I can't believe what the world of politics has become. Absolute SAVAGE CHAOS! And guess what? I'm not even talking about the politicians! I'm talking about the general population. That might even mean you...
Only a few years ago, and most definitely when I was a kid, politics were a much kinder world. You could actually voice who you liked, and that was that. There wasn't any hate associated with the opinions, and it didn't matter if your friend liked one candidate and you liked another. It was that plain and simple. I can remember in college talking about the election one year, and one of my classmates asked who I was voting for, so I told him, and he said, quite cheekily and with a smile, "Well, I'm voting for this guy, so my vote cancels yours out and yours cancels mine." We laughed and went on, even though we both did care about who we were casting our vote for. But we didn't care to the extent that we hurt each other. We didn't hash it out to the bitter end and trade insults.
Something happened this morning that made me start thinking about how hateful politics have become, and why do people feel like they can degrade other people for their choices? I'm not even referring to the actual politicians. I am referring to We The People, believe it or not. Us. You and I. The basic, general population. Ironic that we live in America, land of the free, and yet people are shamed if they don't like the same candidate as someone else, isn't it? And do you know why people are being so hateful? This is just my opinion, of course, but it is the very thing you are reading this post on - THE INTERNET! Or, as I like to call it, THE DEVIL.
I think social media, although it can be a very fun thing, has caused some folks to forget their manners and they are posting things they wouldn't say to someone's face if they had to look them in the eye. Social media is creating monsters. More bullies are born every day, and I think it partially stems from the internet and lack of actual eye to eye contact.
Frankly, this presidential election has been the most interesting of my lifetime. I've never cared as much as I do about who wins. But guess what? You certainly won't see me posting about it on Facebook or anywhere else, for that matter. You know why? Two reasons. One, I am scared! I don't want the repercussions from people who disagree. If I share my opinion, someone will be sure to tell me they don't agree and how stupid I am for thinking what I do, and I don't need that kind of negativity and stress. Two, because I respect other people's opinions. I don't need to share my opinion with the world - you are free to believe what you want, and I am free to believe what I want. Right? Long gone are the days when sharing was a safe thing to do.
This morning, I read a post that said, "I can't believe some of my so-called friends are supporting so-and-so." I am being vague on who the so-and so was on purpose, of course. Why buy in to the hate and negativity? And that is what it all boils down to, for me. Hate, negativity and disrespect. I wanted to reply, "Just because your friends don't support your candidate, you feel like it is okay to belittle them on social media? Would you do that to their face? My guess is, probably not." But again, I didn't want to get in an argument on the internet. I don't have time for that - who does? Seriously, if you do have time for that, reassess your life. Arguing online is a waste of valuable time that could be spent actually living your life and interacting with real, live people.
In any case, I really don't know why people feel compelled to be so negative and hurtful with regard to politics and their opinion. It does absolutely no good, and it doesn't change even a single person's mind. It just creates hate and hurt.
This election has even affected my B's. Brailey has been learning about it one of her classes and has become very interested. Our family as a whole is interested and spends a lot of time talking about some of the issues. Brailey has had a ton of questions, of course. Britt was actually bullied at school by a boy who assumed he was for a certain candidate and then told the entire class, as if it was wrong to support this particular candidate. Britt never even said it out loud, mind you! We even warned our kids to be careful with sharing their opinions, because even though we live in America, there are definitely repercussions for certain beliefs. This kid bullied Britt all day long and the next day, too, including mocking him, hitting him in the back of the head with a drawstring bag and telling him that "he sucked!" All over an election they can't even vote in. (Trust me when I say Big Mama took care of this matter.)
Back to the issue at hand, though, isn't it sad that we live in fear of sharing our opinions? I don't share our political beliefs on social media, because the absolute last thing I want to do on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter is argue with someone. I just want to see positive and fun things, and that is what I try to share, for the most part. I save my ranting for this blog, and even then I try to be respectful. And guess what? I don't really care what your political opinion is. We can all think what we want to think. It's okay! We can all have different opinions, and we don't need to shame one another if our way of thinking doesn't line up with someone else's.
Don't let the internet turn you into a bully. Don't let the internet give you a false sense of security. And if you wouldn't look someone in the eye and say it, for pity's sake, don't post it online. And if you would say something hateful to someone's face? Then you should stop. Seriously. It isn't okay. In the words of Jesus, "Peace. Peace I leave with you, peace I give to you." And maybe that is the best way of all to think about it - if you wouldn't say it to Jesus, then don't say it to anyone. Online or offline. Just don't say it. Keep your opinion to yourself and spread love and throw kindness around like confetti. That will go a lot farther than your political opinion. At least, that's my opinion.
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