Watch CBS News

Keller @ Large: Words Matter, So Let's Be More Thoughtful

BOSTON (CBS) - Poor Eric Trump.

The GOP nominee's son was doing an interview Thursday on a Denver radio station when the host suggested that openly racist and anti-semitic former Klan leader David Duke, who is once again running for office and has bedeviled the Trump campaign with his supportive comments about it, "desperately deserves a bullet in the head," a remarkably stupid thing to say.

Not stupid enough for Trump not to echo it.

"If I said exactly what you said, I'd get killed for it," noted Trump, "but I think I'll say it anyway - the guy does deserve a bullet."

eric and donald trump
Eric and Donald Trump. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Eric's self-inflicted wound is just another reminder of something too many people seem to be forgetting lately – words matter.

In the internet era, our culture has become obsessed with a perpetual game of can-you-top-this, with legions of the careless and clueless competing for who can say the most reprehensible thing about any given subject.

The Trump campaign, which draws inspiration from crude talk shows and deranged online patter, has both helped and hurt itself by being careless with words, with Donald's remarks about Hillary Clinton's personal safety being one notable example.

Clinton has crossed the line less often, but certainly did so by referring to millions of voters as "deplorables."

All of us need to be more thoughtful about what we say and when we say it, not to be politically correct, but to be sane and responsible.

This is especially true of our political leaders.

It's surprising – and disappointing – that the major-party candidates and their surrogates need to be reminded of that.

Listen to Jon's commentary:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.