Before I share my thoughts on encouraging everyone to chill out, I should let you know politics is a passion of mine. I’m not asking for civility because I’m wishy washy on this. I’m a policy wonk. Want to talk about quantitative easing or domestic policy? I’m your girl. I love this stuff, but I worry about what is coming in the aftermath of the election.
Politics is a tough game. Demonizing your opponent is the first step in any campaign. Most politicians turn a blind eye as their surrogates go say things they would never say out loud.
Maybe something like this. “Yes, Devil McEvilPants, drowns puppies and has a secret plan to make half the population live like junkyard dogs. If you want to eat old food and move to the local dump, vote for Devil McEvilPants.”
That’s the game. Always has been, always will be. I don’t shake my fist at the players or the game, it’s a waste of time.
My call is for everyone to not be pawns in the political game. Don’t get riled up by the rhetoric and start viewing others with opposing political views as enemies. Don’t be taken in by the lure of these lies.
We are more alike than different. My guess is that most people believe in and want 95% of the same things. The tactics to get to the common goals differ, and that is where the political power brokers thrive. Don’t buy in to the rhetoric.
I’ve watched candidates I supported win and I’ve watched them lose. I’ve gritted my teeth and wished the winner well for the good of the country. I’ve had to log off Twitter before I type something I would have regretted. I’ve said things I later regretted because I broke my own rule of focusing on policy, not politics.
I’ve spent years on Facebook and Twitter reading the political updates of people I both love and disagree with politically. I care for them enough to respect their opinions and not try to argue mine. Remind yourself that your friends with differing political views are still the people you care about. Be bigger than politics.
After the election we will see elation, anger, hopelessness and apathy. (I may feel all those things at once myself!) If your man wins, handle it with class. Don’t directly taunt those on the losing side. If your man loses, handle it with grace, and don’t end friendships of those who are happy with the results. If my guy wins, I will be all over Twitter high-fiving others who are joyful. If my guy loses, I’ll go dark for a while and have my offline tantrum.
Put people first and don’t give into the hate that the political machines promote. We are at the end of such a nasty and divisive campaign season and there will be a huge need for healing in the aftermath of the announcement of the winner.
Be bigger than this election.
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