My husband made a good point this week. (I know, it had to happen once, right?) He said that if our nation's politicians were as terrible as their opponents portray them to be in campaign commercials, then our nation is certainly bound for the dumpster no matter who comes out on top in any race.
It's true. Yet...not so true. I am saddened and disgusted by the negativity that comes with each campaign season. I find it so odd that while we are all part of one nation, one of the most free and privileged nations in the world, that when a major election gets under way, people just lose their freaking minds saying and doing anything to rip apart the candidate opposite the one they support. WHY? Why do people feel the need to spread lies and untruths, and are so easily swayed by rumors and resist truth like it's the plague? I witness this each and every day (multiple times a day) here at work. For some reason, people find pleasure in falsities. They'd rather believe something that makes them mad or scared rather than be corrected and learn the truth and feel better. WHY? I don't get it. Why would you want to hate rather than love? Please...someone tell me.
This Presidential campaign has been one of the nastiest and hateful I can remember since I turned 18 and registered to vote. There's been more use of fear tactics than I recall in past elections and I don't see the point. Clearly, from my previous posts, I support Barack Obama. I support him, I respect him, and I'm impressed by the class with which he's run his campaign, and proud to say I voted (early) for him. Simply put, I think he's the right man for the job. He's run a campaign as adults should. He's talked about what HE can do for our nation and not focused all his efforts on running McCain into the ground. He comes across mature and able to handle the criticism thrown his way, but McCain and Palin seem to not be able to ignore any negative comments thrown their way by the press or Obama's campaign, and they fire back with name-calling and fear tactics.
If elected, Senator Obama will be our nation's first African-American (really!) President. I don't think there's a better man to fill that spot than Barack Obama. It will be an historical moment on so many levels and if it happens, our nation should be able to stand up for him and SEE how far the country has come and be PROUD all at one time. Unfortunately, given the events of this campaign, that probably won't be the case and instead I fear the US will embarrass itself in front of the world declaring such falsehoods as our President being a terrorist, being an Arab, being a Muslim, or even not a natural-born citizen of the US, etc, etc, etc. For some reason, those who are filled with the most hate are the ones that yell the loudest during these campaigns. Aside from my obvious bias toward Obama, when things like name-calling and slander ensue, it makes the side perpetrating those acts look desperate...so very desperate.
I can say that because I've been there. Seth likes to argue me into a corner (regardless of what he'll tell you) to the point that by the time we're near the end of a disagreement, he's got me so flustered that even I feel like I don't have a point anymore and totally forgot where I was going with the point I had at the beginning of the conversation. Often I end up just being mean because... where else do I have to go once I feel defeated? It's the classic childish response to start name-calling and pointing fingers over minimal things. Somehow, you feel like you're gaining the lead again just by being mean. You feel powerful behind that meanness even though you're not adding a shred of legitimacy to your argument. The adult version grows into exaggerating small bits of information until they resemble something so outrageous that you wonder how these people even made it past a minimum-wage paying job. Respectable adults should know better than to resort to such tactics. It's a shame that this is the example our nation's leaders set for the public. No wonder the people that call our office are so hateful! They don't show respect to the elected official I work for (nor his staff), but why would they when elected officials don't even show respect for each other on a national stage? Adults need examples just like children do.
If you support one of our current Presidential candidates like I do, why don't you share with others WHY you support him? Why don't you take time to be proud of him and brag about what he can do for the country rather than spend a vast majority of your time stirring up crap that's just not true and that can so easily be proven false. We've got this great new thing called the INTERNET which give lies a lifespan of maybe 5 minutes at which point a fact-checker somewhere has called out your lie and can provide an "actually, this is the truth..." that buries a lie 6 feet under for good. There's no point in all the hating. There's no point in the name-calling.
The fact is that either Senator Obama or Senator McCain WILL be our President next week. We, as a nation, need to respect the person who wins no matter who you vote for. Someone will lose and voters will not all get their way. I sure didn't the past 2 elections, but I didn't have a tantrum about it. You pick yourself up and you move on no matter who wins. I'll have no choice but to do so if McCain wins, and if you support McCain, then you'll have to pick yourself up if Obama wins. This is our President we're talking about, he deserves the nation to respect him and believe in him if the majority votes him into office.