My Pennies on Politics

The old adage must be true – you should never discuss religion or politics – because I haven’t seen this much division among friends since Scarlett and Rhett danced at the Twelve Oaks Barbecue. The name-calling and mud-slinging has been endless. Opposing sides have accused each other of everything from near-sighted apathy to single-handedly ushering in the apocalypse. Lines have been drawn. Stands have been stood. Gauntlets have been thrown. Ridicule has been flung. …and that’s just the voters.

I have heretofore kept my distance from the arena. Not that I don’t have an opinion – I always have an opinion – but…well…I guess I really just didn’t want to get spit on.  And, in all honesty, even though I had pretty much decided how I was going to vote, for a long time I wasn’t at peace with my decision. I didn’t feel ready to go to battle on a position whose particulars I hadn’t entirely worked out in my own head. …that, and spit…I really hate spit.

So I kept my mouth shut, and my thoughts to myself. I watched the incessant baiting and badgering on Facebook – often amused, sometimes annoyed, and occasionally affronted by the vitriol that was freely doled out on all sides.

I am amused by the assumption that so many seem to hold that if one posts what one believes loud enough, long enough, and in ALL CAPS often enough, then everyone who holds an opposing belief will be so astonished and impressed by the poster’s ability to use caps lock that they will instantly capitulate.

I am annoyed by the apparent inability of Americans to check their facts. A simple web search will inform you that, no, you could not purchase gas for ninety-seven cents a gallon when Bush was in office. Also, it is impossible for anyone (yes, even Obama!), to turn off the internet.

I am occasionally affronted by the downright hostile attacks that are directed at those who hold my position in the upcoming election. Just because I don’t vote the same way you do on November 6th does not mean that I am single-handedly destroying our country. I don’t hold that much power. If I did, I certainly wouldn’t exercise it in the destruction of America.

I said before that I haven’t always been sure of how I was going to vote. I’ve settled that decision through much prayer and research. If you want to know how I am going to vote, feel free to ask me. In person. I will tell you…and if you’re nice about it, I’ll probably tell you why. I am not afraid of my position, and I am not afraid to defend my position. I am, however, fully aware of the folly of public debate. Attacking people doesn’t solve problems; it creates them.

So, in closing, I support your right to vote for the candidate of your choice. And I assert my right to vote for the candidate of my choice. And lest you call me a coward for refusing to fight it out: “Sometimes, the greatest courage is shown, not when you fight, but when you walk away.”

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