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In which I'm grinding my teeth a little

I am trying so hard to be nonpartisan and to see the good in both parties. But it is so hard when I see things like this all over my facebook:

"Congratulations America, you've just reelected a terrorist."

"Santa Claus sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, and wears way too much red to be a liberal. Vote wisely."

"Mortality rates are only high for people who bring it upon themselves in this country." (when confronted with the fact that many of Europe's "socialist" countries have much lower infant mortality rates than the U.S.)

"I can't believe America likes a socialist, evil, thief who doesn't care about them."

I mean....I don't agree with everything the Democratic party espouses. And I definitely don't think that Obama is the greatest president we've ever had.

A lot of my dearest friends and family are Republicans. And I love them for the firmness of their beliefs, even when I don't necessarily agree with them.

And I know that Democrats are just as capable of mudslinging.

And maybe it's just because I have more Republican friends (I grew up in Utah, after all), but it seems to me that this election, a lot more of the vitriol has been coming out of the conservative side, while my few liberal friends have been much more measured, calm, and fact-based in their statements.

I hate the assumption that just because I lean to the left I must be "either stupid or amoral" as someone told me today. Maybe I vote the way I do because I read about the issues and have pondered hard about which candidate aligned more closely to my personal beliefs and priorities and voted accordingly.

It frightens me how quick people are to assume that because someone believes differently than them they are automatically wrong, evil, or ignorant. This kind of thinking has led to so many atrocities in the past: wars, genocides, crusades, segregation, discrimination, pogroms, you name it. I think there are a lot of good, reasonable people on both sides who vote the way they do because they believe it is the right thing to do, not because of any malicious intent or stupidity.  Both parties have truth to them and well-intentioned people behind them.

I think all of the candidates (not just Romney and Obama) are good people who are trying to make a difference in the world the best way they know how. And I believe most voters (regardless of political orientation) enter the voting booths with the same intentions. I think that is worthy of esteem and respect. And I'm proud to say that even mixed with all of the hate, I've seen a lot of that respect today, in people posting messages of hope, tolerance and optimism.





Comments

  1. This is EXACTLY how I feel. I'm still not very certain of my political standing, but all of the Obama-hate I've seen on my facebook feed this past year has made me NOT want to vote for Romney. I'm sick of it and glad this election is finally over. It's nice to know that there are other people out there who are not unreasonable!

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  2. Santa Claus dresses all in Red and believes that people should get toys because they "deserve" them for being good, rather than because they've earned them in a free market economy--he's obviously a communist.

    On a more serious note, I think the party currently out of power is usually more vitriolic. I hope that's a reasonable excuse, at least, because I've also been disturbed by things on my Facebook wall recently. I've met plenty of people on both sides who are convinced that everybody on the other side is an idiot, but the Republicans do seem to be more vocal about it right now.

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  3. Oh goodness I know what you mean. Facebook as gotten out of CONTROL. Great blog by the way :) may I follow?

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  4. I read a great article today in the Economist about how the Republican party needs to reinvent itself. Right now most Republicans are too negative, pessimistic, and apocalyptic. Here's a quote from the article: "Put simply, it is hard for a party to win national elections in a country that it seems to dislike. Mr Romney’s campaign slogan was “Believe in America”. But too many on his side believe in a version of America from which displeasing facts or arguments are ruthlessly excluded." Basically, they're making up a version of America that isn't really true-- too black and white. The article doesn't exclude Democrats from doing the same thing, but this is also worth copying and pasting in here: "Democratic partisans have their faults: they can be tribal, inclined to believe conspiracy theories about rich elites, and to place too much faith in government intervention. But active Republicans, on average, sound angrier than other Americans. They tend to apocalyptic gloom, from the Iowa county party chairman encountered on November 5th who predicted rioting in the streets if Mr Obama were re-elected, to the numberless activists with theories about the president’s socialist leanings or America’s imminent bankruptcy." Sorry this comment was huge.

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