In an usually crazy and tumultuous election season, I have kept my mouth shut when it came to political commentary. Partially because I didn’t want to wade into those waters and partially because I wanted to give myself adequate time to formulate thoughts before spouting off some words.
Now, finally, some words have been drawn.
The past week found Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton battling pneumonia, prompting speculation about her overall health. Then, this week on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump made an appearance and sparked an interesting article from a writer at the Huffington Post. And this is the article that got me thinking it’s time to break my silence.
What caught my eye was the sub-header for the article:
“The Tonight Show” host humanized a dangerous man on Thursday night.
I wouldn’t consider myself a supporter of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Neither strike me as competent leaders who should be running a nation. I’ve heard much of the rhetoric both sides are slinging at the other party and often find something to agree with each in turn. But the thought has occurred to me more than once, “They are humans, too, you know.”
Of all recent presidential candidates, these two are certainly the easiest to de-humanize. Both are unrelatable for different reasons. The only thing people can relate to is their ideals and proposed policies. But, nevertheless, they are human.
That’s why the sub-header above struck me. It’s a brash statement and implies we don’t want to acknowledge that Donald Trump is human. The writer hates Trump so much he’d rather we treat the man as something lower than human life. Before my conservative friends say, “There! See? The liberal left is a danger to humanity!” consider the “conservative right’s” descriptions of Hillary Clinton. They’re no less flattering.
Donald Trump is a human being with hopes, dreams, emotional scars, feelings, and physical pain. Hillary Clinton’s pneumonia proves she is also human, one who can be sick and forced to rest like everyone else. Neither are heartless machines and neither should be treated as such.
Disagree with them all you want–heck, think them dangerous–but don’t forget they’re every bit as human as you.