Wednesday, May 05, 2004
The next 6 months are going to be ugly, especially policitically. The mud slinging will start in ernest and the crap will climb to the top. People that are normally soft spoken and calm will find themselves embroiled in debate and often acting completely out of character. Politics will do that to you. It's one of the most emotional triggers we have in human nature. I have a theory about that.
Each of us has a history. When a situation occurs - a trigger if you like - we react based on that history. For example, I am often called a bitch. There are several ways to respond to that:
1) You want bitch, I'll SHOW you bitch.
2) How DARE you call ME a bitch.
3) What could I have done that they think I'm a bitch?
4) Thank you
My normal response is #4. My definition of bitch is a strong woman that is not afraid to speak her mind or stand up for those she loves and what she believes in. My history brought me to that reaction.
We all share a history that brings us to where we are today. Our history includes a break of trust. Let's face it folks - we've been burned. Badly. But it's effected each of us in a different way. For some it has cost us someone we love. Others it's been an economical loss. It's not always negatives, but it often seems that the negatives are stronger drivers than positives. Often people search to avoid pain instead of increase pleasure (oh, crap - I see another posting in my mind).
We have the freedom of thought and speech. BUT - we also have the right of dignity. If you conduct yourself in a dignified and respectful manner, I will treat you that way in return. Even if we don't agree. But you start throwing mud and wallowing in the slime of hate and ignorance and I'll shut you down. That's a promise. Why can't people get that?!?! Is that such a difficult concept? We can have a discussion, but don't disrepect. Don't disrespect me or anyone else. That just shows that you haven't taken the time to think thru the situation. Yesterday Matt at Blackfive had to ban several commentors. These people felt it necessary to disrespect, dishonor and abuse one of our fallen heros, and those that honor him. That is not a discussion, that is hateful. Look at what some have said about Pat Tillman. Dishonoring his memory, trying to take away the wonder that his choices have created. That is not a discussion, that is hateful. Smash has been accused of McCarthyism for a simple believe that if you disagree with something stand up against it. "Giving hate a platform makes you just as guilty as if you had said it." I agree with him. That's discussion - the reaction, however, has been hateful. The problem is, the history of those that hate is what brought them to this place. They don't know how to react differently - hate is all they know.
What I'm saying is that there is a reason people believe the way they do. We all have strong reactions to politics - this year more than I've seen in my lifetime. Personally, I'm trying to remember and respect the history of those that are speaking (or writing) out. The temptation to "win at all costs" is strong, but we should not let it lessen our dignity. I will speak my mind. You will have no doubt how I feel. I want to know your thoughts and feelings. But I also promise to remain dignified and honorable. I don't know what led to your feelings and reactions and you sure don't know what has led me to mine.
Personally, I do not trust Kerry. Not one bit. I never have. Even before I learned of his voting record or military background (for want of a better term). I have never liked the look or sound of him. Get past that, and I don't trust his words. BEWARE of empty promises. No one person has all the answers. He "flip flops" so much, he is trying to be all things to all people. My history causes me to run, not walk, away from people like that. He doesn't stand still long enough to debate. I just don't trust that.
On the other hand I do trust GWB. Always have. I like the idea of a businessman running my country. I agree (strongly) with his view on national security. Do I agree with everything he does or says? Heck no, but I know where he stands. He's been never hidden his views. I can discuss them without worrying that he's changed his mind and I'm talking about last weeks issues.
That's how my history puts me in this place politically. I'm not the most educated voter. I read and study the issues, but there are many things I don't understand. But I still have my opinions and I respect that others have theirs, brought about thru their history.
I had a difficult conversation one day with a very dear friend. I realized early in our friendship that politics was not a topic for discussion - ever. So we avoided it for 8 years. One day we stumbled right in to that mine field. It was the first time I've ever seen her so angry. Her face was red and she was shaking in true fear. Fear of GWB being reelected. I heard many of the things I've read on the internet coming from her mouth. I saw her fear and distrust like a red cloak around her shoulders. But I also saw the history that brought her to that point. I knew what she had lost that had triggered that reaction.
In a very roundabout way I'm still talking about trust, or lack of. Which is the stronger driver for you. Trusting the candidate that you choose to back or distrusting the candidate that you oppose? But here's the test - can we discuss it with dignity? Can you respect the fact that we might not agree? Isn't it sad that so many can't.