Lance Scranton: Selective contempt
Lance Scranton/For the Craig Press
It is so very easy to be entertained by our elected body politic these days. Most politicians in our country become celebrities more for what they say than the product of their elected responsibility to legislate. There is always a camera available for any of our elected representatives who want the people to know what they think.
But how do the politicians know if the people are tuning in? Simple: what they say has to be ratings worthy!
President Trump captured the attention of our country, if not the world, leading up to the 2016 election by using social media and television to say things that got ratings and enough attention to get elected. Those who NEVER thought he would ever become president (remember, it was a big joke) thought him an attractive sideshow for television ratings and lined up to interview him any chance they could.
When he became the leader of the free world, these same people suddenly discovered their contempt for his use of that same social media that helped him get elected. True to form, those who practice selective contempt have the luxury of never having to say they are sorry. The ratings winners who used Donald Trump suddenly “got woke” and realized that he was someone not worthy to be the President of the United States.
Contempt is so in vogue these days that getting woke has become all the rage and it doesn’t matter who it is or when the realization took place that someone is suddenly beneath consideration, worthless or deserving scorn. Joe Biden was just an old, over-friendly politician until he decided to run for president and now selective contempt is bearing down on him as someone who can’t be considered for high office because of inappropriate physical contact.
Granted, some people don’t know how to stay out of other people’s personal space but doesn’t it seem plausible that it suddenly becomes a big deal at just the right time to scuttle his presidential aspirations? Our latest Supreme Court justice endured much the same treatment when it became the popular narrative that he could not be considered for the court due to charges brought by people from years back in his past.
The thing about contempt is that it is a feeling and isn’t always supported by facts but it sure seems to make people feel good to beat down others no matter if the evidence proves otherwise. Mocking those who we may not agree with might feel good in the short term but just remember that someone might just be getting woke about you and then guess who is next?
Keep yourself above the fray and offer people the respect that each of us deserves, which is the inoculation for selective contempt.
Lance Scranton is a teacher and coach at Moffat County High School.
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