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.
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.