Little fills me with as much dread and unhappiness as knowing what's coming in the year preceding a presidential election. I know I'll have disagreements with good friends and with family. I know I'll start to get a good feeling about a candidate, only to see that candidate get involved in the disgusting mudslinging. I know that the best things that candidate can say or believe in will be drowned out by blindly rabid supporters who cheer for misguided ideals simply because they think those ideals fall under "their" party heading.
I will feel shame when the bad apples make a stink for the whole barrel. Yeah, I'm talking to you, certain Fox/Google debate audience members. Shame, shame. On you.
I'll roll my eyes and bite my tongue when people who have no idea what they're talking about adamantly and hatefully voice opinions. That's their right. I'll gently correct when I can, and I'll gratefully accept correction from others if I'm wrong. If that correction comes in the form of yelling or condescension, it will have a harder time getting through. I've learned to try to "avoid loud and aggressive persons, as they are vexations to the spirit."*
It makes me sad when people preach humanity in one breath and spew hostility with the next. No one has figured out all the answers yet. Yelling your ideas and calling each other stupid and heartless does not make your ideas any more right.
I have a gut feeling that this is going to be the ugliest election season this country has seen in a very long time. It looks like the worst in people is already surfacing. I don't want to see what else is festering below that surface, but I'm going to. I'll have to watch people cheer/jeer as these jackals in expensive suits tell us what we should think and why we're ignorant/amoral if we don't agree. I'll have to accept that my reluctance to engage in confrontation will be misconstrued either as a lack of understanding of the issues or as a lack of conviction regarding those issues. I'll just have to sigh when otherwise smart people lump millions of individuals together as one of two groups and judge them all based on the actions of a few.
Sucks. I don't have all the answers. Neither do you. But I'm pretty confident that calling each other Nazis and celebrating in others' misfortune ain't getting it.
*Desiderata, Max Ehrmann