The coverage of President Donald Trump’s latest tweet controversy is amazing. At the gym, I noticed how news network headlines demonstrated today’s echo chamber mentality: CNN crowed that the House passed a resolution condemning Trump’s racism, while Fox News trumpeted how the president was pleased with GOP unity in not voting for the resolution.
Meanwhile, “The Squad” (what an idiotic nickname) went on CBS This Morning to note that Trump is attacking them for their politics rather than over race, and one journalist is trolling corporations for their reactions to the tweet.
There are a few voices of reason, and one of them is Mitch McConnell. Say what you want about him – and there’s plenty to complain about – but he assessed the situation soberly. His conclusions came with great advice for Trump – and the rest of us, for that matter.
The Hill reports:
“The president is not a racist,” McConnell declared, after reporters pressed him hard whether Trump’s tweets were racist or whether the GOP leader himself would ever use such language.
Instead McConnell said both sides were guilty of “overheated” rhetoric.
“I think the tone of all of this is not good for the country but it’s coming from all different ideological points of view. To single out any segment of this I think is a mistake,” he said, defending Trump from recent criticism from Democrats.
The Senate majority leader also pointed out the anti-Semitic rhetoric from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and the cries of racism and heightened language like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ (D-NY) concentration camp language when referring to border facilities.
McConnell noted that it’s not just Trump, Omar, and Ocasio-Cortez who need to tone down their rhetoric. Everyone in Washington should take care to measure their words.
McConnell said leaders in Washington should follow the late Supreme Court Justice Antonia Scalia’s philosophy of attacking ideas, not people.
“Our words do matter,” he said, urging his fellow leaders and member of Congress to tone down their rhetoric without singling out Trump for criticism.
“All of us ought to contribute to a better level of discourse,” he added.
Honestly, it’s good advice for all of us. Whether we’re politicians, writers, or just average folks expressing our opinions on social media, we shouldn’t turn our rhetoric up to 11. We might get attention or clicks or likes, but at the end of the day, if we’re insulting and demeaning others over politics, we’re not advancing our side, elevating the debate, or improving ourselves.