You might think I'm exaggerating, but honestly, between the political ads, signs, debates, dinnertime phone calls, talk, etc., election time has become one of my least favorite times of the year.
My circumstances don't help the matter, I'm a conservative in a liberal state, a liberal city, a liberal school, and a liberal workplace. Sometimes I feel like it is an uphill battle to explain or defend my beliefs. Often times I feel as though I'm not even allowed to express my opinions, but instead immediately lectured about the "truth" as soon as my political stance is known. Of course, I'm sure a liberal in a more conservative area feels exactly the same way.
Unfortunately, I think that the attitudes reflected among our communities are learned from those running for leadership position. Sometimes I think that "debates" should be labeled "public trash talking events." Most of the time there doesn't even seem to be any attempt made to be discreet (not that that would be any better....). What frustrates me is when one side claims it is all the other sides fault - like they have done nothing inappropriate themselves.
Both sides are guilty, yet we often put on blinders to the disgraceful actions of the party we support.
A friend shared this G.K. Chesterton quote with me the other day:
"Most worldly wisdom, most merely party politics, consists in the pot calling the kettle black. Christianity suggested that the efficiency of the kitchen might be greatly improved if both the pot and the kettle called themselves black. The great part of practical politics consists in calling our enemies scoundrels, and while it may be true of our enemies (it generally is) the disadvantage is that it becomes more and more true of ourselves. But the moment we have dropped the pretense of virtue we can get to the fact of it. The moment we agree that we are all scoundrels we can begin to talk like honest men. I ask the reader to imagine, if only for a moment, how happy, how reposeful, how reasonable, and how much released from petty sorrows all our dignified politicians and stately statesmen would become if for one moment they were allowed to base their whole case upon the plain truth that they are all scoundrels. The doctrine of original sin is the most kindly and genial of all doctrines."
Illustrated London News, March 14, 1908
Today, it seems that in order to participate in politics, one has to repress the call to become more Christ-like, because it involves convicting others of crimes that one has him/herself committed also. And it certainly doesn't show love toward enemies.
Honestly, the actions and attitudes present throughout our Presidential elections themselves make me nervous about where our country is and where we are headed - regardless of who is elected.
But while I may be tired of the process, and I may not be excessively excited about either of the choices I do know one thing for sure - that 2 weeks from today I will be going to vote and exercising my right to do so.
And so I leave you with one of my favorite video clips :) 4 years ago when President Obama was first elected my niece Sasha was 2 months shy of turning 2 and really becoming quite vocal. My sister-in-law and brother often have difficult political opinions than I do, but for Sasha's sake, I know that one thing we all were excited about was the fact that the first African American President was elected. Regardless of my opinions about the last 4 years, the reality that Sasha (and now Lexi) will grow up in a country where the leader can be from any racial background is exciting. Given their political views, a little prepping was done, and a few days before the election Sasha had some predictions to make...