I rant in election years. I become angry and hateful. I dislike people based on whom they like or dislike. I become judgmental and mental—ain’t democracy grand?
The thing is, democracy is grand in so many ways, and I want to be grateful for it, but during a presidential election year, which now appears to last way longer than a year by the way, I become many things—and grateful, #Notwinning.
I might have a horse in this race, but this tale of woe isn’t about who I like nearly as much as it’s about for whom (me) and what (my attitude) I have great disdain.
You see, what I like least about political discourse is just how much I let it push my buttons. I get all kinds of fired up when people don’t think the way I think, which is quite the unwelcome revelation regarding the amount of work I have left to do … on myself.
Election season is a time when my compassion turns to contempt. When I hear phrases like: “I love the poorly educated” … I have no words, I sputter, stutter and wonder what kind of a surreal circus I’ve walked into…
But then, I am forced to figure out what it is about that statement that pisses me off so much. While I myself would not be likely to say: I love the poorly educated, the truth is: I don’t like that statement because I value education like crazy. Maybe I kind of worship at the altar of intellect a little bit, which means: I dislike the poorly educated? Is that really fair either?
The poorly educated are not to be lumped together in some loser group that I am free to judge with zero knowledge whatsoever about their access to education or any of life’s other opportunities. Each (and god, am I really writing this?) poorly educated person is an individual whom I should probably know personally before I decide to love ‘em or shove ‘em. Right?
But, politics isn’t like that. Political discourse is about pandering and perpetuating stereotypes that attempt to explain why people, who I will never meet, do what they do. I often don’t even know why I do what I do.
Politics brings out the worst in me. I get all superior, loud and attempt to figure out which of my friends “like” Sarah Palin on Facebook (you know who you are) and question every relationship I ever thought had merit. It makes me a lunatic.
I have found myself in this tailspin of cuckoo, and while I want to blame an orange guy who makes questionable hair choices, and a Texan from Canada whose father scares me beyond compare, I have to start by looking at myself.
Sadly, I'm still much better at finger pointing, and I rage against the machine as well as any suburban mother of two who knows exactly where her next meal is coming from. And yes, there’s plenty to be angry about. Always has been, always will be, but as my friend “Marla,” whose political beliefs I know nothing about because I want to like her forever, says: the less I know, the better. She said that in reference to why she is out of the social media game completely.
My goal for the remainder of this election cycle is to be more like “Marla.” Can I be sort of engaged without becoming enraged? ...
Moderation, like a really good spray tan, can be elusive.
So “Feel the Bern” or “Make America Great Again”… Love Hillary or loathe her …
It’s your business, not mine, and as long as I remember that, everybody wins.