I know I’m going to trigger MAGA Nation by saying this, but President Trump’s behavior is sometimes… not so good. It could be better. Especially when he’s reacting to criticism. He shows room for improvement in that area, if I may be so bold. So, in the spirit of the Christmas season, I think it’s worth pointing out when a Republican behaves with grace, humility, and forgiveness toward somebody who disagrees with him.
On Saturday, SNL’s Pete Davidson made a statement that sounded a lot like a suicide threat. He posted this to his Instagram:
I really don’t want to be on this earth anymore. I’m doing my best to stay here for you but I actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all I’ve ever tried to do was help people. just remember I told you so.
Davidson has been open about his mental-health issues — hell, that’s basically his whole act — so people aren’t treating this as a joke. He’s okay, physically at least, but a lot of people are worried about him.
One of those people is Texas Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw, whom Davidson mocked last month for looking like “a hitman in a porno movie” and losing his eye “in war or whatever.” Pretty much nobody appreciated the way Davidson mocked a war hero for his injuries in service to this country. But Crenshaw and Davidson patched things up on live TV the following week, and Crenshaw showed America a surprising level of heart. Not to mention comedic talent. Crenshaw reminded his political opponents that he’s a human being, not just a target to throw darts at. It was really nice to see, in an era when #owning the other side is often the only goal.
And it wasn’t just a one-night bromance. Here’s Crenshaw talking to KPRC in Houston about his reaction when his new friend was in trouble:
Responding to what appeared to be a call for help from comedian Pete Davidson, @DanCrenshawTX with me for #HouNewsmakers EXTRA talks about his response and phone call. https://t.co/BRiFwhBjD8 pic.twitter.com/GpqlUCPXpw
— Khambrel Marshall (@KPRC2Khambrel) December 17, 2018
“What I told him was this: Everybody has a purpose in this world. God put you here for a reason. But it’s your job to find that purpose. You should live that way, always seeking out that purpose, not expecting it to be given to you by anybody else. And know that you have value, and that you maybe do more good than you realize for people.”
No, your calendar isn’t wrong. It’s 2018, and a national politician just said that about somebody on the other side of the aisle.
I assume that a lot of the people who used to like me, but don’t anymore, hear stuff like this and think it’s a sign of weakness. They think you need to be a “counterpuncher,” lashing out at anybody who bruises your ego. After all, their favorite guy took that strategy all the way to the White House, didn’t he? Cue Arnold’s speech from Conan the Barbarian. MAGA!!!
Yeah, that’s one way of doing things. It might even be an effective way of doing things. But I’m glad there’s still room for this other method.
Look, I’m no saint. I’m not claiming to be a good person, or thick-skinned, or mature, or entirely sane. But Dan Crenshaw is all those things, and it’s refreshing. We need more leaders like this. We need more good examples to follow. It really is possible for people to disagree without becoming mortal enemies.
So in that spirit, here’s a message to everybody who hates my guts and wants me to die: I probably don’t feel the same way about you! Let’s just assume I don’t.
I mean, it’s a coin toss.
Okay, maybe a little, we’ll leave it at that.