Is Political Ridicule Justified?

Anyone who personally knows me knows that I have a pretty off-color sense of humor. I’m not afraid of crude jokes or crass language. My mother cussed quite a lot. It wasn’t a big deal. For the most part, nobody scoffed when the “F” word was used so I never thought it was an egregious sin. Also, most of the kids I hung around with talked like truck drivers and told the dirtiest jokes I’ve ever heard so this type of socially provocative behavior never made a negative impact on me (that I know of.) You can say that I became desensitized to it from an early age.

In an age where people are so over-the-top outraged by everything, should Christian conservatives consider eliminating political ridicule, even when communicated in a playful manner, from their communication practices entirely? Leftists have made a killing on being artificially outraged over everything, which has led me to more thoughtfully examine this question. Let’s look at the definition of ‘ridicule’ first:

the subjection of someone or something to contemptuous and dismissive language or behavior.

Within the definition, there is a sense that ridicule can exhibit the use of disrespect. We must ask ourselves, is that necessarily wrong? Should all treatments of all political ideologies be worthy of respectful treatment? Is the individual who protests my “pro-life” shirt by proudly shouting obscenities in my face while wearing a Planned Parenthood shirt and a giant pussy hat atop their head worthy of having their ideas free from merciless ridicule? In my opinion, their ideas should be mercilessly ridiculed and beat to within every inch of their pathetic existence. Facts, reason, and persuasion are all one needs to cleverly ridicule a triggered Leftist.

Many fail to make the distinction between ridiculing an idea versus ridiculing a person (i.e. ad hominem.) Some ideas are so absurd that it’s challenging not to ridicule them! In the process of doing so, the adherents of these views feel personally attacked because they are so committed to an idea that they actually identify as the idea. For example, transgender individuals are grotesquely offended when you dismiss or ‘ridicule’ the idea that there are only two genders because they find their identity within the transgender movement. This is why identity politics are becoming increasingly dangerous. Many have exchanged their personal identity for a group identity and live in accordance to the political norms of whatever that group may be. This is partially why we see so many people artificially outraged. It’s not because there was a legitimate reason to be outraged, but because the whistle was sounded by the leader of the group which signaled the rest of them to express their outrage via the closest social media outlet they can access.

For this reason, it’s becoming increasingly clear that most of the outrage expressed online is a mere fabrication made to advance a political agenda. The average conservative ridicule made against any of the dozens of absurd positions found within the DNC charter are warranted because they don’t personally cut against the character of the creator of the idea. They are directed at the content of the idea. That’s how ridicule should be used because ridicule can be a very powerful rhetorical tool. I occasionally see an argument about how we should play nice and not devolve into accepting ridicule as a vehicle for dialogue. I disagree. Some ideas and situations are so absurd that ridicule is a perfectly appropriate response. Obviously, I wouldn’t suggest resorting to ad hominem attacks but as I mentioned before, there is a responsible way to creatively ridicule ideas that generate interest in how truly stupid leftist ideas really are.