Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I have political opinions, though you wouldn't know it to follow me on social media. I keep my thoughts and rants to myself, save for a few individuals in my very inner circle. The beauty of this country is that we're allowed to have differing points of view, to support different candidates, to choose the issues and values that are our top priorities.

I don't care which candidate gets your vote, nor do I care if you don't like where I place mine.

What I care about is how I see you treating one another in a very public forum. I see how you represent yourself, your views, your values. Discussions and debates have not been polite. And yes, I am quietly forming opinions, as I observe how you treat those whose opinions differ from your own. Because if you're busy shrieking how intolerant everyone in support of the other candidate is, if you're intent on hurling insults and leaping at the opportunity to cut others down with a snide or condescending tone, simply for not voting the same way you do or might or will, if you've spent your time being ugly to those around you, it isn't under "special circumstances."

How you've conducted yourself doesn't go away just because the campaign ads stop running on television and the ballots have been counted. You don't get a free pass just because you call yourself 'passionate'. Calling people terrible names doesn't happen in a vacuum just because it is a Presidential election year. How you've acted today and yesterday and last month is part of who you are...and I take pause with allowing those who produce toxicity into my life.

So, yes, I've been watching and forming opinions, not based on which party you identify with but how you've chosen to act these last months. There are some (even some who are for "my guy") who have disappointed me and I am not sure how I overlook the ugliness they have displayed. One of the great beauties of this country is that we have the right to express ourselves, both with speech and with votes, but with that comes a responsibility to own what you've chosen to say. When the polling locations close, there will be a President named. It may be the guy I voted for and it may not, but those insults and names called and gross generalizations--some of which have been directed at me, whether you realize it or not, and some of which I have been chastised for simply because someone in my preferred party has chosen to spew hatred--already hang in the air. They cannot be unsaid, even if they are forgiven by those they've hurt, even if you think you've gone in and erased their ugly fingerprint from the internet. I have no choice but to believe you meant those things, because you said them, publicly and repeatedly.

I pledge allegiance to the flag that waves over this awesome country where I get to live and have an opinion and decide how to behave...and today, I will use my voice by casting my vote, not by cutting down others under the "justification" of politics.

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