Zero Sum

When one looks at things objectively- which is difficult to do at times- one might realize that the course, derogatory, demeaning language emanating from both red and blue amounts to nothing more than an ongoing embarrassment.

No one makes an effort to take the high road. And if they try, someone gets suspicious, hurling accusations of being uppity or holier-than-thou.

More often, turnabout is fair play. The same tactic that seems to be the go-to on the world stage applies to our discourse: you dig up dirt on me, I dig up dirt on you. You drop a verbal mortar on me, I must do the same to you.  It’s a funky variation on “commensurate response,” though the response is not always commensurate.

No one looks good here. Our responses to digs and attacks are often gut-level, emotional outbursts that serve only to de-humanize and perpetuate the stand-off, and stiffen the resolve to prevail. It seems difficult to imagine a “winner” in this scenario. There are only combatants with grudges.

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