Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hate Much?

You know, I try not to get political publicly, because I don’t see the sense in it.  Most people have made their decisions as far as who they feel is the best candidate or party, and they have their reasons for that.  Good.  Fine.  That’s what this country was built on, and it’s that right to self-govern we fought for.

But I have to say something about what I'm seeing on social media these days.  The stuff friends feel compelled to email me.  Seriously, people.  Get a grip.  All this hate language because someone doesn’t believe like you do is ridiculous.  Calling each other names and mindlessly ranting because someone doesn’t match up to your ideal isn’t going to convince me to vote for your candidate.  Indeed, you’ll most likely make me run the other way.  People I otherwise respect are swallowing their parties’ rhetoric without bothering to think for themselves.  It’s like everyone decided to drink the Kool-Aid whether they’re Republican or Democrat, simply because Fox News or the Huffington Post or some other agency with an agenda told them to.  Even the most outlandish swipes against the opposing party are being treated like gospel.

And those swipes are just plain ugly.  Many with unfounded claims.  Some with outright lies.  The parties’ followers trot them out like facts and tell the rest of us we’re morons, even evil, if we don’t fall in line with their party or candidate.

Do you want to impress me with who you want to take or stay in office?  Then tell me your candidates’ selling points.  Tell me the good they’ve done and the good they’re hoping to do ... and have the facts and numbers to back this stuff up.  Explain intelligently to everyone why your party is the best thing since sliced bread.  But do NOT tell us how all of one group of people are evil or liars or absolute idiots.  Do not slander the opposition with unfounded rumors just because you don’t want them elected.  If you do, I will shut my ears to your ugliness and the rabid, blind hatred that has consumed you.  Your crazed zealotry has made it impossible for you to hold up your end of an intelligent conversation.

There is good and bad in each person.  In each party.  In each race.  In each religion.  Deal with it.  The person or group on the other end of the spectrum are no saints, but neither are they Satan incarnate.  Every single individual, including the one who dares to not agree with you, who may even challenge you, is simply another human being moving through life. 

You don’t agree with everything your spouse/child/parent believes.  Do you denounce them with hateful words, accept what perfect strangers with their own agendas tell you about them, or do you have the sense to accept the differences because you know they are decent people who deserve the freedom of their own opinions?  Why should you treat anyone else differently just because they are not a part of your inner circle?  Why is it suddenly all right for you to cast stones ... big, heavy stones with the intent to do irreparable harm?  To make others feel defensive and hurt? 

You do realize that all you are accomplishing is to get the people on the other side to dig in their heels more than ever and get ugly right back at you, right?  That you are giving them proof that your side is the one that is hateful/evil/stupid?  Seriously, when was the last time someone called you an idiot and you thanked them for pointing it out?  Why do you expect them to listen to you slamming their views and calling their intelligence into question?

Do you want to know who gets my vote in the next election?  Really?  Tough.  It’s none of your business, buster, because I cannot have a decent conversation with you on the subject.  You are blind and deaf to all but your own cause, and this lack of an open heart will only destroy our friendship.

You do not have to be a savage to tell us how you’re feeling.  You do not have to be a raving maniac towards the opposition.  Be courteous.  Invite discussion.  That way you may impart something your listeners didn’t know and will be open to hearing.  Allow them to return the favor.  Be civilized, for heaven’s sake.  Too many of you are acting like spiteful animals, quick to bite even the hands of those you call friends.  And if you can’t get a grip, then I’ll see and talk to you after the election when you’ve recovered some of the manners you had before this got started.