If you follow me on Facebook, (and you should, I post much more there and most of it is hilarious), then you know that I have been refraining from posting about the election or the candidates. Quite frankly, this election is making me sick. I know who I am voting for and I know why I am voting that way because I have researched the candidates outside of the mainstream media. The blind acceptance of any political party or candidate based on what they say or what Fox news or MSNBC says about them is a foolish way to make a choice. However, relying on what you friends or favorite pages post on Facebook is equally as irresponsible. Yet many people are doing one or both of these things.
I know that many of you are very passionate about politics -- that is fine. I also know that many of you are passionate about your chosen candidate -- also fine. I have seen many "passionate" political posts in recent weeks that are full of misrepresentation, misinformation, and can best be described as inflammatory. They are meant to anger people. The people posting them are friends (some closer than others), and they post things without vetting them because they think that they are funny or because they have a knee-jerk reaction to hit "share" because the messages are so outrageous and they believe they will somehow hurt the opposition. I am not passionate about politics. I actually loathe politics. But I am passionate about America, and this election is ripping our country apart.
I have my own opinions about the candidates and their respective stands on the issues. But the last thing that you need is another political opinion. This post is not about my opinion on the candidates or on the issues.
This post is more of a bipartisan reprimand. If you see yourself in anything here, then yeah, I am talking to you.
I want you to quit relying on what you see on Facebook or mainstream media to sway your political opinion. You are adults. Don't let your friend's interpretation of whatever facts they think they know decide your vote. Do your own research. Use that research to find out which candidate best fits your ideas (or is least offensive) about what is best for this country.
I want you to quit bashing the other side and acting like your candidate is some sort of Messiah. These are both men who believe that their way is the best way. They are human and therefore flawed regardless of what their campaigns may tell you. Their supporters are as varied as America itself and there will be good and bad people among them.
I want you to quit talking about riots if Obama doesn't win or how you are moving to a different country if Romney doesn't win. Frankly, both of those things are unlikely. You will not find a better country to live in than America regardless of who the president is and what good would a riot do? Do you think that it will make the winner say "Oh, my bad. The other guy can be president." All you will do is succeed in destroying property, harming others, and getting yourself arrested or worse. I do not think that anyone truly believes that leaving the country is a viable option or that rioting would accomplish anything. The people who say those types of things are showing their immaturity and/or their lack of understanding of how the world works. (And frankly, it scares me that they are allowed to vote).
I want you to act like the adults that you must be in order to vote and not like a bunch of toddlers who are gonna stamp their feet and pout if they don't get their way. Regardless of who wins this election, we will all have to deal with the results and we will have to live with each other. Throwing a temper tantrum, belittling your friends (or in some cases family) that disagree with you, making threats about what you will do if your candidate loses -- they are all immature responses.
In short, I want you to grow up and then vote.
There is so much information on both candidates out there -- not all of it accurate and a great deal of it purposefully inaccurate and meant to mislead. If you are a voter, then it is your responsibility to research candidates. You should start on their own websites and then seek independent sources to verify, explain, and comment on what they believe (or claim to believe) is the best plan for our country. Nikki, over at Mom's Who Drink And Swear wrote THIS BLOG this morning while I was writing mine. (Fair warning, Nikki's vocabulary is a "bit" more colorful than mine.) It is a very good commentary on Bronco and Mittens and what this election is doing to our country. People are trying to boil these 2 candidates down to a soundbite and that is just not possible. We live in a complicated world. There are so many issues at play in this election that it is impossible to compare the candidates as Nikki so aptly put it as "Romney wants to take money from poor kids and Obama wants to kill babies." But frankly, that is what the candidates and their supporters are trying to do.
There are a lot of people screaming for change in the way the election process is handled -- abolish the 2 party system, let the popular vote negate the electoral college, make elected officials accountable for their campaign promises, etc. All excellent ideas. However, the time to scream for changes like this is NOT in the 6 months before the election. The way government works means that such changes will take years to bring about. So if you really want these things changed, start working on them now before the next election in 2016. Right now focus on what you can do with your vote in this election.
There is a page that I follow on Facebook called "I'm Just Heavily Medicated." I do not know if her recent posts are supposed to pertain to this election or not, but I am going to close with a small sampling of her recent meme-quotes. Take from them what you will, but I found campaign correlation with each and every one of them:
"We all see the world differently, based on our experiences in life. Someone else may not see things the same way, and that's okay, because we don't have to agree."
"People won't always see things as you do; let it go. You won't always see things as others do; let it go."
"Don't be pretentious. Nobody is perfect and nothing is more annoying than someone who acts like they are."
"Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you."
"Friendship isn't only about saying the right thing, sometimes it's knowing when to say nothing."