As long as I can remember, I’ve hated watching people make fools of themselves. I was 6 when I found myself running out of the room during an episodes of “Lucy” in which she humiliates herself. It was too painful to watch. Rather than finding it funny, I feel humiliated myself. I can’t help but think how awful I’d feel if it were me.
Humiliation is a horrible feeling. It’s almost impossible to get past it, no matter how many years pass.
Humor that depends on making fun of people does not make me laugh. I love witty dialogue, literary allusion, puns. I love parody and cleverness. Except for some particularly loathsome villains who deserve whatever they get, I never want to see anyone humiliated. I hate cruelty, mental or physical and cannot watch it.
Not surprisingly, I was one of the kids who got teased and bullied. I was way too sensitive. 60 years later, I’m still too sensitive. Some things never change.
This hatred of seeing people humiliated is probably one of the reasons I so intensely dislike our so-called president. I have watched him deride and humiliate reporters, parents of deceased children, disabled people, women, senators, other politicians. It makes my stomach turn. I cannot begin to tell you how, even if he did nothing else I disliked, this behavior alone would make me loathe him.
I need decency and caring from people who are supposed to be running my country. I expect them to show dignity. I expect them to be able to speak our language properly. I expect them to have read a few books and understand the world of which they are supposedly in charge. I expect them to be people for whom I can show respect and maybe — imagine that — look up to.