I’m taking a vow to try to never again say the current republican candidate for president’s name. I will not click on another article with his name in the title. If he’s on the TV, I’ll turn it off. If other people talk about him in my presence, I will try to remain silent.
I’m sure I’ll slip up. I’ll say it now and again. It’s hard not to: He’s everywhere in the news.
And if I do say his name without thinking, or if I do find myself clicking on article with his name in the title, that’s ok, too. I’ll stop myself, and then donate a dollar to charity. I’m going to give to Watsi, which funds medical care for impoverished people around the world. And since this article is about him, I’ll start with $5 now.
I’ve seen people do this before – and do this effectively – with other ugly words that aren’t polite to say in public; there’s no reason it can’t work with his name.
It’s one small way to try to make something beautiful out of something ugly.
This way, hopefully, I’ll break myself from my own nasty habit of talking about him, and help some people in need while doing it.
The most effective way to defeat a demagogue is with the silent treatment. Demagogues are immune to reason and logic. But they need attention to fuel them. Starve them of attention, and you will defeat them.
I believe that every moment of cocktail conversation, every frustrated rant among friends, every article we read, and every whisper of his name only enhances his power.
So if you hate what he’s done to public discourse, just stop talking about him. Stop thinking about him. Purge him from your life.
It’ll be hard at first. But if we pay attention and remind those we love to do the same, we’ll be successful enough. And when we forget, something good will come out of that, too.
This isn’t about political affiliation. I have voted for politicians in four political parties. I believe most presidential candidates are decent and honorable, with differing perspectives, trying to do their best in an environment of compromise. I would never have written anything like this about Romney, Obama, McCain, Kerry, Gore, or Bush.
I don’t pretend to have much influence. I doubt many people, if any people, will follow my lead.
But I know that I’ll be happier by simply refusing to let the man’s name to enter my world.
I urge everyone else to do the same. If we all do this, sooner or later, he’ll be gone.