I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to ignore the shit-show that is the Presidential election this year. It isn’t possible. I’m an American, I pay attention, I read, I have an IQ over 100. I can’t shut up anymore.
I grew up in a very loud, very passionate family. I remember heated debates around the Thanksgiving table growing up. I remember listening to politics before I knew what politics were and I remember feelings sometimes getting hurt, but then those feelings being healed again. I learned, from my parents’ and aunts’ and uncles’ examples, how to argue (mostly tactfully) and I learned that you can love someone and still disagree with them.
But this election is completely insane. I find myself on the other side of the aisle from the same people I’m always on the other side of, but this time it’s different. This time, it’s too hard to ignore the cognitive dissonance dulling the eyes of my loved ones with whom I disagree. It’s too hard to let certain arguments slide. It’s too hard to say, “I disagree with your stance but I understand how you arrived at it.”
Because let me be real clear: I do not understand how some of you have arrived at your stance this time.
We have, right now, at this very moment, people tweeting that one of the candidates is a satan worshipper and a baby-killer. We have, at this moment, another candidate being endorsed by the oldest hate group in America. We have, at this very moment, sound bites of a presidential candidate that are unsafe to listen to at work, are unsafe to let our children listen to. We have pictures of a prospective first lady that would get most people fired from their job for looking at. We have a presidential candidate standing trial for fraud in November, and for raping a thirteen year old girl in December.
So your moral high-ground stance is a bit muddled for me. I mean, I was no fan of Romney or McCain, but I never feared for a complete and total breakdown of society if they were elected. But right now? I’m scared. Because the candidate endorsed by those who claim to be the most morally-sound in this country, is a sociopathic liar with a clear agenda that has nothing to do with bettering our country.
I know, I know. It’s all about the supreme court! The supreme court! We need a pro-life appointee. Because this tactic has worked so well in the past. I have yet to see a Republican Presidency, since the passing of Roe v. Wade, that resulted in less abortions. In fact, abortion rates actually go down under Democratic presidents. So if we’re serious about stopping (or at least slowing) the number of abortions in this country, why not vote for the party who actually tackles the socio-economic issues that make abortion feel less necessary? And why, if so many of you are pro-life, are you against saving refugee children from countries torn apart by wars they had no say in?
Which brings me to my next point: Christians. Come on. I mean, come on. We have big-wig Christians like Franklin Graham coming out with strong rhetoric about the only path for a Christian nation, talking for the “faithful.”
But some of us have news for you: You don’t speak for us. You don’t represent our beliefs, our wants, or our religious interpretation of what a Christian should be. I know that bugs you, I know you think you’re the only one with any understanding of the scripture. But you’re not. You are a very small, very loud minority. And I know that’s scary, and I know that has resulted in the fear-based attacks against those of us who disagree with you. It’s uncomfortable to suddenly find yourself outnumbered, I get it. But you know what? Tough. Suck it up. Be a part of the solution to bring our country together instead of further splintering it.
It shouldn’t be that hard. It shouldn’t be that difficult. My kids can do it, they can argue and take turns listening to each other, and argue some more, then cool down and come together with a compromise that benefits everyone in the family. And they’re kids. Not even teenagers. If they can do it, I know you can too.