Hillary, Making Judgments, and Being Judgmental

judgmentMy monitoring of today’s news indicates that many of Hillary’s supporters have learned little from her deplorable comment about “irredeemable” Trump supporters.

That issue is important. It affects how we treat one another throughout society.

It’s not merely a question of strategy. It’s also a question of truthfulness.

We can make judgments, or form an opinion, without being judgmental, which involves a harsh moral judgment about the person as a person, his or her essential character. As Gandhi, drawing from St. Augustine, said, “Hate the sin and not the sinner.”

“Those are deplorable statements” differs greatly from “those are deplorable persons.” To say that people are irredeemable, or not able to be saved, improved, or corrected, as dd Hillary, is even worse.

Trump, of course, has expressed his own harsh judgments. If Hillary decides to be more fully self-critical about her mistake, she could highlight his failings, for which he will not apologize because they fuel his campaign.

For many years, I’ve been trying to encourage progressive activists to engage in inner work to change how we feel, think, and act with regard to such issues.

Perhaps this year’s campaign, by dragging us even further down into the gutter, will help more people understand the need for constant self-improvement.

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