LACK OF CIVILITY—THE REAL HALLOWEEN SCARE
The election has nearly arrived. Thank heavens! I suspect that you and I are alike–glad the election season is coming to a conclusion.
Some parts of our election process are very helpful. Focus is placed on issues which need to be debated. The spotlight is aimed on our leaders and potential leaders; we get to know them better. Most importantly, we are able to express our feelings when we vote!
Other aspects of this “silly season” are distressing: the abundant negative television ads, the distortion of positions, the obfuscation. I am most troubled, however, by the hostility exhibited in the 2012 election, and believe some of us need to grow up: respect and seek to understand differences, not belittle and demean.
Some extremes are horrifying: the real Halloween nightmare. In my own community, some folks were informally chatting at a church meeting. The conversation—as is often the case—drifted to politics. “I am so proud of my grandchildren,” beamed one. “They wrote a letter to Obama and told him that they hated him.”
Another responded, “I wish he’d die.”
It is hard for me to believe such an event actually took place; civilized people reacting in this way and encouraging it in their progeny!
Another example: in an eastern Utah town, anonymous pranksters created a mock hanging: “A dummy of Romney [was] sitting in a chair by a tree holding onto a red rope that goes over a tree branch and forms a noose around the neck of a dummy Obama.” (Salt Lake Tribune, October 28, 2012) Thank heavens some observers, including the mayor of the Orangeville town, was appalled. But some of these Utahns were apparently laughing. I hope you are as appalled as I am.
Certainly, we differ. Some of us support Governor Romney; others advocate for President Obama. I celebrate the fact that we can disagree, examine, and express our reasons. But when that disagreement takes the form of demeaning, hate, and lack of respect, I am embarrassed.
I am convinced, though I disagree on some points with both presidential candidates, both men seek to serve our country for its good. One is our current leader; the other could be a future leader. Both deserve our honest and kindly attention. Neither deserves vindictive responses. I am embarrassed by those who take the lower road.
They do, indeed, turn our election months into the silly season—more than silly, their actions are deplorable.
Happy, although somewhat disappointed, Halloween.