It has been a long push to this election day. I think we can agree on that, across the aisles, right? Like many, I feel like I’m really running out of patience today and am fighting with myself to read updates from friends, family and followers. I won’t block or unfriend anyone for voicing their opinions that may or may not fall in line with mine, but I will continue light usage until at least after the weekend.
I am no politico but have my own, very strong opinions based on my lifetime of experience that, albeit, had minimal demand by my parents to follow their beliefs. We discussed issues, and while I usually knew their stance, I never felt any pressure to vote or believe exactly as they did. Another family I was close with, however, had extremely strong views and frequent debates. Over a decade or so of it, and I developed an extreme dislike for such discussions and typically retreat and wait patiently for the fun to resume. I respect their desire for the discussion and also respect myself by granting myself peace instead of digging into a potentially heated debate which will not change anyone’s mind (typically).
In addition to those experiences, there is all the research I’ve done over the years, along with all the other inputs that impact my beliefs. I feel no need to explain, debate, justify or change anyone to my political or religious beliefs. After all, one of the thing I love about our county is the non-conformity of its citizens. I find it extraordinary that people raised in very similar times and households as me can have completely opposite opinions and beliefs and I’m almost always open to learning.
Politics are different for everyone, and a highly charged issue for many, which is one of the reasons everyone (tell me if I’m wrong here) is taught that it, along with religion, are not to be brought up in polite/public conversations. Enter Facebook and Twitter, and I feel they have drastically changed the playing field for politics and interpersonal relationships.
I find this to be the first Presidential election where I believe the existence and ease of use and frequency of use have negatively impacted their user base. Family members, old friends and new friends all have a pissed, and I’m just drained from all the negativity being slung around. The use of both social media sites has become as commonplace as Starbucks and Subway, especially in the podcasting crew I run with. There has been a huge increase in users of both, I unapologetically speculate, happening since the last election. Now there are people in our workplaces and families and church and neighbors and all those ‘friends of friends’ you know are suddenly “Like”ing and ReTweeting their political beliefs where normally, it doesn’t come up. Particularly if you don’t know their politics.
I am finding a lot of Friends and Followeds have been very vocal about their support of Obama. Far more than Romney, from my general (almost) daily skimming. And everyone that posted about politics, candidates or the election issues is usually passionate on the subject. Am I surprised that Obama was elected? Not really, based on my recollection of the posts I read from easily over 300 people. While not scientific or even terribly useful beyond this post, there was foreshadowing in what I read. The wild card, the electoral college, is what makes election results pretty tough to speculate.
Luckily, most folks seem to be winding down their outrage at their candidate losing or at disappointment over the way “other Americans” are handling it. Now it’s just surviving post-election initial aftermath and we will hopefully move on as a country long before Inauguration Day, when our newly elected President takes office. Reportedly, even Wall Street puked in its mouth a little the morning after the election.
My point is this: I need this to be over. I am embarrassed to even have a Twitter account when election day news coverage reported that (paraphrased) “… it’s time to put the white back in The White House…” was a trending topic. Trending, FFS.
Here’s my proposal: I’ll give you the weekend to get it all out of your system, and get back to <insert appropriate sport>, cool links (Like this one! Yes, I’m slow on the draw but it’s so charming.), the cost of gasoline, your NaNoWriMo word count pride or angst? But, as Glob as my witness, if the vitriol continues, I’ll …
Oh, wait. That Freedom of Speech thing. Yeah, go ahead and speak America. Just remember that while you have the freedom to say (nearly) anything without fear of prosecution, there is no protection from your peers also voicing their opinions. In Facebook or otherwise. Maybe there’s still an option that blocks people from commenting,so maybe some folks should look into it when they post highly contentious items?
And, seriously, all you teens and twenty-somethings need to stop talking about how much weed you’ll smoke when you move to Colorado or Washington states. Have you still not figured out that your posts can be used against you? I’m seriously concerned about the number of Americans that think they have privacy protection on self-incriminating posts ANYWHERE on the web. I don’t care how tight your privacy settings are e in Facebook and Twitter, once it’s posted to one of those sites or any other, it’s searchable by employers, law enforcement, Exes, Futures and even your kids.
Finally, I need to give major props for the metric butt-ton of research done by my hubby, Chooch, in preparation of the election. I feel had a solid grasp on the issues up for election in my district. It’s easily the most consideration, discussion and research I’ve ever had before an election.
See? I understand the importance of this particular election, just not the demonstration of negativity, vitriol, passive aggressiveness and disrespect. I hope, as many others have expressed, that those elected will work together, regardless of party affiliation, to help heal the country.