Election Year

This might come as a surprise to some of you, but there’s an election coming up next year.

No one has really made many official announcements yet. There haven’t been any debates, and not a single vote has been cast.

Still, if you follow the news, you have a fairly good idea who the candidates will be. I could name the likely candidates here, but I am not going to.

That’s kind of my point.

They may be politically famous. They might take really good pictures, and have a lot of terrific ideas about how things need to change. They might even have plans on how to facilitate that change. Maybe they even have a catch phrase all ready for when their campaign officially begins.

But consider this: they are—before all that stuff—just people.

They aren’t angels, OR demons.

They are men and women. Fallible men and women. Susceptible to their counsel, wise and otherwise. Susceptible to both media and public perception of themselves as candidates and people. Often even subjects to their own hype; up to and including the current CEO of the USA.

They make good decisions. Bad decisions. Sometimes NO decisions.

That is because they are people.

Like you.

Like me.

So all of this vitriol people spew this time of year when an election is coming is really the only thing about the whole process that is truly non-partisan. And it’s sickening.

Don’t demonize people because they don’t feel the same order of importance for things you do. Chances are, they aren’t willfully trying to destroy the country. They are simply trying to do the best they can subject to their own belief structure and counsel.

Maybe it isn’t the same as yours. That’s ok.

Likewise, do not overly laud them for often simply agreeing with something that is essentially basic common sense (or basic human decency). Or for that matter, saying they want to do something they may or may not be able to actually do.

Now, that is not to say we have to capitulate our collective wills to things we don’t agree with, or that contradicts our standards for living. I’m not saying that at all.

I’m just saying, can’t we—as grown men and women—find a way to disagree without falling into the political equivalent of kids pushing each other around on the playground and calling each other names?

For crying out loud—trying to explain the political process to your kids is more difficult and even embarrassing than having “the talk” with them.

For my part, that is why I try to just vote based on what I know to actually be true about candidates rather than what I hear. That is not always a two party thing.

So it’s ok to disagree. It’s ok to have a different opinion than your friends or neighbors politically. We don’t all have to vote Vader/Palpatine in 2016.

Just don’t be a jerk about it.