Why Should You be Winsome If You’ll Only be Hated and Called a Bigot Anyway?

University of California-Berkeley student senator, Isabella Chow. | (Photo: Facebook)

What’s the point of being winsome if people still hate, ridicule, and condemn us for our convictions, and even call us bigots?

Early this month, Saturday Night Live hit a new low in our country’s already abysmal political discourse. Just before the midterm elections, SNL comedian Pete Davidson made the awful decision to mock some of the winners over their appearance. Among his targets was former Navy SEAL and Texas Congressional candidate (now Congressman-elect) Dan Crenshaw, who lost an eye to an IED in Afghanistan. Davidson cracked an obscene joke about Crenshaw’s eye patch and flippantly described the explosion that caused his injury as “war…or whatever.”

This was a week before Veteran’s Day.

If anyone in our outrage climate has a right to be outraged, it’s Lieutenant Commander Crenshaw. Instead, he chose a different reaction.

In the Washington Post, Crenshaw explained why he didn’t demand an apology from SNL or call for Davidson to be fired. Reacting with outrage, he writes, only perpetuates “outrage culture”—the effort to destroy people’s lives over bad jokes, gaffes, and political disagreements. Crenshaw thinks average Americans find this whole charade exhausting, and I think he’s right.

His winsome response paid off. SNL realized they crossed a line, invited Crenshaw on the show, and Davidson apologized to him on-air. He then let Crenshaw get in a few jokes of his own. The two also found common ground. It turns out Davidson’s father was an emergency responder who died on 9/11.

Crenshaw closed by remarking that “Americans can forgive one another. We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other.”

Crenshaw did the right thing, and this time it turned out well. But, of course, being winsome doesn’t always get you off the hook of being called a bigot or a hater in today’s political climate.

Consider Isabella Chow, a student senator at the University of California, Berkeley. She was recently kicked out of her own party, and now faces pressure to resign over an abstention vote. The daughter of Malaysian-Cambodian immigrants and a devoted Christian, Chow refused to support a symbolic student senate bill rejecting the, at the time, not-yet-existent executive order on transgender rights. She was the only senator to do so.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris