On My Soapbox: The evils of elections

Elections are over, at least until May, and I am glad because elections bring out the worst in people.

Somebody had to say it, and I’m not afraid to be that somebody.

I am the first to say go vote and make sure your voice is heard. However, supporting your candidate does not have to include belittling and disrespecting others.

“Can we all get along?”

Unfortunately, Mr. Rodney King, it seems the answer is no when it comes to politics.

Throughout the entire election season I saw, heard and read disparaging comments towards democrats and republicans, candidates and their supporters. Many of the comments were filled with racism and hate.

I unfollowed and unfriended several people – including family and friends – over the last few months just because I got tired of seeing political hate.

I have received countless emails attacking candidates’ culture, skin color, names, family and more. But these are not just random spam emails, they are coming from local business owners and somewhat respected community members.

On election night, I stopped watching social media because of all the racism and stupidity that was spewed. It’s sickening.

Look, if you like a candidate, cool. Support them, vote for them or whatever.

What’s not cool is verbally, or in most cases digitally, attacking someone who has a difference of opinion.

On Friday, a special edition of Pints, Politics & Culture was held to diffuse some of local tension. Ian Davis and Sam Dowdy sat down and had a civil conversation. The goal was to show that people can have a difference in views and still be friends and get along. While I applaud these gentlemen for taking the initiative to host such an event, it should have never come to that.

People should have enough decency to move on from a conversation or an argument once they have made their point. Instead, people tend to go tit-for-tat until they feel they have the upper hand in the discussion.

You will rarely hear me say, “agree to disagree.” In fact, if you know me personally, you know I am quick to smile and say, “to each their own.” Basically, you believe what you believe and I believe what I believe, now let’s keep it moving.

The extremely disappointing part of this is the most recent election was a state/county wide election and did not really include local candidates. Just wait about a month or so when it is time for local school and city elections.

The nuts really fall from the trees and are all over the place.

That’s around the time people make bold, and usually false, claims about others, especially the paper.

I won’t get into the incidents that happened during election time last year. This year, I know to be ready for reactions, whether I’m in the grocery store, at the park with my kids, at the bar or at home playing Xbox.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now and go take a nap. I am sleepy because the city council meetings have become way too long. I understand they have to try to be good stewards of the community’s money. But, they should also try to start being good stewards of their time during meetings. Four to five hours is ridiculous.

“Why be enemies, because we’re different? Think of the things we can do [together]. Think how strong we could be . . . There is nothing we could not accomplish.”

- Jack Nicholson as President James Dale in “Mars Attacks!”

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