Is it bad to personally attack others?

For me, it depends.

Regarding Trump infected with COVID, many people -both his supporters and detractors- condemn anyone who celebrate his suffering. His detractors also claim that doing so means we are stooping to his level.

In one of the Facebook groups I am in, this conversation also extends to attacking Trump’s physique. Many members found it distasteful and it distracted us from an actually civil political discourse.

One may argue that personal attacks are bad, regardless of how deplorable the people we attack are. But, let’s be real here: it is dishonest to say personally attacking Trump makes us as bad as he is.

Claiming so insinuates that we attack politicians like Trump because we take pleasures in others’ sufferings… which is obviously a load of bullshit! We attack them because they are powerful individuals whose incompetence and lack of moral integrity have caused harm to the people they supposedly serve!

Attacking them is certainly different from attacking fellow non-politicians who are as powerless as us, even if not more.

The latter can potentially punch down, the former will always punch up. Attacking politicians punches down IF you hate them simply because they are religious, racial and/or ethnic minorities.

You can easily argue against the nastiness of the attacks without resorting to bothsideism.

I know why Trump supporters and the likes would resort this. Well, technically, they don’t commit bothsideism in this case because they don’t see anything wrong about their actions and their idols’. For them, only the ‘others’ can do bad things.

But, I don’t get why the likes of Trump detractors do this. Maybe they are moral absolutists who think bad is bad and good is good, with no greyness in between. Murder is murder, even if the ‘victim’ is an executed unredeemable criminal.

If that is the case, then I find their moral convictions a bit suspect. It is clear they are simpletons when it comes to discerning what is morally right and wrong.

It also makes me wonder if they hate Trump for the wrong reasons. If they hate someone simply because he/she is a harsh person and disregarding what he/she has to say or what his/her intentions are, then they are dangerously unable to see greyness.






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