Presidential elections really bring out the worst in people.
Really. How many friends have you unfollowed on facebook or twitter? It’s a high stakes game. I get it! So many important decisions could fall on the future leader of our country, so yeah! you should be excited and passionate. Please vote!! But should you burn bridges and break friendships? Or be an a-hole on Instagram?
I know, I know. None of you guys are the types of people who’d go on and on about why Trump is such a loser, Hilary is takes corporate bribes, Bernie doesn’t have solid policy stances or Cruz is… I don’t know. I’m not paying much attention to him. The fact of the matter is that they’re all human and they’re all politicians so there’s plenty to to like or dislike about any of them. These statements aren’t a reflection of my personal beliefs - they’re an echo of the social media chatter that happens every second of the day. And the evening news? Ugh. The kind of things people say at these rallies just makes me sad about humanity. We are better than this. We’re better than making laundry lists of what we hate about the candidates and their supporters.
So why are we taking it out on each other? I see far more mud slinging online than I do positive promotion of any of these politicians. Maybe it’s just my facebook algorithm? I don’t know. I do know that the system is pretty broken and I also watch House of Cards so, people, I get politics.
But in seriousness, here’s what I do absolutely know: We’re all MORE than who we vote for. There’s not one candidate or political party out there that represents me or you perfectly. And it’s not worth being a hateful or angry person to defend or defame any politician. (Says a woman who was super heated in both 2008 and 2012 (and for a few minutes in 2016), see also: hindsight, maturity, personal growth!)
Energy goes where attention flows, so use those 140 characters to accentuate the positive. Don’t fall in the trap of election trolls. It’s so easy to want to fire back online behind the safety of your keyboard! I fight it every time I see a place where I could contribute an good argument. But if I’m honest with myself, a facebook comment is only going to fuel a fire and is a smart ass reply going to change anyone’s vote? Be the person to rise up above the nastiness. If you’re excited about politics, add to a meaningful discussion in a positive way.
I’ll vote in my primary in a couple of weeks for the person that aligns closest to my beliefs. (As well as my local elections which have a much bigger impact to my daily life!) That’s what you did or will do to. And that’s not a reason to rage and get angry at each other.
It is our right to express our opinion through our votes. We can openly discuss who we’re voting for or keep it private. You have your reasons. I have mine. I may not like who you’re voting for, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like you! So next time one of these conversations pops into your feed, won’t you join me in keeping the discussion civil?