Monday, September 10, 2012
Soap Box Politics
My first time voting was in 2000. I remember being super excited and feeling so grown up. The election was between Al Gore and George W. Bush. It was the closest contest in presidential history with the Florida recount. There probably was a certain amount of negativity passed around and if Facebook was around it could have been worse, but I don't remember any of that.
I look at what elections have become since and it seems that it has progressively gotten worse with each election. How hard it must be for young people to feel encouraged to vote and be excited about it!
I really dislike Facebook during elections. I, myself, love a good debate and don't mind defending or sharing my beliefs. If you are not willing to back up what you post, then simply do not post it. What I also find frustrating is seeing my Facebook "friends" post political photos that are degrading, disrespectful, and sometimes exaggerated for effect. Those are insulting and offensive to those with different opinions and beliefs. Some so exaggerated that they are misleading to those who haven't done their own research. Then there are the posts that are just stating opinions, but the comments under the post are full of name calling and other negative talk. Why? Does it make them feel better about themselves?
I have to admit the majority that I have seen that are like this are posted by my liberal "friends". I say, "friends" because a true friend would be mindful of others beliefs and opinions and respect them for that. They would not allow comments by others which are degrading or engage in debates negatively. That doesn't mean we can't disagree. There is nothing wrong with that and nothing wrong with a good friendly debate! But we have to treat others respectfully!
Lately, I have seen so many posts that are posted by my "friends" that have really bothered me. I am a firm believer of freedom of speech and the right of others to voice their beliefs and opinions. What I am finding hard to overlook is the ones that go beyond that. It is one thing to post political photos that support your position, but it is a whole other thing to post political photos that degrade and disrespect others. It is so distructive!
Even though these are not directly referring to me personally it does feel that way when I see "friends" posts that call conservatives: Tea baggers, crazy, nut jobs, stupid, idiots, racist, intolerant, haters, ignorant, small minded, and so on. Boy, they may not be specifically saying to me, "Lacey, you are a racist because you don't support President Obama, you are a intolerant hater because you believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, you are a tea bagging idiot for believing in our 2nd Amendment rights, and you are ignorant for being pro-life!" but it certainly feels like it. I have my reasons for what I believe just like anybody else. Just because I have different views doesn't mean I am any of what was stated above.
I find it extremely disrespectful to see these, especially from people I know! It turns me off to politics and the debate. If I was a new voter, I wouldn't want anything to do with it. I would feel pressured and influenced that if I were to vote, I had better vote in a way so that no one will think down on me or find me stupid! Why is the negative always louder than the positive? More influential? Why does it have to be: If YOU believe in this you are ? Why can't it just be: I believe in because of this.
Things to remember when expressing your beliefs:
Politics is a touchy subject. Polorizing even. Sometimes it is even the best thing to not respond or engage. Especially if you can't do it without allowing negitive banter. Right or left let's keep it clean and treat others like we would want to be treated.