Well, it appears to finally be over. Two years and six billion (yes, billion) dollars later President Obama has been re-elected. I’m not looking forward to going into work tomorrow because a lot of Romney supporters are going to be in a bad mood. For the record, I voted to re-elect Obama, but only reluctantly and mainly because I cannot stand Mitt Romney. Berate me if you will, but that’s where I stand.
My father once gave me some great advice. “Never argue politics or religion because nobody wins.” In a partisan debate no die-hard Republican is going to get an equally die-hard Democrat to change his mind and vice versa. They’ll argue until they’re blue in the face but neither will change his mind, hence the wisdom of Dad’s words. For many years now I have avoided debating politics, which may come as a surprise to those who knew me as a young man. Maybe I’ve lost my steam. Maybe I’ve grown too cynical to care about debates on policy. Or maybe, just maybe its because I’ve grown sick of the hate I see in our politics.
I don’t hate my Republican friends. I may think they’re misguided but I’m sure they think the same about me. I try not to hate anybody (though it’s hard when it comes to Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and the St. Louis Cardinals). Hate is wrong. Period. It’s also a hard thing to let go of once it starts. Again, I refer you to the aforementioned St. Louis Cardinals.
A few days ago I posted an entry about vision in which I outlined my views on the political hatred that exists between Republican and Democrat today. In that blog post I said it didn’t matter who started it, and it doesn’t. What matters now is who finishes it. I was listening to the talking heads a bit after Obama was projected to win re-election and they were all over the place on this. Some said Obama needs to reach out. He does. Some said the House Republicans need to reach out. They do. Who should make the first move? Both of them.
And it’s not just the political leaders who need to end the cycle of hate, of unwillingness to compromise. So do the people. I’ve lost track of the number of hateful comments I’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter during this campaign. I used to call election time ‘silly season.’ Now I call it ‘angry season.’ It needs to stop. If it doesn’t stop now it will only get worse and who know where that will lead us. I for one do not want to find out.