Friday, July 27, 2012

Some Like It Hot

Oh. My. God.  It has been hot this summer.  If you believe in global warming, you are likely having such a "I told you so" moment it's sickening, but I tend to have another theory.  I tend to think there is so much hot air coming out of Washington this election year that it is just permeating the entire east coast.  I was so excited by the process four years ago.  I'm just sort of disheartened this go round.  Not because I believe in my particular candidate any less.  On the contrary, I believe in him with all my heart.  Sincerely, completely, absolutely.  Am I naive?  No, I don't really think so (of course, who of us ever does?).  I realize he is not perfect.  I realize that the system is very far from perfect and that hampers him.  But, do I think he is an honorable man, I believe what I said the other day, which is that he has my best interests at heart everyday.  That's what I think of him in my heart.  What my head tells me is that he is the smart candidate for me, my family and our circumstances.

Here's the thing:  I tend to think the Other Guy isn't so horrible of a human being either.  Granted, that whole dog on top of the car made me really upset.  I've done some bad pet owner things in my day with nothing but the best of intents, so maybe who am I to judge?  Do I like what he stands for?  Heck no.  Do I think he knows the first thing about foreign diplomacy?  Not really.  Do I think he's so rich he could really care less about me and my neighbors, let alone a single African American mother in Homewood?  He might try and tell me differently, but I have my suspicions.  Do I think he flip flops on the issues?  Yep, totally.  And do I think he's beholden to people who would tear down what my candidate has worked so hard on over the last four years?  Yes, completely.  Therefore, I think it is a critical election and worth the fight, but do we have to fight so dirty?  Because at the end of the day, he's not evil.  He is, in my opinion, just wrong on a number of issues.  So, he doesn't have my vote or my support.  But, that doesn't mean I have to trash him as a human being.

Yet, civility seems to have taken a serious nose dive.  The person who annoys me the most is Rush Limbaugh.  He acts like such a buffoon and some of the stuff he spouts is so outrageous that you know (or tend to assume anyway) he knows it is a crock, but he says it anyway.  The scary thing is that people listen.  I wonder how many may actually believe him.  But, he's like a clown so it's hard to take him seriously.  Some of the other people who spout hateful rhetoric are supposedly more serious figures in American politics.  Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump to name just a few.  I know Democrats do it too.  Shoot, I guess I just did it by the hyperlinks I chose.  There are few clean hands here I guess.

The whole Birther thing is getting pretty old.  It's a distraction, or an attempted distraction, from real issues.  It's dribble and I'm sure the people who espouse it know it.  I guess it plays to a certain crowd.  But it's the "normal" folk that get really off the hook and have lost all sense of decorum.  I came across a blog today stating that "Barack Obama Is Not Only a Bad President; He's a Bad Person."  I found another blogger who was listing the five top things President Obama has done wrong.  He began by criticizing the stimulus packet, but he said right off he hasn't read the bill.  Okay, so you're going to trash something you're not educated on.  Brilliant.  Maybe not a good example of being mean spirited I guess; it is just ignorant.  For the record, I didn't read it either.  But I also didn't author a blog post about it.  On the flip side of the coin, there is a blog entitled "Romney is a Fraud".

It occurred to me that some of the incivility that I'm bristling about is a direct result of people like myself who keep blogs.  We're exercising our First Amendment rights with very little checks and balances, so we get to spew whatever unchecked, unfiltered and unfettered emesis we can come up with.  People pick it up, spread it and it goes viral.  What a Wonderful World Wide Web we live in.

Let me try and put this out there - not that I think it's going to fly really - let's behave ourselves.  Let's debate the issues vigorously.  But, let's not denigrate the candidates nor one another in the process.  Can we do it?  Can we prove that we still respect the office of the President, the democratic process and one another?  I'm not holding out much hope, but please let's give it a try.

Do this:  think first, write second.

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