I am worried…

I am appalled and worried…and sometimes, scared as I watch what is unfolding during this campaign season.

I have no problem with political disagreements; that’s part of our democratic process, and sometimes, out of those disagreements, we find new ways forward.

But what I have been seeing recently is more than simple disagreement.

When I see some of the pictures and look at some of the videos that come out of various rallies–especially the rallies in support of Donald Trump–it feels like I am watching something from 1930s Germany, and I find that frightening.

When a presidential candidate says that he would like to punch those who disagree with him in the face…that’s frightening.

When an entire religion is being called evil because of the actions of some extremists…that’s frightening (and incredibly unaware of the actions of extremists in our own religion).

When there is a call to build a wall to keep out those who are a different color and who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families…that’s frightening. (Yes, I know there are valid concerns that need to be addressed–but demonizing others is not the answer.

When a Christian minister calls for the execution of people who are LGBT right before he introduces (and supports) another presidential candidate…that’s frightening.

When children taunt schoolmates about the probability of being deported because of their color or ethnic origin if a specific candidate is elected president…that’s frightening.

When a top presidential candidate calls for making it easier to arrest folks who disagree with him…that’s frightening.

What has happened to our willingness to reason together? to work together to find solutions to difficult problems?

What has happened to our ability to see each other–even those we disagree with–as human beings?

What has happened to our empathy?

I don’t remember any political campaign in my lifetime being this violent and hate-filled. Yes, I remember the campaigns of the 1960s, and yes, there was violence…but not the systemic violence and incitement of hate that I see now.

We are better than this. We can disagree without pandering to our basest instincts…and I hope and pray that we find ways of doing this before it is too late…before we have become a country so divided that we become like Humpty Dumpty–impossible to put together again.

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3 thoughts on “I am worried…

  1. Reblogged this on darren's thinking and commented:
    I am concerned about the same things my friend Pam is expressing in her blog. I would like to approach my concern from a different angle. This campaign season we (collectively speaking) have either forgotten who we are or were never the people we claimed to be. I hate how this season has made me feel and how I have responded to it. To be clear, I am not really even referring to the candidates or parties, but to us. All of us, no matter our party affiliation or the candidate we support. We have been abusive, dismissive, intolerant, hateful, hurtful. My newsfeed has been filled with nonsense and threats that at one time seemed to only come from Tea Party conservatives, but now come from all quarters. One progressive friend posted we will have change or have revolution by ballot or bullet if their candidate lost the Democratic nomination. Another friend said anyone who did not vote for his outsider non-establishment progressive candidate were stupid and too ignorant to vote. Another calls names to any person they disagree with or changes people’s name to make them insults. Other friends who would lead the charge against sexist remarks now makes them against female political candidates. A friend posted that any of her friends who supported a particular candidate should unfriend her because she doesn’t want them in her life. I am not claiming I am innocent whatsoever. I fully admit I have been a part of this and I am ashamed and regret it. We are attacking people, not ideas, positions, or policies. We are treating this presidential election as if we are a Jerry Springer audience and the candidates are competing on American Idol. It is unfortunate we are not better than this and allowed ourselves to be pawns in the game of fear mongering. With this post, I will be more aware of my behavior and try to respond to things I see in a manner that is more consistent with the person I want to be and the person I want others to see.

  2. I am concerned about the same things my friend Pam is expressing in her blog. I would like to approach my concern from a different angle. This campaign season we (collectively speaking) have either forgotten who we are or were never the people we claimed to be. I hate how this season has made me feel and how I have responded to it. To be clear, I am not really even referring to the candidates or parties, but to us. All of us, no matter our party affiliation or the candidate we support. We have been abusive, dismissive, intolerant, hateful, hurtful. My newsfeed has been filled with nonsense and threats that at one time seemed to only come from Tea Party conservatives, but now come from all quarters. One progressive friend posted we will have change or have revolution by ballot or bullet if their candidate lost the Democratic nomination. Another friend said anyone who did not vote for his outsider non-establishment progressive candidate were stupid and too ignorant to vote. Another calls names to any person they disagree with or changes people’s name to make them insults. Other friends who would lead the charge against sexist remarks now makes them against female political candidates she doesn’t support. A friend posted that any of her friends who supported a particular candidate should unfriend her because she doesn’t want them in her life. I am not claiming I am innocent whatsoever. I fully admit I have been a part of this and I am ashamed and regret it. We are attacking people, not ideas, positions, or policies. We are treating this presidential election as if we are a Jerry Springer audience and the candidates are competing on American Idol, and there will be no repercussions to our behavior or voting choices after the next commercial break. It is unfortunate we are not better than this and have allowed ourselves to be pawns in the game of fear mongering and intelligence shaming. With this post, I will be more aware of my behavior and try to respond to things I see in a manner that is more consistent with the person I want to be and the person I want others to see.

  3. Pingback: I am worried… | darren's thinking

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