We have got to stop the hate in this country, and people's failure to calm themselves when they are angry about anything from politics to a driver who cut them off in traffic.

I don't understand where all the vitriol comes from.

Politics are the prime example, and the latest mind-numbing stupidity is from the left. Here's a summary, in case you missed it:

Kathy Griffin apologizes for Trump photo: 'I went too far'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kathy Griffin says she went way too far when she appeared in a brief video Tuesday holding what looked like President Donald Trump's bloody, severed head.

The comic apologized later for the video image, saying it was "too disturbing" and wasn't funny.

"I sincerely apologize," she said in a second video. "I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people."

The first video showed a straight-faced Griffin slowly lifting the bloody head. She originally described the project with photographer Tyler Shields as an "artsy fartsy statement" mocking the commander in chief.

Many online called for Griffin to be jailed.

In her apology video, Griffin begs her fans for forgiveness and says she has asked the photographer to remove the images.

"I made a mistake, and I was wrong," she says.

The video had apparently been removed from Shields' blog by late Tuesday.

CNN, whose New Year's Eve coverage Griffin has co-hosted, called the images "disgusting and offensive."

"We are pleased to see she has apologized," CNN said in a statement. (The network later fired her from the New Year's Eve gig.)

Squatty Potty, a Utah-based bathroom products company, said in a statement Tuesday that it has suspended an ad campaign featuring Griffin.

A publicist for Shields did not respond to a request for comment.


What a vile, horrible thing to do!

Oppose Trump all you want to, but this is America, not some third-world dictatorship where people who speak out are slaughtered for their words, or leaders of movements are killed for their efforts to organize people for a cause. Even referencing such a thing is awful.

Still, the right can't crow that the left is the worst. There's equal blame here. I recall plenty of references to lynchings and other horrible things aimed at President Barack Obama.

Why are so many of us so hateful?

Trump certainly road a wave of anger, and used a lot of demeaning language toward other candidates of both parties, to the White House. I consider him and his "style of leadership," so to speak, as partly responsible for the demeanor that seems to have overtaken this nation.

But it's the old "chicken and the egg" question: Was half of the electorate looking for a way to express their anger, and Trump helped offer that soapbox, or did Trump's style of casting insults bring out the frustration and acting-out behavior by some of his supporters?

I'm not trying to lay blame only at Trump's feet or at the doorsteps of his supporters as a whole. Neither should we blame all of the left-leaning portion of the country for idiotic actions like Griffin's.

Neither side has any room to talk when it comes to being hateful to others.

That's what I don't understand. Why are so many people so hateful these days?

It seems almost impossible for someone to say, "I disagree with you, but I respect your thoughts." No, when trying to have a reasoned, respectful dialogue about topics, particularly politics, you're more likely to hear a veiled insult at best: "You're wrong in your thinking," or something like that.

Really? Well you're one too.

See: Childish, isn't it?

I think we as humans -- I don't know how confined it is to just America, or not -- just don't have enough respect in general anymore...for others or when it comes to ourselves.

Would your grandmother have been caught going to the grocery store wearing pajamas? Heavens no! Would your grandpa have gone to church in worn old jeans? Never!

I'm all for being comfortable and casual, but there are limits; there is plain old good taste to account for. And many folks don't seem to know what "limits" are anymore.

Once upon a time, "going to town" was a big affair. Everyone put on better clothes and the rounds were made: the grocery store, the post office, etc. "Old clothes" were just that -- for doing chores around home. Pajamas were for sleeping in. You might wear them out to pick up the paper in the morning, but you hoped no one saw you if you did.

People held doors for others and said "please" and "thank you" more often. If you had a political discussion, there were limits as to how far the disagreement would go before you and your fellow debaters agreed to "live and let live."

Now it seems it's all black and white, love or hate, wonderful or horrible, and no in-between anywhere, anytime.

What's wrong with just being a middle-of-the-road kind of person?

I know, I know -- walk the middle of the road and you're likely to get hit from both sides ... or something like that.

Trump isn't our problem. Obama wasn't our problem. The president is just one person. Yes, he has a great effect on many things, but he is still just one man.

Basic respect is our problem. That includes setting limits for ourselves.

I vow to be part of the solution.

I'll never wear my pajamas to Walmart -- OK, I wouldn't anyway, but I think it's important to be said.

I think I do a fairly good job of listening to other people's opinions, and I try extra hard when I disagree with them, but I'm going to try harder.

By golly, if someone says they don't like Roger Miller's music, I promise not to slap them silly. I won't even mutter under my breath as I walk away, "Well, dang me." I'll accept that they have different taste -- no better or worse than mine, but different.

I'll give other drivers the benefit of the doubt and assume they just made a mistake when they seemingly cut me off in traffic or pulled out in front of me. I won't automatically assign nefarious motives to them, as it seems so many people do to others these days.

I prefer to look for the best in people, and reject the worst in them when it rears its ugly head.

Now let's all take a deep breath and stay calm. Have some self-respect, self-restraint and respect for your fellow human beings -- and yourself.

It's not the cure-all for where we're at right now as a country, but it's a start.

Penny Weaver is the associate publisher and editor of the JG-TC. Her columns include her own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinion or editorial position of the JG-TC. Contact her at pweaver@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6863, and follow her on Twitter @PennyWeaver.


Penny Weaver is the associate publisher and editor of the JG-TC. She also is an award-winning columnist for the newspaper.

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