Letter: Public Shaming

Letter to the Editor

This letter is addressed to Los Angeles Times writer Sarah Wire and her article “Resist Too Far? Pelosi Tries to Tamp Down Progressives’ Public Shaming of Trump Officials.”

Recent history presents us with at least three instances where certain groups were singled out for public shaming—Nazi Germany, China’s Cultural Revolution and Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Each saw the persecution of intellectuals, artists and free thinkers—elements of the very same “intelligentsia” who make up today’s purveyors of shame. Though the shoe, as it were, now finds itself on the other foot, the dynamic remains the same—shame, humiliate, ostracize, victimize and silence those with whom you disagree. The tactics, regardless of who wears the shoe, are those of an absolutist, totalitarian society. Call it what you may, such abominable, graceless behavior has no place in a democracy. We would perhaps be wise to recall Friedrich Nietzsche’s caution: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you do not yourself become one.” 

Paul Denker