Reading through others' social media responses to the election results, a familiar theme emerges. Upon reflecting I realize that, while not a Romney supporter, I do not and never did hate him, although I have deep concerns about and disagree with many of his political philosophies. So instead of becoming accustomed to it, I am always alarmed again when I encounter the hatefulness others can have toward those they disagree with. Interestingly, comments of this nature rarely seem to center on issues, but are instead generally vague on details yet full of fear and disgust.
These attitudes are deeply disappointing. (I also suspect a negative correlation exists between the amount of time an individual spends venting about issues on Facebook, for example, and the amount of time spent actually doing meaningful work in the world.) But today was always bound to be a difficult day, whatever the outcome of the election. Ultimately, I remind myself that the loudest voices aren't the most representative. Most people - regardless of their political affiliations – have worldviews that are calmer, more educated and more reasonable than these outliers, and are probably making a positive impact with their language and their lives.
But even short of blatant hate, I also find the sports-like nature of politics in our society distasteful. The us vs. them, winner/loser, ra-ra-go-team paradigm and atmosphere of discourse polarizes the issues and the candidates and the electorate into two competing teams, when the issues at hand are actually far more complex and critical than should be able to be so divided. So maybe, if you're an Obama supporter (and I am), consider not inciting passions and the worst in others today by referring to the Romney camp as "losers," or even as "the other side." Let's be gracious and dignified today and every day.
|Be the change you want to see in the world. |
- Mahatma Gandhi
Okay, let's go do some good work.