I don't care which side of the aisle you happen to agree with politically, but I am not certain what debate some people were watching last night. It definitely wasn't the one I was tuned into. On the one side was a young Congressman, trying to get his point across (not always the most elegantly more wonky) and on the other side was the Vice-President of the United States, rude, laughing (even during the discussion of the murdered US ambassador in Libya), eye rolling, smirking, gesticulating wildly and grinning like the Joker from Batman,while being beyond condescending to his opponent. I am not certain on which debating book Biden was relying for guidance, but quite frankly, all he did was come across as a bully. I am certain there is no debating guide that promotes that attitude.
What saddened me in some respects though was so much of the attitude I witnessed on twitter. The "high-fives" and "go-Joes" that were abundant not just in society as a whole, but within the autism community as well. I have yet to see anyone in the autism community call the Vice President out for his demeanor and his bullying. It is one thing to support your candidate. It is one thing to be pro-Obamacare. It is quite another to support your side right or wrong, especially if they promote a hurtful posture that will come back to harm your own child on a daily basis. It is grossly unfortunate the absolute disconnect between the reality of what people witnessed during last night's debate and how our children are bullied in school and in society on a daily basis.
Bullying is the condescending, smirking, disingenuous attitude that society shows towards so many of our children. It is why so many children with special needs are home schooled and sadly yes, the number is growing. But nope not one word about the VP's reprehensible behavior; Not from one autism organization or anti-bullying group. In fact his performance has been celebrated by leading democrats throughout the internet, print media and television. There may be a need to push your candidate, to recoup what was last during the Obama-Romney debate, but there should be limits. It is not OK for your candidate to be a shmuck (I am talking about attitude not policies here. Political diatribes will not be posted nor acknowledged). It gives too much license, to too many, that it is just fine to take their nastiness beyond the "I don't like that classmate" stage. Yes, I admit I saw one semi-annoyed tweet from a media-personality-Biden-supporter:
Biden’s smile is out of control. #NBCPolitics
— David Gregory (@davidgregory) October 12, 2012
There is a huge difference between being strong in your opinion, forceful in your presentation, a positive presence and being an aggressive a-hole. Think about it. What if someone was doing everything Biden did during the debate last night to your child while they were having a discussion? What if someone were treating your child with disrespect and condescension? What if someone were making fun of and laughing at your child on a daily basis? What if someone were dismissive about your child's ideas and points of view? What if someone treated your child like they were inferior? Joe Biden was basically channeling Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls instead of attempting to be an adult.
I know I have actually written about this before, the nastiness and bullying in politics. I often ask the question how are our children supposed to function in life and persevere against bullying if it is promoted and celebrated in our political and media driven world? I honestly think it is why meanness is so accepted, excused and prevalent more today than ever before. When there are no limits and no boundaries on how we treat one another, it always ends up with the most vulnerable, our children, being on the losing end of the stick. It is why bullying is epidemic in this country. Those in the autism community celebrating Biden's performance need to do a huge review of their own sense of reality.
Helping Your Child Survive the Political Season
Adult Twitter Meltdown...Cue Name Calling and Bullying
Social Justice, Autism, Society and Acceptance
The Politics of Autism- This is a Safe Blog
BTW according to CNBC Ryan won the debate 56% to Biden's 36%. CNN instapoll has Ryan winning 48% to Biden's 44%. It's not because Ryan spoke better or gave a more factual account of the world. People were completely disgusted by Biden's attitude. Simply put, Joe was without question a real jerk. The autism and anti-bullying communities should call him out for it. They owe it to our children. You do the math now....
Until next time,