Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I vote for civility over politics

Am I the only person reading about/watching/discussing politics that thinks that there is just a bit too much (ie a lot of) HATE floating around out there? Since when did having a different opinion than someone mean you had to despise their very existence? I hardly think that an election is about making a choice between a white night and a dark lord. I hardly think that every slip of the tongue or funny looking tie indicates a voluminous character flaw that must be touted and shouted from every roof top.

This vengeful dialogue must be the reason that when I go to vote I have a looming feeling of anxiety and ... distrust. What if the person I chose, who by then - because the "other side" has been slinging vile and angry accusations with the same ferocity that "my guy" has been at them - I have serious doubts about, is really a shyster who has fooled me and others who vote for him and when he wins he will slough off his human form and reveal his true reptilian and evil soul? And even worse...what if the other guy wins?!

I crave information, debate and conversation, even persuasive argument - that is not full of revulsion and fury. I want to be able to hear each candidate state his political and philosophical leanings, his priorities, emphasize his character as well as his humanity and then step aside to let the other do the same. Sure, they can debate, but please, use logic and civility, not propaganda and sarcasm. Note this - I nearly always disbelieve a person who speaks of "the other" guy with hatred. I don't discuss politics very often because it seems like I am frequently blindsided by such statements, and if I try to advocate for rationality I become "one of them." (Oh what a saint I make myself out to be!)

In my fantasy world, if the person I didn't choose happens to win I'll think to myself - "Well, its a good thing that some of my Senators and Congresspeople, as well as those in other states, share my opinion, and can advocate for the causes that I hold dear - and its a good thing that our Founding Fathers set up at system of checks and balances so that the Executive office does not hold all power. And its a good thing that this might only last 4 years, and can not go longer than 8 years. And maybe I can trust the majority of the population to at least have chosen someone with character who, though his opinions differ greatly from mine at least has the best interests of the people he serves at heart."

Of course that would be easier to believe if the candidates themselves weren't so easily...

...hold on, I've got to go clean up cat puke.

8 comments:

Steph said...

Couldn't have said it better myself! I find myself for the first time seriously praying for our country and the decision we are about to make.

jamerlou said...

Wow! Good girl. Merril is all political and loved to watch both the republican as well as the democratic convention. I'm glad you're so engaged by politics. I don't like to listen to people argue so I have a hard time with debates.

Sweet Em said...

Well I have to confess that because I hate the hate I haven't been very engaged in politics this time around. Last election I listened to "right-wing radio" in the drive home and "left-wing radio" in the drive to work. This election - gag me - the rhetoric is just killing me.

Queen Elizabeth said...

Amen sister. I have never been more eager for the debates because the rhetoric - to me - just cancels each other out. Can we vote "change" as the most overused word of the year?

CurtisANDMindy said...

oh, em. I love it. I love you. I agree 1000% percent. It seems like you can't trust anything any politician says these days. There are always two ways to make any action sound. If you are for universal health care (which incidentally I am not) you can talk on and on about the lower costs and never mention the long waits to see specialists and that Canadians are actually coming to the US for treatments...just like we're going there for prescriptions. Both sides just LEAVE out the negative effects of the things they are campaigning for and so you never get the full picture of what it means to vote for this person. They could say some completely ambiguous statement like "I support the education of our children, our most precious asset and I assure you I will do everything in my power to make sure that no child is left behind." but that could mean any number of things. it could mean lowering testing standards to allow that all move forward. it could mean diverting funds from the educational system to the welfare system to make sure that no child is left behind there. you can never trust that they mean what they say...and that what they say doesn't have some weird meaning that can be interpreted a thousand different ways when they change their views after another poll of public opinion. I think we're both just a little disillusioned with what is definitely a decaying political system...one that is no longer based on honor, integrity, and the service of the american people, but that is based on money, power, and special interest groups and their, oh right, money. wow. you're rant inspired my own. sorry about that.

jamerlou said...

Holy Moses girl! That is the longest comment I've ever seen in my whole life!!! Ya ever heard that the nickname for no child left behind is 'no child gets ahead.' Hee hee!

Crystal said...

I guess I'm the only one that is more amused by the " hold on I've got to go clean up cat puke" than the political stuff :)

oh, and amen :)

Sweet Em said...

Crystal - if you think that's so amusing - you come clean it up!