Trump is a lying, unqualified, loud mouthed sexist, racist bigot. Got it.
Hillary is a cheating, hypocritical, law breaking, untrustworthy establishment puppet. Got it.
Maybe we can all agree that is how the opposite sides of this campaign feel about each other and leave it at that.
What if all the rhetoric and hyperbole and the shouting and the name calling actually went away? What would we have left?
One thing that makes me stop listening, every single time, are the terms always and never. "We will never back down" -- the United States, you mean? We have backed down, many times! And sometimes it was so very appropriate and sometimes it was better late than never and sometimes it was when we should not have been involved in the first place. "We will always step in" when tyranny threatens? Are you kidding? We certainly have not always stepped in when it looked to the rest of the world that we should have. Some could argue, with authentic power behind their argument, that we are so much more likely to step in when oil availability is threatened or if the people involved are white and European. Doesn't sound like the perfect America? OK, I accept that. And in this country, I'm allowed to say it. America's not perfect.
Ever wonder why we have to be the best country in the world? Why is that? Why isn't it enough to be just a really good country, with flaws and problems like every other country in the world? Like a family, our country has our strengths and our weaknesses. That's OK with me. I still love the country I live in and I still despise more than a few important and underlying problems that we desperately need to address.
Maybe it's just me. I understand that in the United States of America, we rip each other apart, we use violent language and make vitriolic statements about the other side in a campaign. It's one party against another, with a sprinkling of other ideology and lesser known candidates thrown in.
I also understand that after the election, (and there will be an after the election), we will have one president. We likely will have one president that a large portion of American's start off despising. Many of the people who will despise the president one day after the election, will continue to despise them throughout their entire presidency.
That's the way that it works in this country. Roughly half of the country will be unhappy, even desperately unhappy, the day after a national, presidential election. There will be more name calling. There will be statements of how life as we know it will end. Some of those statements will be true and some will fade away into the sunset.
What I also know with complete certainty is that the sun will rise the day after a US presidential election. There will be people in the world who don't even know or care that we had an election. There are people in the world who have never heard of the United States of America and whose lives will go on no matter who we elect. Even as we continue to call ourselves the greatest country in the world.
I am not suggesting overthrowing the government. Or throwing out the Constitution or the Amendments. I'm not suggesting that we do things differently in terms of elections, (although, wouldn't it be important and significant for everyone who wants to vote, can? Easily and without subterfuge?).
In my family, a microcosm of a country, this is how my husband and I raised our children -- we raised them to refer to the President of the United States of America as the President. Or their name. Not refer to them as if their name was assho*e. Not likening them to Hitler or Stalin or the devil incarnate. We explained to them that the way the process in the country that they live in works is that after the election, we have a president. One president.
We don't have to like them. We don't have to agree with them. We don't have to have voted for them. Still, in this country, that's how it works.
And if one, (them or us) thinks that our president is an assho*e, do something about it. Make sure you're voting. Make sure you're involved and aware of local politics. Demonstrate. Write. Make phone calls. Show up. Even after the election. Especially after the election.
Is it just me that doesn't see the purpose in calling each other names? How do we get on the same side after such a divisive and hate filled campaign? How do we find peace with each other, even when we disagree about the absolute basics in life?
It comes down to treating each other with respect. Even those we don't agree with, even those whose points of view make us nauseous.
I love speaking to my friends who speak the same language as me. We understand each other, it's easy because we are like minded. And you know what? It's more important that I speak with people who I disagree with and who disagree with me. To be open with my mind, my heart and yes, my soul, to what their point of view is- after all, that's what I want from them. To be heard. To hear. Not to be dismissive. And not to be dismissed.
I don't call the person who cuts me off in my car an assho*e, or the person who takes too long to answer the phone a moron. I am not holding myself up as a paradigm of virtue. I'm suggesting a shift. Let's stop calling each other names. Let that be the first step in respect. We can just be polite. And that can shift our way of thinking towards respect.
Respect. It's in short supply about the person who is going to hold the highest elected office in the United States of America.
Vote for whomever you want. That's how this country was created. Have enough respect for the process that we all engage in to realize that if the candidate that you want does not win, it means that more people in this country wanted the other candidate.
It could go either way.