling that does not accomplish anything productive.  Worse, it drowns out the legitimate criticisms of his specific policy decisions and the direction he appears to be taking our country.  While I support freedom of speech and the right to say what you want to say, I would very much like to improve the quality of the conversation taking place.

There has been much talk about the specifics of our President-elect being “racist” and “sexist”.  I’m not going to debate whether that is true or not; I have to ask if it is a useful conversation to have at this point.  That kind of name-calling is a desperate attempt to shut down and take over the conversation, to make it about something it is not.  If we want to oppose something, voicing opposition to his “Muslim registry” and the American principles it violates (e.g. the 1st amendment) is much more compelling than abusing the overused epithets describing him.

And, possibly worst of all, I am sick and tired of being called a “Trump supporter” when I point out the weakness of the arguments being used against him (in hope that they will be replaced with good, true arguments).  People who criticize you are not automatically your enemy; and even if someone is your enemy, it does not mean that everything they ever do is wrong.  Focus on the real issues, please, or all your indignation will not be put to good use, no matter how justified it is.

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