#SaySomethingNiceAboutHillary Twitter Hashtag Is A Remarkable Display Of All The Wrong Ways To Criticize An Opponent
A lot of people have pretty strong feelings about Hillary Clinton. Some like her; some don't. That's to be expected, because obviously not everyone is going to like every political candidate (or even everyone they meet). But even you fall in the “I don't agree with her” or “I'm not voting for her in the 2016 election” camps… well, let's say that there are good ways to make your argument, and there are not so good ways to make it. For example, #SaySomethingNiceAboutHillary is trending on Twitter right now—and it's a truly remarkable demonstration of how not to criticize someone you don't agree with. Seriously, you guys. It's astonishing how many valuable debate lessons one can learn from it.
To be honest, I'm not entire sure how the hashtag started. Weirdly enough, the oldest examples of it on Twitter actually date back to 2012, and at that point, it doesn't appear to have been a derogatory thing. It resurfaced for a few tweets in 2014, and again a couple of days ago — but it's only over the last several hours that it appears to have gained any steam. Now, of course, it's morphed into something else — something that basically consists of people slinging around as much mud as they possible can. None of it, of course, actually makes a solid argument as to why Hillary Clinton would not make a suitable President; everyone is far too busy talking about her cankles and dissecting her sense of style. Now entering troll territory. Population: Far too many to count.
It's fine if you're going to criticize an opponent. It's encouraged, even; if we all agreed with each other all the time, no one would ever learn anything new. But if you're going to criticize someone — and especially if you're going to do it in the political arena — build your arguments around your opponent's policies and try to point out why they don't work for you. Do not do it by attacking any of the following:
Gasp! You mean… people over the age of 30 exist?! Horrors!
Make up your minds, you guys.
None of this has any bearing on how effective anyone might be at their job.
Why are so many people obsessed with Hillary's ankles?
No, seriously, you guys. I don't get it. Are her ankles somehow the key to world domination?
Oh! Look at that! A cankle joke and an age joke! How exceedingly clever!
How Attractive You Find Them:
This, too, has absolutely no bearing on how good a President a candidate might be.
What They Wear:
Let's just take this moment to remember that Hillary is just one in a long line of political pantsuit wearers.
What You Think Their Sexual Orientation Might Be:
One of the favorite insults seems to be calling Hillary a lesbian. First off, someone's sexuality is none of your dang business; and second off, using “gay” as an insult is overwhelmingly offensive to the LGBT community and its supporters. And hey, guess what? Topping it all off, we have this: “She would make a terrible President because she may or may not be gay” is not exactly the strongest argument you could make. Sounds pretty weak when you put it like that, doesn't it?
Only Identifying Them By Their Relationship To Their Spouse:
You guys do know that Hillary had a career before Bill, right?
Because yes, one's spouses terrible decisions directly correlate with how well one does one's job. Except that they don't. At all.
Unproven Rumors and Gossip:
Remember that whole thing where the lamp story has never been satisfactorily proven as fact — and moreover, probably never will? Not exactly something on which you want to rest your argument.
You can see the #SaySomethingNiceAboutHillary hashtag unfolding in real time over at Twitter, but I don't particularly know why anyone would want to follow it — even if they're not a Hillary supporter. Again, it's fine to disagree with her — but hurling insults isn't the way to make your point.