Why have we become so ugly? So mean? So prejudiced? So unaccepting of each other? I am sad beyond sad. Is that possible? And it’s not a difference of opinion. We’ve always had a difference of opinion with people. It’s that people can’t discuss anything without being hateful. Without name calling. Without labeling with the intent to diminish. We’re ugly, folks. Yes, you and me.
I’ve always loved politics. My first foray was in the 7th or 8th grade when I was the campaign manager for a black girl running for student council. I mention that she was black because I had never encountered any until I went to junior high. But, her blackness didn’t prevent me from feeling she’d be a good addition to student council. I think she lost because I made the mistake of memorizing my speech and when I looked out over that auditorium of people, I forgot a line and silence followed until I got my act back together. There were even a few snickers, as I remember. Sorry, Elnora.
Then, I stuffed campaign literature in envelopes for JFK. Back then, it was all about mailings. After that, door to door for a Republican friend who ran for the PA State Legislature.
I voted for Barry Goldwater and then Jimmy Carter. I don’t always pick the right one. I sent way too many telegrams to the White House protesting the Vietnam War, much to my husband’s chagrin, since he was paying for them. I wanted to join the Civil Rights marchers, but I had two small children and a husband who traveled. So I had to take care of my own responsibilities.
I voted for Reagan and campaigned for John Edwards. (Boy, Edwards was a monumental wrong call on my part. Huh?) I campaigned for Bernie Sanders, switched to Hillary Clinton and would have voted for Jeb Bush had he been the Republican nominee. I did not vote for either of the other Bushes. I liked Jeb after watching a town hall on C-Span where he answered the questions honestly and as they were presented to him. He didn’t bob-and-weave.
As you can see, I never voted party lines. Neither party has the monopoly on doing the right thing. Or even for what they stand for. There are good and bad, crooks even, in both parties.
So when did we start down this ugly path? I think it was when Obama was elected. At that point, I began to see absolute hatred toward Obama that I had never seen before from people I knew. And it shocked me. I’m not talking about them disagreeing with his policies or positions. I’m talking something more than that. Racism? I don’t know.
Around that time, I joined Facebook. This is when I really began to see the ugliness. I unfriended a number of people, not because of their views, but because I didn’t feel posting memes with Michelle Obama or the daughters with monkey faces and teeth were people I cared to be friends with. Those ugly kinds of things offended me. And then we really began going down that awful path. It seemed to be okay to go against everything our parents ever taught us and we began to let our real selves out.
And then the Republican primary. And Trump. And this I don’t understand. I have supported people and voted for people who I admit was a mistake. But, there appears to be a fervor among his supporters that is beyond my understanding. I wonder — is he the anti-Christ? It all kind of fits the description, as I recall. And when I have asked why people don’t hold him accountable for his words and actions, I am called names and accused of being a poor loser because Hillary lost. I never get an answer that isn’t full of bashing rhetoric. Trust me, I would have voted for Jeb Bush! My heart is not bleeding for Hillary. But, I was shocked that Trump won. I don’t deny that. I just would like to know why he is given a pass. Just because he’s a Republican? That doesn’t make enough sense to me.
Why is it okay for him to tell such bold-faced lies? All the time! Why is CNN, or NBC or CBS all fake news that is not to be believed, but Fox News is gospel? What takes it out of the “media” category? It appears to be media to me. Or maybe, it’s that it supports your opinion. What exactly do the media haters consider media? Definition from the Dictionary: media (usually used with a plural verb) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet, that reach or influence people widely. I just don’t understand. And I want to.
Why do my friends post so many things about their Christianity while simultaneously condoning how he treats people? It’s wrong to be a bully in school, but okay to be a bully as President? I was brought up to believe, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. What does it mean to be a Christian nowadays? Is it just to spout Bible verses? Does the Golden Rule no longer apply? Does caring about humanity matter at all? What would Jesus do or say if he was walking beside you?
I was told that Born-again Christians don’t have to do good works. God doesn’t care. You can be a murderer on death row and if you choose to believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior, you go to Heaven. That’s not the kind of Bible I was taught growing up. Didn’t Jesus feed and take care of people?
Now is when I tell you I am an Agnostic. I’ve been a Methodist, a Catholic, an Evangelical United Brethren, a United Methodist, a United Church of Christ, a Presbyterian and then I gave up. Am I going to get into Heaven? I don’t know. Does anyone, really?
In the meantime, I’m going to continue to do good works. And I’m going to hold a man like Donald Trump accountable for how he treats people; how abusive he is. I’m not willing to accept his rhetoric that all black, brown and every color in between are people who want to rob, kill, or rape me. I employed many of them and found them honorable, good people. I don’t live in fear of immigrants.
I have principles I’m not willing to abandon. An extra few dollars in my paycheck over the year is not enough for me. My price is much higher. Way higher. What’s your price? It is high enough?