As I watch (and I admit, occasionally engage in) the meltdowns on Facebook and other social media, here’s a non-partisan thought on politics:
It’s not weakness to admit the shortcomings of the candidate or party you support. It’s not treachery to admit where the other candidate or party does well. Rather than making you a traitor to your own, it reveals you’re a person of consideration and character, refusing to be swept along by a stream of half-true headlines or news bites that tell you exactly what you might want to hear.
More than the evils of either (IMHO abysmal) main party candidate, I fear the drones on both sides who refuse to see anything that disagrees with what they want to believe.
Those who dismiss everything their candidate does wrong as if it isn’t on record and readily available for public review.
Those who turn on and savage public figures who they counted as allies for years prior to some perceived slight or difference of opinion.
Those who rely on the most suspect and sketchy source as fact when it is not supported by even one mainstream media outlet (and I include Fox in that).
This year I feel left with two horrible choices and perhaps a couple slightly better options that have no realistic chance of winning.
I want to blame the parties, the system, those in power.
But in my dealings with friends on both the right and the left, it’s all too clear that we’ve got the election the American people asked for.
I don’t unfriend people on Facebook. I may not agree with everyone but I like the variety of viewpoints (which I thought was one of the strong points of social media).
In light of willful, repeated ignorance in the face of several corrections or challenges, I’ve had to consider it several times now. Even people who concede one day that their extreme points take it too far–these same people will repeat the exact same words the next day as if it’s some obvious, unassailable truth.
In Rio, some sources report the water is tainted with sewage. Athletes are reportedly being advised: “Particpate, but keep your mouth closed to avoid contamination.”
I feel like that is good advice for social media over the next few months, as well as for the voting booth in November.
100 more days. (Followed by four years of further baseless and myopic vitriol on both sides.)
Good luck, America, and good night.