Election

The hubster and I sat down and got our electoral duties dealt with this afternoon.   Mail in ballots FTW.  (Yes, we team vote.  No, you don’t have to, it’s none of my business how you vote).

Once upon a time, a long time ago when I was a child…  unless you were so into the election that you were out canvassing for your candidate, you simply did not discuss for whom you were voting.  It wasn’t a question that one asked in polite society.   I remember my *parents* being appalled that I asked them, as a child.  Seriously.  After the miasma of horror that has been social media in the year of our Lord 2016, I would like a return to that convention.  (Hey guys, there’s a reason that it’s a *secret ballot* – so you can vote your conscience without consequence from your neighbor or ganglord).

I’m pretty concerned about this election.  Seems like everyone I know loathes at least one of the two main candidates, and considers their possible presidency the next worst thing to the Apocalypse.   The way people have been acting all summer, rioting over everything?  The way we’ve devolved into warring factions?   Some of the words I’ve heard this election year have made my face pale with apprehension… see, I’ve read at least a little history, and “othering” your neighbors and countrymen never ends well.

I wrote this and put it on FB, because my vote, statistically speaking, matters far less than my words do.  And so – these are my words to you for this election:

My friends, I have a request.
No matter who wins the election, no matter what nonsense goes along with the process, each one of us can make a choice. We can choose to spread civility and kindness, or to perpetuate the atmosphere of vicious mudslinging that has accompanied every moment of this horrible year.
Most of the people I know would as soon that our two primary choices for president dissolved in smoke. We do not choose between two good and honest people who have different views of what is best for our country – I have spoken to no one who is willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the leader of the other party. Some of us like one of the candidates, some like neither – none can respect both. But one of them is going to win.
And that means that the day after Election Day, there will be very few truly happy people… and a lot of people who are sick at heart, worried for the future of our country.
What I’m asking for is some respect and kindness. As tempting as that snarky meme or picture is – give it a rest. Just for a couple of weeks. If your candidate is the one who wins – be a gracious winner. If your candidate is the one who loses, be of good cheer – there are proper, decent and legal ways to deal with a bad president.
But no matter what, don’t take it out on the *real people* who live behind the screens on the other side of your FB wall.
Let’s remember that differences of conviction and opinion are part of any community, any country, any society. Let’s return to civil discourse, respectful disagreement, and attempting to see the other side’s point of view… even if we remain on opposite sides of the issues.
The most meaningful choice we might make this election year is to be kind, and every one of us can make that choice.
Feel free to share this.

 

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