Last week’s high-profile execution of American Troy Davis stirred strong emotions both among supporters and opponents of the U.S. death penalty. Thousands of people weighed in with their views on this particular case, as well as the legal and ethical validity of capital punishment. Emotions were intense and people took to social networks to express themselves. And some used these outlets to vent their frustration and rage.
We’ve written about the degradation of political rhetoric before. The exchanges that took place last week on Twitter aimed at conservative pundit Michelle Malkin are one example among many showing there’s been no improvement.
Malkin is no shrinking violet when it comes to using sharp language to express her political views. But regardless of the dislike someone may have for her political positions – and the lines are rather clear with regard to who is a fan of hers and who isn’t – the verbal attacks on her this past week were unconscionable. Here is one example:
The people making these statements showed a lack of self-restraint, a lack of emotional maturity, and an absence of rationality. But if the comments were intended to make people with opposing views even more entrenched in their positions and less likely to want to reach across the table, they were a success.