Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Friendship and Elections

It is unfortunate that friends have disputes, but they always have and always will. That is the way of the world. Electoral office has always been a source of division. This presidential election cycle has been the worst I remember concerning divisive rhetoric. Friends and relatives and husbands and wives are at odds over their preferred candidates. Bad news. Collectively we need to tone down the language.

I do not like it when the Facebook commenters resort to name-calling. I have to admit, I have gotten caught up in the arguments myself and resorted to less than complimentary language. I am sorry I let that happen to myself and sorry that I would do that to a friend. Friends do not have to agree on everything, but it does help if they are tolerant of each other’s opinions. I apologize to anyone I may have offended during this election year.

Arguments often cease to be about who is right and wrong. They become about who is willing to argue the longest and who insists on getting the last word. I remember a time when the way to win an argument was with the facts and the truth. That no longer seems to be the case. Our news media and biased websites clutter the atmosphere with misinformation. In politics facts and the truth do not seem to have any value. I often give people facts and they accuse me of fabrication. I explain the data is from government databases and they do not believe the government either. Well, now.

Where do you suppose people get their information? How do they know it is true? It appears to me people are only willing to accept information that matches what they already believe. I think we have a myriad of ignorant people making decisions on candidates based on misinformation from their own support groups. The truth no longer matters and facts no longer matter.

People seem willing to ignore faults of their chosen candidates. Some people even deny the truth about their candidate even when it is presented to them without equivocation. Interesting. Everyone has flaws. Every candidate has flaws. Denying them does not make them go away. We all make choices and what we base our choices on is as varied as the people making them.

We only have one earth and most of us want what is best for everyone. A few things I think are best for everyone. Show respect for each other. Give other people a chance to state their opinion without ridicule. Obey the law. Do not make a bad situation worse. We are all in this together.

Probably more than half the people will be unhappy no matter who our next President is. New officeholders still deserve an opportunity to use their best judgement to make things better. Many people feel that good intentions are enough. I think that is foolish. Good intentions seldom help anyone. Good actions do. I prefer someone that makes good decisions. I like leaders that surround themselves with good people and listens to their advice. A leader listens to the options and makes decisions.

Friends are good to have. Do not sacrifice any of them for differences of opinion, especially about electoral candidates. Michael Phelps was captain of the swimming team at the Olympics in Rio. He told his teammates that if they had anything negative to say, keep it to themselves. Good advice. Concentrate on positive thoughts. Let us see the good in each other and search for some good in the opposing candidates. That was even hard for me to say, but at least I am thinking about it.


2 comments:

  1. Great blog entry. We spoke the other day about something similar. I feel like I have lost some close acquaintances because of this election. One, in particular, has been on my mind. I hope we get past it. I have more I will save for Facebook.

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  2. Thanks, AJ. A lot of emotion in the air. Friendships are hard to come by. Love you.

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