Election Season. It's almost over. Can I get a collective HALLELUJAH!!!?
This has been, for me, by far the most stressful election to date. Am I more aware (possibly, but probably not any more than usual), feel like I have more on the line (Yeah, I've got kids to think about now), shortened nerves (yes, I've got kids now)?
Honestly, I've been pretty decided on who I'm voting for since I couldn't ignore the endless parade of politicians anymore. I'm not one of the undecided this year.
However, I've also made a real effort of listening (to the candidates, not so much the "analysis") and reading (as many transcripts available, and a purposefully varied set of sources) to understand where the other side is coming from. I don't disagree with everything, just like I don't agree with everything my candidate espouses. This is the infuriating beauty of the right to vote in this country.
What I've been alternately astounded, flummoxed, and horrified by is the absolute vitriol and hatred leveled at each side from the other.
And I'm not talking about the media - I expect it from them.
I'm talking about the posts on facebook to "friends" that make me cringe. The tweets that generalize, warp, and insult in 140 characters. That's what's sucking the energy out of me.
When did this become okay? When did we assume that everyone we know thinks the same way? When did an insult, a dart, a supposed joke about someone else's ethics, morals, and humanity become appropriate? When did we make it a matter of bravery just to have a differing opinion?
Instead of telling me (in inflammatory language no less) why I'd be an idiot (or worse) for voting for the person you despise, give me a real reason to vote for your candidate. Maybe I'd be convinced and I'd certainly rather be voting for a positive reason rather than a negative one.
All that to say... Go Vote!
I have my opinions and I may not like the boxes you check on that ballot, but those differences are what have kept our country great and I'll support you, even if I don't like the result in the end.