Is it just me or has this campaign season been the most unbearable campaign season of all time? I think it has been decidedly more unbearable because of Facebook. Facebook has become a more powerful delivery system of brutal character blows than any attack television ads, because we know the person placing the advertisement.
Facebook friends who heretofore had just posted information about football games, what they were having for dinner, where they were going (or had gone) on vacation, or any other dozens of innocuous items that drew no contention have now regularly been flying their political colors. Facebookers have been forced to look beyond the surface of folks that they have communicated with primarily with “likes” and glib comments, and reconcile their “friendship” with some fairly strong political statements. I have to tell you folks – it has gotten ugly. I would wager a guess that the past three months has resulted in the greatest activity in Facebook un-friending that the site has ever seen.
I, for one, do not like that kind of Facebook. Tis’ true that I do on occasion use Facebook to make statements about what I believe in and support, but I always understand that not everyone thinks like me or believes as I do. But as it relates to politics and the level of disrespect, rancor, and moral righteousness that is presented – that I cannot understand. It causes me to say out loud to all the folks so entrenched in their position (even if it is just heard by my computer screen and the pets) – don’t you realize all these folks are politicians?
I cannot be the only one in America who realizes that any politician that gets to the point of running for a seat at the national level has had to sell parts of themself all along the way to their party, to their supporters, and even a bit to their detractors. I cannot be alone in understanding that honesty - as put forth in politics - has a very different definition than it has in my home.
I really have tried to stay away from political items on my Facebook page, but I admit that I did get a giggle out of seeing all the Sesame Street character postings glaring at the notion that their funding would be axed and reposted one or two of those on my page or others’ pages. Otherwise, I am staying out of the fray. I do this not because I am without beliefs or convictions about which candidates would be a better selection (although note that I trust no candidate 100%), but instead because I know that after this election is over the country has to live and work together peacefully. I am worried that the level of venom delivered in this year’s races is going to make the outcome of the elections a very bitter pill to swallow for about half of the country (and within the states with hotly contested house and senate races).
Tuesday cannot come soon enough. I am hopeful that after that the country will be able to move on in a more unified way. Make no mistake, the folks who stand to lose the most with all this hateful campaigning and division is us – the common folks. The politicians don’t really care all that much about what has to be torn apart or destroyed in the process, they just care if they win.
Yes, I know – I am jaded. I have said so many times in the past. I would encourage you to take a step back and look at what the political campaign process in this country has become and ask yourself if this is the way you would like to see those who seek to lead us go after each other. Ask yourself if you like being used as a foot soldier in a ground war in which our humanity is a casualty.
In my book, leaders don’t create dissension, they create unity. I see no leaders like that on the political landscape right now; and, I would assert that to attempt to create unity after a brutal election campaign is disingenuous. Gee, it would sure be nice if political campaigns could only be polite discussions about positions and issues and nothing more. Yes, you may say I’m a dreamer – but I assure you, I’m not the only one.
Day one thousand two hundred and seventeen of the new forty – obla di obla da