Six Days to Go

Six days from now, we will go to bed with a pretty strong idea of who are next President will be. Chances are, before the clock strikes midnight, someone will make a concession speech and the longest, most tumultuous election season in recent history will finally be over. In January, someone new will raise their right hand and swear to defend us, care for us, and uphold the laws of the land. I’ve been clear about who I think is the most capable and qualified of that, but I don’t want to get into that here.

I’ve talked about politics so much more this season than I have in the past. I’ve always felt that people’s votes were private and personal things, mine included. I held to that adage that you shouldn’t talk about politics or religion. But, what I realized is that people who aren’t reasonable aren’t afraid to talk politics and it was important for people like me to add our voices.

Seven  years ago, I wrote a blog post about being careful not to believe the worst of people who were on the opposite political spectrum than you. I really thought, I guess, that the election of 2008 and the fall out from it was as bad as it could get. I was…hopeful that the backwards thinking and racism we saw levied toward the Obama family and presidency would subside. It didn’t. Seven years later, we are more divided and more angry than ever. In less than a week everything that can be done will be done. The new President will be selected by just about 50% of the voting pool leaving 50% of us displeased, worried or scared. We will then be faced by the same thing we always have been, getting along afterwards and that is getting more and more difficult to do.

Seven years ago, I talked about being careful about what information you believed. I asked that you consider, carefully, that political pundits on both sides of the aisle make money on terrorizing the populace. No one makes any money by saying “Donald Trump isn’t so bad” or “Hillary Clinton probably will do an okay job”. There’s no money in that, friends. Again, I remind you that these people are capitalizing on your fear.

They are capitalizing on your fear.

In the weeks following the election, the books will be released. They are waiting in the wings and when the fear and turmoil is at its zenith following the election, some pundit is going to release a book about how terrible, awful, no good, very bad the president elect is. It will become a best seller.

They are capitalizing on your fear.

Last week, I hit the wall. Another one.  It was probably my 12th in this eighteen month long election cycle.  I started having vicious anxiety dreams every night.  Maybe it was my October Slide, but I felt like it wasn’t. I felt like it was election based.  I actually spent days debating on deactivating my Facebook until the election was over.  In the end, I didn’t, but I still may.  We do have a week to go, afterall.  Anyhow, last week’s wall was over sources.  I am tired, always, of the things people will repost and share on Facebook.  I’m tired of the hoaxes. I’m tired of the lies. I’m tired of rumors and opinions presented as fact.  I’m tired of people not spending five minutes to vet a source.  VET YOUR SOURCE, PEOPLE!

Why would someone lie about late term abortions/the Obama’s war on Christmas/Donald Trump being a mountain troll/Hillary Clinton personally executing six hundred police officers?  I already answered that question.

Fear means clicks.

Clicks mean dollars

Dollars mean more dollars leveraged into crappy documentaries that have no basis in fact or a 300 page opinion piece marketed as a book that has no basis in fact.  It’s always money.

They are capitalizing on your fear.

I want to believe the worst on Donald Trump.  I admit my finger has hovered over the share button many times.  But, I always double check.    If I want to share information with people I care about, I owe it to them to make sure the information I’m sharing is true.  Accurate.  Real.

But to carry that one further, click bait via social media is probably the thing driving the biggest wedge in between us.  These articles are never written moderately.  The are never fact checked.  Their headlines and rhetoric are designed to be polarizing.  They want to make you feel something. They want to drive your click.   Seven years ago, I talked about how these talking heads paint pictures of the other side as the worst possible creatures alive.  They want you to think the worst of  the people who feel differently than you.

They are capitalizing on your fear.

When we distill people down to nothing but an opposite opinion on a polarizing topic, we stop being what makes us so great.  We stop understanding.  We stop forgiving.  We stop trying to see why someone may feel they way they do. We withhold our sympathy and empathy from people who may need it from us the most.  We cast stones without worrying about our own sins. We point out the splinters while ignoring our planks.  We believe the worst and most extreme scenario so we can avoid being compassionate or understanding or just wrong.   We believe outrageous things about people on the other side of the political spectrum and it’s so easy to do once we’ve stripped away their humanity and emotions and concerns and everything that makes them human and worthy of care.

They are capitalizing on your fear and they won’t stop until it stops being lucrative.

 

2 Comments

  1. Jeannie Saum says:

    I enjoy your posts. You are very perceptive and eloquent in sharing your thoughts. This campaign season has been rough. We are called to pray for our enemies and exact grace and mercy. But it Is difficult to do, with all the negativity and fear-mongering.
    Thank you for your enlightening post.

    1. Jamie says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I truly believe that the way to mend this problem is to remember that we’re all people and that none of us are monsters.

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