Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Approve This Message

November can't come soon enough for me.

Don't you love glancing at a headline or logging on to Facebook and hearing a rant that begins, "You bigoted, narrow minded, brain-washed puppet of the (fill in the blank with Right! or Left!)."

When I read screeds like this, gosh, I truly see the light and surely plan to reverse course and vote for your candidate.

A few months back I wrote an unpublished piece that started:
I look forward to election years if only to get a concise and up-to-date list of all the people I hate. Because, of course, hate is the only possible motive one can have for holding this position or supporting that candidate. Infantile, you ask? Really, my five-year-old possesses reasoning skills superior to those on display in the heat of campaign.

Dave read what I had written and commented that I really did not want to be that kind of writer. And he was right.

I don't know Tom Bissel over at Yahoonews. Before last week, I am fairly certain I had never read a word he has penned. But he captured one of the few cogent points made in this eighteen month acid bath we call an election year. (Yeah, the election year, sadly, doesn't last just a year). Here's what he wrote:

I’m almost 40 years old, and one life truism I’ve discovered is that it’s virtually impossible to hate someone you bother to get to know well. Our national discourse would be far better off if we made an honest effort to think of our politicians as men and women with verifiable histories and complicated humanness rather than as phantasms of ideologies we hate. Doing so might also make us more willing to see the best in one another, which would be nice, seeing that habitually assuming the worst in others remains a fine way to ruin what’s best in oneself.

I'm sick of the sound-bytes. I'm sick of the nasty-grams posted to Facebook. I'm sick of the headlines. If I ever actually watched television, I'd be sick of the ads.

I'm a conservative. On some issues I'm a staunch conservative. On other issues, I'd call myself a liberal. I could pen posts full of venom and vitriol demonizing all those Horrid, Horrid Liberals. But you know what? I'm related to half of them.  And you know what else? They are motivated by many factors, and I don't think hate is among them. As long as they're well-caffeinated and not stuck in traffic, these liberal relatives of mine are nearly always generous, giving, self-sacrificing, and kind.

They will likely be voting for President Obama. I will not. But I once again I agree with Tom who said:

Even if you don’t agree with his policies or politics, looking at President Obama as a hateful creature fished from the ponds of a global Islamist-Marxist conspiracy probably suggests more about your basic goodness and humanity than his.


Kris said...

My husband (staunch conservative)can't stand any of Obama's politics. But he always says that as a husband and a father, he is to be admired. Of the two most recent Democratic presidents (Clinton and Obama), he would never invite Clinton to our house, because doesn't care for him as a person, but he would be happy to sit down and have a conversation with Obama as a man. All these people, are just that - people.

ami said...

So Kelly - I had no idea you'd be voting Green Party :)

Kate said...

My kids, staunch democrats all, are worried about how we will celebrate Thanksgiving this year. My feminist daughter can't look a republican in the eye, especially a woman, because she won't be able to prevent a list of all the laws that have been passed by republicans that affect woman adversely from passing her lips. I have to say that this year, more than most, have tested me what with Mr. "legitimate rape" and Mr. Forced vaginal ultrasound" and....I was especially disturbed to realize the Mr. "legitimate rape" is actually on the house science and technology committee. I am married to a Ob....really a ridiculous position. Intelligent people can disagree but a lot of the stuff out there..... The partisan division has really become unreconcileable. It didn't use to be this way. I find it very sad.