Monday, October 22, 2012

My only political post: Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know tonight was the last presidential debate. And to be honest, I have never been so excited for a television series to end. Seriously.

Ya'll, I used to enjoy politics. I studied political science in college, and at one point in my life, I dreamed of running for President. I loved politics because, like philosophy, it was an area that had no right or wrong answers. Politics, unlike hard science, is about balancing opinions. I was drawn to study political science because it centered around compromise and listening to the viewpoints of others. For me, politics were about listening to others talk about their beliefs and learning about how they formed their opinions. If you listen closely enough, a person's views tell their life story, because their views are built from their life experiences, circumstances, and situations.

But this election? This election has nothing to do with anything that made me fall in love with the study of politics. This election has everything to do with "big manning" your opponent, and nothing to do with coming up with solutions to our problems. I can't watch TV, listen to the radio, or go on Facebook without hearing a negative political ad or seeing a friend belittle another friend because they have a different opinion.

In case you forgot, our freedom to think, feel, and say what we want is what makes this country so great. We all have different life experiences and situations that have shaped our views into what they are. Further, we all have different issue priorities. The presence of many different opinions does not mean that some are wrong or even that some are more right than others, it simply means that we are unique individuals who have come to different conclusions about how we want our country run.

Are there uneducated voters? Absolutely. There are uneducated voters who will show up to vote for each candidate. But to make generalizations about people simply because they will vote for a different candidate than you will is both heartbreaking and ridiculous.

Here is what I know: the men who are running for President both care deeply about the United States of America. They both want what they believe is best for this country and for you, the American citizen. Whether or not you agree with their plans and ideas is up to you, and I encourage you to get out and vote for the candidate that best aligns with you on whatever you deem to be the most important issues. Instead of bashing the other side, the other candidate, the other voters, learn to agree to disagree. Embrace the fact that this country is beautiful and special because we have the ability to make our own choices and form our own opinions from all of the information available.

Because as we tear down each other and tear down each candidate, we further divide our country. We take this election from one in which we are choosing between two men who care about the future of this country to one where we are choosing between the lesser of the two evils.

And while you're at it, research your local congressional candidates as well. Vote for the person who best represents you, and the one who will work across the aisle to get things moving again. Because without a Congress that will compromise to move forward, neither Presidential candidate will be able to forward any of their long-winded promises.

That's all I've got. You've got two weeks to get yourself educated, and a whole lifetime to work towards making politics more of a conversation and less of a fight. November 6th is a very important day, and I hope all of you take the time to make your voice heard.


  1. How is this any different from how we treat any rival? Have you been to a football game lately and listened as the home team boos the visitors when they enter the stadium? It has become more and more socially acceptable to tear down your opponent as opposed to cheering for your team.

    I tried to teach my children to follow the words of Thumper in the Disney film "Bambi". "If you can't say anything good, don't say anything at all."

    Unfortunately society is accepting the negative aspects of competition and we see this behavior from more and more people in all areas. Values and ethics are a huge part of who we are and I would love to see an effort to reestablish good sportsmanship and positive competition.

  2. Correction to my quote from Thumper from my daughter: "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". I guess it stuck:)