Have you noticed a surge of inappropriateness? Partly, it's the times in which we live in the U.S. Political divisions have really turned into social and cultural ones. For our youngest and oldest citizens, "appropriate" has be come a dirty word, for different reasons.
The latest manifestations include:
A brainless game has become wildly popular overnight; its players see nothing wrong in disrupting places that are closed, or where the game destroys an atmosphere of contemplative calm (in my area, e.g., the Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery).
- A former Miss Alabama-turned-radio-broadcaster expressed the view on the air that she really didn't "feel in her heart" (or some such sappy formulation) to grieve for policemen killed in Dallas, she had more sympathy with the shooter.
- Speaking of that shooter, it seems terribly inappropriate that he should take out his rage over police excesses in Louisiana and Minnesota by trying to kill cops in Dallas, where by all accounts the police force had worked hard to reform and there had been no issues of late. I guess you have to be crazy ...
- The well-qualified nominee to head the U.S. Library of Congress, who happens to be female and African-American, has languished without confirmation by the Senate because "some" (we know who you are!) are concerned she may turn that institution into a haven of "political correctness."
With all this inappropriate behavior afoot in the land, some of us nevertheless expect that wild times at the grass roots will not infect our officials and our institutions. Sadly, our expectations have been dashed.
Police forces around the country seem to have reacted to the explosion of impropriety by adopting wildly inappropriate tactics of their own, which far too often result in fatalities, like the "rough ride" Baltimore police gave one man in their custody; on the cop in Louisiana (with two policemen holding a guy on the ground, why on earth did one of them draw his weapon?).
The presumptive and presumptuous Republican Party presidential candidate Donald Trump is the poster child of the trend. (Has he, I wonder, officially applied for a trademark on it?)
However, the proximate cause of this little tirade of mine is Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's well-publicized comments about Trump. It's totally inappropriate for her to have commented at all. Granted, the Supreme Court is not any longer a pristinely apolitical environment (if it ever was), and RBG is known to be one of its most liberal members. Yet by tradition, and even by very loose standards of "appropriateness," I believe she ought not to have stated her personal views. She could have let us guess at them! Some will argue (have argued) that politics don't enter into the court's decision-making process. Well, not always, anyway - check out the Court's decision on ACA). But having voiced her view, in an environment where anything and everything will be taken in a political way, she taints the court, just when its decisions are more subject to scrutiny than ever, and perhaps emulating Trump himself, she chooses to stir the political pot and create controversy where none need exist.