Politics seem to be America’s new blood sport. People can’t even agree on who won any of the debates. Obama is weak and a liar. Romney is arrogant and a liar. Those are the nicest comments I can find. I know I’ve written before about differing opinions and anonymity on the internet being a factor in the increase of hateful things being said, but we’ve reached a new low.
I watched the debates and I’m wondering if I’m watching what everyone else is watching. Was there really a winner? Will it be the American people?
What I saw was not two men debating the best way to move this country forward but instead two men who wanted to talk over one another in their effort to make the other look like stupid and incompetent. I saw two men openly displaying hostility for the other side. I was sure someone would yell Tiger Blood or Winning!
What have we come to when we can’t have an opinion on either candidate that doesn’t disintegrate into insults? What have we come to if we can’t voice our opinions to one another in an intelligent way without it leading to arguments or name calling? And are we really basing our vote on who has the best sound bite?
Discussing politics has always been touchy. By nature, they can be conversations that become heated, even amongst loved ones but are we not smart enough or do we lack the emotional maturity to discuss a topic without realizing that there’s not always one side to it? Is everything so black and white? And are we forgetting that we are a country that is based on freedoms? Shouldn’t that include the freedom to disagree on any given subject?
I’ll be honest and say that I don’t love either candidate. There are a lot of issues that bother me but I don’t think that Obama is a Muslim who hates this country and is looking to take it down from the inside. I also don’t think Romney is a woman hating Republican who is looking to get in and promote Man Power.
I don’t think Obama handled the tragedy in Benghazi very well but I also didn’t think Bush handled the WMDs in Iraq so wonderfully either. Yes. I went there. No. That’s not a defense of Obama. Its saying if you’re going to scream about one, scream about the other.
There is a lot that can be said about both candidates. There is good and bad about both men but the reality is that love them or hate them neither man got where they are because they are stupid. They both have different ideas about our country and different ways they think we should move forward. Are we able, as a country, to look at their differences and choose what we think would be best without attacking the opposition?
Watching those debates left me feeling a little sad that this is what our country has become. We watch them as if we’re watching a cage match. Both men circle each other and as they circle, people are Tweeting, posting on FB, and commenting on news sites, mostly hateful things. The few intelligent points that make it through are quickly shot down by some kind of insult or derogatory comment.
If we can’t even watch a debate without starting social media wars, I have to wonder what hope there is for this country. Can we ever look at the issues? Are we capable of looking outside of whatever our political affiliation and seeing that maybe the other side may have a point or even thinking the other side is completely wrong but somehow inserting a little civility into the argument? If a political disagreement can provoke irrational acts and attacks what are we really modeling for our kids, the future of our country?
I’m not going to make any claims on behalf of either Presidential candidate. I don’t claim to have all the answers. But I will say that watching the frenzy on social media after the debates is disheartening. It makes me wonder when we’ll be replacing We the People with Welcome to the Fight Club.