Another Election Day is upon us, and man, are we angry at each other! What happened to “your vote is your own business”? That has gone out the window completely!
We’ve turned into a bunch of angry, emotional windbags who are waving our political affiliations around like Steelers fans and those Horrible Hankies!
Whichever side you’re on, you have to admit that our current political climate is quite volatile. Why do we have to pick sides, anyway? Aren’t we all supposed to be in this thing together? What happened to all that “United We Stand” talk?
I don’t often share my political thoughts, for many reasons: First and foremost, there’s rarely a civilized, well-informed conversation that follows. Lately, it’s repeated catchphrases, a recalled headline or it’s just blind hatred for whatever it is the other side is saying.
I have never in my life witnessed a political conversation that ended in “y’know, you made some very good points and maybe we can find some common ground.”
I’ve also found that, when people find out which way you lean, it opens the door for them to strike up a political conversation with you at any time, whether you want to talk politics or not. I’ve been suckered into more than one political conversation in my own office before, because I’m too nice to say “shut up or get out.”
I’m also not informed enough. Oh, I try to be. But when you hear news about most any subject, you have to consider the source. Depending on that source, you have to consider what kind of spin they’re putting on the story or whether the story itself is “fake news.” So, you have to research the story.
Then, you might hear a different angle on the story, then you have to research that, too. Throw in some information that you get from television news, and you have to check the validity of that, as well. That’s a lot of informing, reading, checking, watching and checking. Who do I look like, Sherlock Holmes? I ain’t got that kinda time! I got stuff to do!
Look, politics ain’t my thing, and I’m smart enough to know that my goofy little column isn’t going to make anyone change their mind. Might I suggest maybe maintaining your anger a bit.
I’ve seen people on social media claim that they’re doing some “house cleaning” of friends who take their political stance a little too far. It’s a shame. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be passionate about what you believe. But some things aren’t worth losing friends over. I’ve got friends who are passionate about issues on both sides of the aisle. Some of them I agree with whole-heartedly; some I disagree with every ounce of my soul. But they’re my friends, and I love them.
I’m even friends with Florida fans! If we can make it to the end of October without killing each other, then you and Johnny from work can accept that one of you likes guns and the other doesn’t.
After the election season passes, your friends will still be there, hopefully. Some that you called names will be at work with you tomorrow morning, so you’re stuck with them! Unless, of course, you quit. And all the anger in the world isn’t going to change who won.
But it could change your friend count. Take a moment to breathe, step out of your feelings for a moment and remember that we all have different opinions, and that’s OK. Also, when you realize that elected officials don’t define you, you might just remember that you have other things in your life that make you way happier.