This is the only post I will likely write about politics. I feel about politics the way I do about sports--that is to say, I appreciate it but recognize that aspects of it will always be beyond my interest. The reason why has to do with the political "enthusiasts" or other purveyors of that information. Many are, like I have witnessed certain sports fans to be, rabidly unforgiving of anyone who does not share their team colors. I tend to collect newsy highlights and ask people what they think, then do some additional reading on the matter. When television commentators begin their rants, when editorials run obnoxiously... I get to a point and then shut it all out.
It's pretty ugly out there. And yes, I understand that one man or another in the White House can allow the cost of gas go up, change a policy that makes it harder for my daughter to receive a student loan, and so on. But I am not about to insult a neighbor while discussing the fact that maybe he voted for someone whose term enabled those changes to take place. Recently, I mentioned to two women that I was interested in other people's points of view and had not yet formed a concrete opinion. I asked them what they thought. The response: "Well, if you cared anything about your body, you would know who to vote for." Do you hear the implication? Meanwhile, circulating the web is a video by David Barton saying that God will hold me accountable if I vote for the man who allows for the abortion of unborn children. You know, I am not worrying about going to hell on this one because I am already there as a voter in crisis. It's the hell I go through every four years.
I hate debates and don't think the best candidate arises from that battlefield. It allows a candidate to behave like a spoiled child, one who condescends with snide remarks, interruptions, and talking over the other. The fast talker who twists statistics to his liking is the winner. Yes, flailing on opinion is not such a smart move during a political debate, but I know many great thinkers who simply take time to put words together. Sweating under the heat of stage lights, camera, and public opinion, how might you perform?
Advertising that comes in my mail or rolled up and parked in the railing to my porch is just as bad. One today read VOTER GUIDE and I mistakenly thought it contained an objective list of information about the two candidates for the U.S. Senate. Instead, it was an endorsement for one candidate. I gave it to my son to make a paper airplane out of it. My local councilman, who is running for re-election, was
recently criticized in another flyer that stated he used city money to pave the alley that
happened to be behind his house. I asked myself, if this was the worst
thing that could be said about him, wasn't that almost an endorsement?
I wish candidates weren't allowed to support criticisms of their running mates and could only post their own successes and visions. I wish they were kind in regard to one another. A local gentleman running for representation with the school board shook my hand and then said something very nice about his opposing candidate, who shares similar experiences and credibility. I was touched by that, and he ultimately earned my vote with that gesture. He was who I thought would best represent my school needs to the public and school board. I won't wince when he rises to speak.
While I can't guarantee the outcome of the election, I can promise this... a chain of feedback here. I will get at least one or two posts or emails that invariably tell me why I should vote for one person over another. This will prove my point entirely. :)
Good luck voting. I wish you confidence and comfort in your choice. And I will hope for a brilliant future for us all. At worst case, folks, it's just another four years, and we get to do this again.