For those of you who have read my memoir, Coyote Jack/Drawing Meaning from Life and Vietnam, you might remember that one of my biggest battles was learning to control the seething rage I harbored over my year of combat in South Vietnam, where I served as an infantry officer advisor to South Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces. I want to make clear the majority of my rage stemmed from post-war treatment by Americans, both overt and covert, from all political spectrums. One of the tactics used in dealing positively with PTSD is learning to recognize stressful triggers that can rip open that deep well of rage, which if not dealt with appropriately, can result in destructive behavior. Thus, it is in my best interest not to engage in situations or dialogue that are toxic to me, whether it is person to person or on social media.
As I have written before, I consider hate speech, whether extreme left or right, incendiary. Hate speech is demeaning, often cowardly like road rage, and accomplishes nothing other than to rile your opponent. Why try to have rational discourse with an irrational person. Nothing gets settled. The flames just get hotter. Any person engaging in inflammatory speech not only diminishes the other but also his/her own being. This is what is happening in America. It is disrespectful, distressing, and depressing. And it is reopening old wounds.
Remember the Communist/Nazi/Fascist Tactics–Pick One: control the media, confiscate all guns, revise history. We do not really want a police state, do we?
Come on, leaders! Exhibit strong moral courage, defined by one source as intellectual honesty and willingness to stand up and be counted.