Sticks and Stones/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on June 24, 2018


President Trump apparently contributed to the defeat of Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina by tweeting his desire to see Mr. Sanford go down in defeat in the Republican primary. That was not enough of an intervention for Mr. Trump. He then referred to Mr. Sanford in front of his colleagues as a “nasty guy”. Jake Tapper of CNN News asked Rep. Sanford in a TV interview how ” would you respond” to these comments. Mr. Sanford’s laconic comment was “You don’t [respond].” In life, under trying comments, we sometimes face “enemy fire” that is meant to be provocative and mean-spirited. The best response often is no-response. Rarely is it wise to engage in a war of words. One simple test in such comments is whether or not a response will lead to Win-Win. In mediations, as in life itself, often it is true that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” The truism “Mediate don’t litigate” is a corollary of such proper thinking.