The US election is over. President Obama has been re-elected by a small percentage of the popular vote. Mitt Romney conceded the election shortly after midnight, ending what had been, at times, a very hostile campaign season. Some say the negativity was the worst we’ve seen in a Presidential election. Interestingly, it’s not. In the early years of our country there were meetings between candidates that devolved into fisticufs. In our infancy, Presidential candidates would openly berate and verbally abuse each other. There were even instances where citizens would pull guns on those who dared to disagree with them or their candidate.
This year, for the first time, the US Presidential campaign and election took place in a multi-dimensional informational supercell. No longer were citizens left to just print, television or radio. For the first time, candidates could engage one-on-one in real time with potential voters without regard to boundaries. For the first time, volunteers and supporters could reach across borders to share their thoughts. Never before were citizens so connected with friends, family and total strangers who supported their candidate or his opponent.
And never before have we seen so many verbal attacks between citizens because those friends, family members and total strangers disagreed. Social media made it easy to jump into what used to be private conversations. Facebook made it easy to privately message ‘friends’ and push your agenda or berate them for choosing to support the other guy. Twitter has made it easy to find anyone at any time who disagreed with you so you can pick a fight, if you wanted. And other platforms made it so easy to circulate doctored photos that might be funny to one group but rude or offensive to another.
For the first time, it became easier to attack people who in the past we had no idea how they leaned politically. This year, it was so easy to wear your political affiliation on your status update. The belief in personal privacy in the political process took a back seat to letting people know how you felt about ‘the issues’.
During the campaign season I had several people send me private messages on Facebook asking how I could support the re-election of President Obama. But instead of just stopping there, like would have happend in year’s past, it was easier to append that one question with rhetoric and talking points about how I must not love my daughter or how I could possibly agree with where President Obama wants to take this country given that my family was personally touched by violent crime.
What? Seriously? What does loving my child have to do with voting for the Republican candidate? What does my family’s experience with a violent crime have to do with politics? The gloves had to come off!
Who anyone chooses as President has NOTHING to do with whether or not they love their kids. It doesn’t matter if they’ve researched the issues or are voting along a party line. Presidential politics and loving my child are not related in any way shape or form. And another thing that has nothing to do with presidential politics is whether or not your family has survived a violent crime. Now, when I vote for sheriff that’s when I consider if he or she could protect me.
Democrats love their kids. Loving your child has nothing to do with political affiliation or who you vote for. You may not agree with who I pick, but trying to guilt trip me into voting for your guy by telling me that somehow I’ll magically love my child more or feel safer is ludicrous. And guess what? I’ve been a registered Republican since 1987. I’ve voted for Republicans and Democrats. Nothing that has happened in my life is related to whom I voted for. Period. End of story.
Disagreeing with my political stance is one thing. Saying I don’t love my child because I won’t support your guy is the biggest load of nonsense. I will never be convinced by that kind of argument, and, likely the same for my fellow Dems.
We’ll revisit this message in 4 years! By then, my daughter will be a teenager and probably won’t be talking to me. But I guarantee this, I will still love her.