I am not, by nature, a political animal. I will never openly comment about my affiliations, nor would I expect anyone to care what they are. I’m horrified by the commentary on social media by those friends whom I had previously felt were apolitical, or at the very least, broadminded and fair.
Holy crap, was I ever wrong.
A patron came into my place of employment last week seeking a particular book. It’s always my job to find the book. When he told me the title, it was, shall we say, very one-sided toward a particular candidate. I thought I rolled my eyes inside my own head, but apparently my eyes rolled themselves outside my head.
It may have been that involuntary tic!
He was livid.
He called me a name.
He ranted and raved.
He shared his opinion of me with the air around him and finally left.
He forgot his book. Perfect.
I remember when I was a child watching a news program about Richard Nixon. They did a very unilaterally honest profile of him as a president, for although he had a monumental lapse in judgment, he also made some pretty strategically excellent decisions while in office. My father discussed this with my then-8-year-old self and impressed upon me that every person, especially political figures, usually have a stack of positives to match their negatives. I have applied that thought process to every presidential race since 1972.
We have a rule in my house. If you’re being ugly to each other, you apologize and say one nice thing about the sibling you are harassing. Even the phrase, “Well, you aren’t completely hideous,” still counts.
Let’s apply this to the candidates.
Although, I’m sometimes hard-pressed to do this myself, perhaps they and their supporters should follow this rule and streamline their personal harpooning to strictly discuss the monumental issues at hand – or not discuss them, as the case may be. The sparring, the back-and-forth barbed comments, the unsavoriness of it all, is just a distraction from the big picture. There’s a plethora of unprovoked harshness surrounding this election to a degree that I am certain I’ve never witnessed before.
And, by extension, everyone participating in social media have lost their bloody minds. This era of button-pushing and mouse-shoving has opened up a whole new can of nasty. I have never, in my life, read so much negativity, uninformed and revolting diatribes surrounding these candidates. I have witnessed, up close and personal, blatant bigoted and misogynistic commentary and I must tell you: I’m not a fan.
And it is starting to #@%* me off.
Pretty please: keep your comments to yourself. Roll your eyes inside your head. I don’t want to hear it and I don’t want to read it. Yeah, yeah, yeah … free country, freedom of speech, blah, blah, blah. When this amendment was put into place, there was no Facebook. I doubt James Madison was thinking of frowning emojis at the time he drafted The Bill of Rights.
Can’t we all behave a tad more civilized?
So now that I’ve given you an opinion with which some of you may not agree, you can call me a name.
And now you have to say one nice thing about me.
I’ll start: I’m not completely hideous.
Now it’s your turn.
Maria Jiunta Heck of West Pittston is a mother of three and a business owner who lives to dissect the minutiae of life. Send Maria an email at email@example.com.