A recent exchange with a former student amplified how low our nation has fallen. Not because of Obama, not because of foreign threats, but because of a manipulating media geared to divide our nation like it was 1859. How? By pushing all Americans into two defined corners - patriots believing ideological rhetoric and patriots trying to point out reality from media driven fictions. The division is spreading - all to the detriment of our great nation. Once again, I am NOT a Clinton supporter. I'm simply commenting about recent events and how they are manipulated by the Media and the Trump machine.
Within that exchange, a former student (burly tough guy) proclaimed Clinton cannot be trusted because she defended a rapist in a Court of Law and ensured the guy got a light sentence. Somewhere along the way, he claimed that anyone convicted of any crime was somehow not worthy of proper legal defense. Now this is a truly smart fellow, one that I had great admiration for when he was a student. When I began to point out the 6th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteed criminal defendants rights to proper legal counsel, the discussion began to deteriorate into a one-sided rant about Clinton and her alleged "hypocrisy" for defending a rapist while also being a modern-day supporter of women's rights. Despite my best efforts to explain that criminal defense has been a hallmark of American jurisprudence (even noting John Adams' defense of the British at the Boston Massacre trial) I was not rebuked with cogent argument. Instead, I was labeled as being the purveyor of the "most pompous" response - for correcting his narrative. He then went on to hide behind the safety of using the lame "I'm just a layman" defense.
Notice the common devolution of internet based argument? Make ridiculous statements and when proven to be wrong - attack the one correcting you. That way you never have to admit that you in fact have been proven 1). Wrong, 2). Hypocritical when unable to sustain your very own argument, and in fact 3). Being rather pompous yourself for using a weak defense to deflect any criticism against your position. Instead of saying "Gee, I see the mistake I made" you get a gratuitous label tossed out at you. Isn't this exactly what Donald Trump's campaign is all about? Take a situation, make it all about yourself and your public proclamations and then when countered by anyone with real facts, attack them directly for simply pointing you out as being less than "fully informed."
Honestly, I was taken aback when my former student labeled me "pompous" and then hid behind his "layman" argument. If you are in fact a "layman", why opine in areas you admit you have no business engaging in? Why be surprised if called out? Once again, I pride myself on consistency. I also demand humility and personal acceptance when I am wrong and endeavor to recognize my error and publicly apologize. When did doing so become seemingly so distasteful? I am not always correct, but what makes others think they are?
As President George Washington once wrote; "It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one." Gee, I don't recall Washington ever being called "pompous" for the positions he took and the challenges he made to others (and NO, I am certainly not in Washington's class). As an aside, Happy Fathers' Day to all Fathers! It was just this past March that I lost my father. I think of him quite often. So enjoy calling all of your fathers while you can! Have a great week!