So, by the time this gets posted, the election is over (hopefully) and someone has won. Since I am actually writing this Monday prior to the start of voting, I will assume that someone is actually winning. And, I, for one, am very, very glad the whole election season is over. I, unfortunately, live in a “contested” area so I have been bombarded with robo-calls, TV ads, and junk mail.
If I look back at the past year, the thing that surprised me about this election is how vitriolic it was. Don’t get me wrong, politics is always a touchy subject but it seems to have gotten worse in the last three elections.
Here are some random thoughts since it would take far too long to condense this into a really clean commentary...
(1) Part of the problem lies with the Democrats and the Republicans. Sadly, I don’t believe either party is looking out for the best interests of America anymore. I believe they are just trying to get into power and stay there. And, I believe they are driving wedges between people more and more to fracture the population and win votes.
(2) It disturbs me that open discussion about political beliefs often degenerates into name calling. It disturbs me that people call each other unpatriotic just for having a different opinion. Since when is that the American way? Just because I don’t agree with you, you don’t have the right to question my patriotism.
(3) I think part of the reason political discussion has died is because people only listen to others who reinforce their own view point. Republicans only listen to Neil Boortz and Sean Hannity who certainly don’t provide anything close to fair and balanced. At the same time, I don’t believe that CNN is always neutral either. Personally, I read CNN and listen to the radio talking heads so that I can attempt to get the entire picture.
(4) For some unknown reason, it’s now bad to be in the middle. Whatever happened to the moderate? For some reason people have forgotten that the middle is where most of live. In business they call it the “win-win” situation, but in politics they only call it losing.
(5) I think the advent of the internet has been the usual blessing and curse for politics. It’s wonderful because candidates can get their message out to more people, more easily. It’s wonderful because there are fact checkers that can quickly point out when a candidate is lying. But, it also allows all the web trolls to post whatever lies they want to. It’s hard enough to discern fact from fiction when it comes to politics as it is without adding people who purposefully spread lies.
(6) Finally, it bothers me that lots of people appear to vote on single issues. I met way, way too many people who voted purely on where the candidate stood on abortion. I understand that it’s a hot topic but there are sooooo many other issues that are far more important. It might help if people voted on where the candidate stood on multiple issues like taxes, the war, and even health care.
This hasn't been one of my most coherent postings and it kinda degenerated into a bunch of talking points. But, it seems that this election was so nasty that I wonder how people will get over all the name calling that occurred. Maybe it’s always been this crazy, but I don’t seem to think so.