Okay. So here we are again in a political season. Am I imagining things or are we always in political season these last few years? Anyway, I am doing things a little differently this time around. E-mail is full of the goings on in the campaigns of Democrats that are neither in my state or my district. They are fearful…if we lose this one, I read, our country is going to hell on roller skates. I think we are already there, actually. Campaigns are hell.
I am not singling out the Democrats. The Republicans do the exact same thing. Fear gets people to donate money and money is how elections are won. That I why I don’t donate any more. Elections are not won, they are bought. It is the system as our leadership has created it.
I already know who I am going to vote for. I am iffy on one only because I happen to know the Republican contender and I think he is a terrific guy. He votes on things differently than I want but I still like him. I think he gives his vote serious consideration and he is not afraid to talk with folks who oppose him, which he does with respect.
But I digress. I was talking about doing things differently than I did in the past. I immediately delete the political ads I get in email or on Facebook. I don’t trust anything written that is intended to instill fear. I won’t throw my name in anybody’s hat. I will, however, put my name on position that is in agreement with mine.
As far as discussion about politics with family and friends, this is what I expect:
– No character assassinations. If a politician says or does something you don’t like, explain why you disagree. But the politician is a human being and should be treated as such. If you cannot do so, then shut up. You should realize that when you attack a person others support, they will stop listening to you. They don’t change their opinion of the politician you are attacking. They change their opinion of you.
– Debate has its place, but when talking one-on-one, the point should not be to win an argument. The point should be to share ideas and learn from each other. Be open to the possibility that the person you are speaking with may have information you do not have. Listen. Be willing to change your own opinion.
– Be patient with others. They probably have reason for their opinions that have nothing to do with you. If you feel you have information that could change their thinking, do the best you can to present it, but don’t attack. This is counter-productive. It makes them dig in their heals even more so and only grows the opposition.
– There are always things we don’t know. As history unfolds, we learn about all of the goings-on behind the scenes. Stand tentatively rather than firmly. You will avoid having to eat your words later.
– Be willing to acknowledge both the mistakes of the people you support and the accomplishments of those you don’t. It irks me when a person in either party can’t praise the accomplishments of someone in the other. I watch the candidates I have supported and am not afraid to tell them or others when they take a position I disagree with. Likewise, I acknowledge when a leader in the opposing party does or says something that I like.
– Don’t be afraid. If you are afraid, you will always be trying to control others and the more you try to control others, the more they will fight back. Remember, the times we are living in are only a small slice of the life of humans on the earth.
– Understand the principle of the pendulum swing. It swings because there is a both truth and untruth in any position. Pay attention to this. Let the idea of pendulum swing give you hope.
I don’t know if anyone much cares about what I just wrote. It helps me to put it in writing.