I try to make it a point to not discuss politics as much as I can possibly help it. Politics and religion are the two topics that are almost guaranteed to lead to some sort of argument unless you just happen to be talking to someone who completely agrees with your opinions- and that almost never happens. What’s alarmed me recently, especially with the next election looming ever closer, is that politics are taken almost more seriously than religion now. I can understand why people would be very sensitive about their religious beliefs, as they help to define who you are and can be an extremely personal thing, and I guess political beliefs are the same, and both can be used as tools for hate and closed-mindedness. There are an increasing amount of people who have made politics their own religion, where if you aren’t democrat or republican, for Obama or for Romney, then you’re the “enemy” and are treated accordingly. I’ve seen otherwise intelligent and logical men and women with whom I have a great amount of respect be reduced to schoolyard kindergarteners when they get online, spreading ridiculous or sometimes outright offensive propaganda pictures, articles, or chain e-mails on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. They argue and fight as though it’s for their favorite sports team, and very rarely have the “discussions” been actual discussions dealing with facts and rational points. I’ve done my best to stay removed from such things, and when I do comment it’s generally with the intention of bringing some semblance of balance to the equation. I’m not a democrat or a republican. When I vote I vote for the candidate that seems to best represent what I think is the right way to do things. I have to be honest when I say that neither candidate is exactly ringing my bell this election season. Both campaigns have gotten so dirty and slimy, with facts being twisted left right and center, that it’s hard to tell who or what to trust any more. For example: for the republicans you have the “We Built It” thing, which is entirely based on a statement the President made being taken out of context. On the other side you have the whole Sesame Street campaign, which, lets be honest, was so freaking ridiculous many people thought it was a joke and not a legit ad.
The media isn’t much help, because it seems they’re all biased in one direction or another depending on who is paying the bills. In the end my biggest fear is that people are allowing propaganda and bandwagon thinking to sway their vote. This isn’t a sports game, this is the future of our country, and it will determine the way things will go for the next four years. I understand people’s passion for it. I understand the fear that’s there about what might happen, but letting that fear drive us in our responses and in how we relate to other people will do nothing more than divide us further and cause animosity- and that isn’t good for anyone. I guess in the end all I’m saying is this: both candidates have their strong points. Vote for what you think would be best for you, your family, and the others you care about, and let others do the same. Don’t treat each other like enemies. We’re all in the same boat, in the end. Whatever ends up happening, we’re all going to have to face the consequences together. At the very least we can face those consequences knowing that we did what we felt was right and that we acted with integrity, even if those we’re voting for may not be able to say the same.