Teetering Between Being Vigilant and Burying One’s Head in the SandPosted: February 14, 2017
I was raised with the belief that one doesn’t discuss politics, religion, or your finances with your friends unless you know beyond a doubt you have agreement on said views. And beyond the heated college debates in which one is trying to make sense of the universe, I, for the most part, have followed the unwritten rule. (There were a few wine enhanced exceptions which managed not to destroy relationships.)
Other friends seemed to follow the same philosophy until the advent of email forwards. The nastiest ones were usually political in nature, and finally finding the bombardment of negativity annoying, I informed the most frequent offenders I did not want to receive them anymore. I received an apology, and this person respected my wishes. That’s what one should expect. Isn’t it?
Then came internet social media sites like Facebook and Twitter which have changed the landscape of communication. It’s a wonderful way for people to reconnect or stay connected in their busy lives. But in the last several years and especially this last election cycle, people have used Facebook as a venue to push their political agenda. Most posts intended to discredit candidates, even though many were of the “fake news” variety, many from sources unknown. This rapid and bombarding method of dispersal works because we Americans, being so polarized, are likely to believe anything negative about an opposing candidate. Let’s face it: People hear what they want to hear, believe what they want to believe, and disregard the rest. I do too. Many people are sick to death of politics, they don’t want to hear anymore and post pictures of puppies. I get that.
But the real problem if we become complacent and stick our head in the sand, some really bad stuff can go down right under our noses. Sure, I have that same desire to cut the ugly business of politics out of my life, as well, but people, if we don’t pay attention to what is happening, then we deserve everything we get down the pike. I don’t trust that our politicians have our best interests at heart. Do you? If we, their constituents, are not their watchdogs, they will have none. That is very dangerous.
And when has being unaccepting, disrespectful, and insulting to others of a different race, religion, culture, or political opinion become acceptable? When has calling people names or demeaning others because they are of a different nationalities, religion, or political party become okay with so many Americans? I have read some incredibly vile posts on Facebook and Twitter and they get all sorts of people who agree with them. You don’t like being politically correct? Do you want your children to grow up with hate in their hearts? Do you want them to be mistreated because of your family’s beliefs? I am so worried about our polarized nation. Instead of having intelligent discussions and finding where we have common ground and beliefs and choosing compromise and solutions together, many are choosing to close their minds and hate. Can’t we do better than this? Our children are watching us.