Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wherein I Get Political

This election is really upsetting me. Maybe it's always been like this, but to me it seems like the divisiveness and hatefulness are, like, one hundred times worse than ever. Facebook and the interwebs in general aren't helping. People take a single comment out of its context, superimpose it onto an unflattering picture of the candidate, and plaster it all over Facebook. And this is what political discussions are reduced to.
It makes me SICK.

I'm not going to get into whom I am voting for. I'm actually afraid to talk about it, because of the vitriol that I know will spew forth if I even mention a name. I think it's too bad that we have created a culture in which a person is afraid to talk about a candidate preference.

Why is this happening? Why are we approaching politics the same way we approach sports? I'm no expert on sports, but the general idea is that it is super fun to HATE the opposing team, your rivals.  BYU hates UofU, and vice versa, and so on, and other teams hate each other (those are the only two teams I know), etc. And hating the opposing team really has no lasting consequences. It's just something you get caught up in for the game, and then you move on, right?

But the hatred we feel toward Democrats or Republicans (depending on your persuasion) is of great consequence. And it's something we aren't able to get past, even after the election is over. This hatred  serves to divide us, to blind us, to keep us from solving problems because we care way more about beating the other guys than about what is good for our country.

Haven't we learned from the past that one single party doesn't have all the answers to our country's problems? Can't we realize that it takes a combination of theories and practices and ideas from several different people to produce a healthy government? Why has compromise become such a bad word in politics? If a candidate says she is willing to compromise with the other side, then she is viewed as a turncoat within her own party, and a flip-flopper by the other side. It's ridiculous! What's more important, good ideas, or party loyalty? It makes no sense to me.

I think it's hard to reconcile all of this hatred with claims of Christianity, as well. What is Christian about spending $1 billion dollars to go on TV and say really bad things about a person? I guess it's the nature of the beast, but it doesn't seem to jibe with the whole Sermon on the Mount thing. I mean, where do smear tactics fit in with the claim that "whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire"? I wish we could all just be nicer. And smarter. And more discriminating about what we are willing to "like" and "share" on Facebook.

Both candidates are human. Each has great qualities, and each has some character flaws. Neither one is a villain out to destroy our country. Really. I think each side truly wants to make things better, so why waste all this time vilifying each other? Let's talk about the complex issues we are facing as a country, and let's hold ourselves accountable instead of blaming the opposing team.

Dat all.


  1. Funny, I actually was going to post something exactly like this on Facebook, but was too scared to. Well said.

  2. I couldn't have said it better myself! I almost hate getting on facebook now days becasue of all the extreme "hate" that is going on with this campeign. It reminds me of my brothers, they just finished going through boot camp to be marines and now if I have a discussion with them about other branches of military, or if I accidentaly call them the "army" (because in my mind I think more about the scriptures' army, and don't really think about the current army) instead of marines, then they get all mad and offended, because they are better, and NOTHING can change that. I can't get over how annoying it is talking to them about it all because, really, why does it matter that you need to "feel" better than them? Aren't we all on the same team, fighting for the same cause? I imagine that Satan loves this tactic more than most, because it can make simple good people, let their pride, and their competitiveness get the best of them, and end up hating other good people. Anyway, thanks again for the post, I totally agree!
    -Whitney Jacob

  3. I love this! Seriously, this is easily the best political-ish thing I've read in a while.

  4. yes! agreed! times 100!! exclamation!!! :)thank you for always articulating so well exactly what i feel.

  5. I agree also. Wholeheartedly. The other thing that bothers me is when opposing parties, or people in general, get upset that the candidate made a decision one way at a certain time and then changed their opinion on it or voted differently the next time. Isn't change a good thing? Right along with compromise? How do they expect things to change and grow.

  6. Dear Carly,
    Looks like you care. I'va got a radical idea about how to change the poison in the atmospere, maybe you'd like to help out. My name is Nathan. Give me a call at 208-357-6038. I'm a Republican who is looking for any Democrats or Libertarians I can find in this small city, or jut other Republicans who are fed up with the bad behavior of their own party and would like to make a real change.

  7. Why do I get the idea that all this hate politics is a guy thing? I'm with you on the fact that they should be talking about what they can and will do to make things better in this country. I think "they" should limit the time a person can run for office, say 90 days and the TV stations have to give each person, running for office, equal time on their station - public service time. I'm already sick of this whole deal and can hardly wait for November to come. I think the mute button on the TV will get a work out in the days to come.