10.30.2008

Haters & Elections. What gives?

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.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this great post describing this historical time in our country. I must admit that there has never been an election that I have felt this passionate about or tried to become as informed on. I have spent hours upon hours researching candiates and selecting who I consider the best person for the job.

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  2. At the same time, I have never been more disappointed by the lies, obvious racism, and blantant fear that individuals are instilling. What makes me particularly mad is when I hear individuals stating things that are obviously false, yet they have solely believed what others have said and have done no research on their own.

    I understand that everyone will not agree with me on who the best candiate is the for various positions. However, someone who voices their opinion should at least be able to tell me why they feel a certain way and not just say that so and so said so. I believe that a large number of Americans could not even tell you who was running for Attorney General or Governor, but it is likely that when they voted they selected one of the two candiates.

    I am doing my early voting today and I am ecstatic to have not just one, but multiple candiates that I believe in. I truly believe change is coming...

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  3. You are so right about people not knowing who they are voting for or even who is running. This year, I went in and ONLY voted for people I knew about and supported. I didn't give anyone my vote if I'd never heard of them or didn't know what they were offering. If they hadn't earned my vote, I wasn't just going to toss it their way. I don't vote straight ticket for this reason.

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  4. Great post Kelley! John and I were just talking this morning about all the hatred and negativity in the ads. Especially now, when it is down to the wire. It really is a shame that politicians feel like they have to do this to get a "leg up" on the other guy. Thanks for the insight in this post and making me remember what this election is really all about.

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  5. I think that some people this election are having a really difficult time straying from those party lines they have always associated with. That's their safe zone, and if they haven't been paying much attention, they probably see emails, have conversations with like-minded friends, etc., which just cements their views that a candidate from the opposite party cannot possibly be worth considering. (I am slightly bitter and am directly referring to some of my friends.)

    What surprises me are all of my friends who are voting McCain and when I refer to the nasty campaign he's run (I realize Obama's has run negative ads too), it's like they live in a bubble and cannot digest reality, because they deny it. They DENY the attack ads! Dude, I want some of whatever it is you're smoking!

    I really didn't start paying attention to the campaigns until the RNC (because I live in the Twin Cities). I am social justice liberal, so for me, I knew I'd be voting Obama. But the pick of Palin finally mobilized me into paying attention. (And I have been scratching my head ever since.)

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