Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10-11: On This Day

It's #ROCKtober! This month is supposed to be a joyful celebration of music. However, the election is stealing that from me. I've heard of this phenomenon where people are physically ill from the vitriol being flung about by both sides of our two party system, and while I'm not physically ill, I'm feeling the effects.

Look—you don't like my candidate, I don't like yours. You will never change my mind just as I will never change yours. What we likely agree on is that our two-party system is broken and needs attention. I don't think we can fix it through the election (like with a third party candidate) because our system is not set up for a third party candidate to win. But if that's your vote, neither my candidate or the other side's is likely to change your mind, either.

Politics has become a way for politicians to divert our attention away from what's happening. I urge you, when you find an issue to be inflammatory, research it. Don't just get mad, get educated. Not that you're not educated, but I'm guessing there are things that we're both hearing from the other side that is news to us or information that we only have part of the story on. Let's all get educated about these issues, these statements, these "facts" that get thrown around like they're actually facts.

Why would this side or that side say such a thing about your candidate or mine? Usually it's to divert attention away from the real issue. It's spin—it's all spin. It's calling people "pro-life" when they're anti-abortion; it's calling people "pro-abortion" when they're pro-choice. It's calling men and women who put their lives at risk on the battlefield "troops." It's taking the sting out and softening the words when we talk about our stance, making them more harsh and hateful when we're talking about theirs. And everyone is guilty of this.

We've got 4 weeks until the election, and this has been a long election process. We can work on that for future elections. We can work on a lot of things. We can work on laws we don't like, policies we don't like, the inability of our government to work together, the two party system—everything. Remember, a government of the people, by the people, for the people? We need to reclaim our status as the people and put the government to work for us all.

So, in 4 weeks and 1 day, when the dust from this election settles and a new batch of dust gets kicked up over who gets elected, I'm going to work. I'm going to work to overcome my reflex to listen to the inflammatory and I'm going to seek facts. I'm going to work for the things I believe in—that we are all people deserving of representation and respect—and I urge you to do the same.

We can get through this. We can do this.

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