Friday, April 25, 2014 | 2:01 a.m.
A few thoughts about Sunday’s editorial page cartoon depicting the people who supported Cliven Bundy as clowns and crazies:
First, it doesn’t take any wit or insight to depict people you disagree with as being stupid. It’s a lazy way to try to win an argument.
Second, this cartoon objectifies the people it mocks. It stereotypes and dehumanizes them. This is the process (so rampant in our culture) that allows us to treat others badly. We justify our actions by viewing others as being unworthy of our respect and love. Objectification is an underlying cause of societal problems small and large. Bullying, being mistreated by a boss at work, dysfunction in Congress, racism, violent crime and genocide are all caused and justified by the belief that the other person is an object to be manipulated to achieve our goals, and not a precious human being, our brother or sister, deserving of our respect and love even when we disagree with them.
Third, the depiction of the people supporting Bundy as being crazy indicates the cartoonist is out of touch with what’s happening in America. There are large numbers of people who view the government as corrupt and overreaching, who feel that our representatives actually do the bidding of the special interests that support their campaigns instead of representing all the people. The main difference between the many who are dissatisfied with the quality of our representation and the people who showed up to support Bundy is that the latter group took action to express their dissatisfaction.
You can disagree with their opinion or their actions, but that doesn’t make them crazy.