There is a lot of emphasis these days on kindness. Our children are taught the importance of accepting people of all types.
Celebrities go from hero to zero when they let a politically incorrect opinion slip in a moment when they have forgotten they are only temporarily the flavour of the moment - what's Roseanne Barr up to these days? How's Ellen doing? We are in the judgiest non-judgmental time in history.
It's hard to reconcile our fervour for our children to be kind and accepting with our witch hunts against those who aren't.
But we do understand our need for our kids to be good people, whatever that might mean. We are, after all, living in a country where anyone could grow up to be the prime minister, or to represent their home and their people in parliament.
But what happens when they get there? Well, haven't we found out in the Year of the Coronavirus when all semblance of normality has gone to pot.
In Queensland, a Greens senior figure is referring to a former deputy premier as a "fugly slut" on social media.
The country is also hearing some choice slices of f-bomb-related insults from the NSW premier's former boyfriend, himself an MP.
Fair enough, that might have been a pretty old conversation now being publicly aired, but it was greeted with a few fresher f-bombs from "a source" only too happy to usher Gladys out through the exit door. It's been a tough year.
Donald Trump has kept us on our toes with a long list of unfriends we don't much care about - "Sleepy, Creepy Joe" Biden, "Crazy" Bernie Sanders, "Goofy" Elizabeth Warren and "Crooked Hillary" Clinton.
You could be forgiven for forgiving these democratically elected goons in this year of no precedents, but the unstatesperson-like behaviour has been around a lot longer than the virus.
One of the most f-bomb-fuelled moments of my own life was furnished by a former premier who shall remain nameless. It was an eye-opening moment into who gets to the top.
Those cherished positions, those leadership roles we would be so proud to see our own children take on, what the Dickens is going on with them? Do we have to issue children going on a field trip to parliament with a language warning? Earmuffs?
Those who have sat and observed democracy in action at parliament will have noted kindness is not key in the halls of power. Interruptions, loud scoffing, jeering, bucketfuls of sarcasm and pointed body language are all par for the course among our feted friends. This is how our decisions are made.
Strong leadership does not need to come with a licence to verbal your opponent to a shuddering heap.
Leadership and dignity can co-exist - on and beyond social media.
Marie Low is a freelance journalist based in Gunnedah, New South Wales.