Next Tuesday is Election Day. And I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m at a loss on Election Day.
Every presidential election, I vote. I vote based on my own reasons and beliefs at that time and moment in my life.
The last presidential election, I brought my 3-year-old and my 6-year-old so they could bear witness to our role in government. To its fluidity. To the privilege we have in its ‘say’, to its importance and responsibility.
Four years before THAT, I brought my 2-year-old and my pregnant self to the polls – not because I couldn’t coordinate child care – but because I thought it was THAT important for my toddler to see his mother vote and to be part of the process.
I won’t tell you if my candidate won or not either time – it doesn’t much matter. What matters is that I voted, that my kids saw the process, learned about our role in government and that the people chose their president.
Fast forward to 2016.
Schools here have election day off. You can vote early, but I was, once again, planning on taking my children down to the polls. But I’m hesitating. For so many reasons.
Is it safe?
People are SO ANGRY.
I’ve never seen, in my memory, so much contention in a presidential election. Sure, there is always a strong divide and I try to remind myself of that every election.
But I just get so disgusted with the way people treat each other. Friends and family going at it. Insults and judgments flying through the air. The rhetoric is everywhere. Conversations, social media, the TV…everywhere.
It’s hard to not jump in. I admit I have. I’m ashamed that I have. It’s pretty hard not to.
And the worst part is, I wasn’t even certain where I stood. I was just succumbing to the undercurrent of anger that has defined our voting culture.
I have since done my best to back away; listen to who I really am and not try to be someone that I’m not. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying to do better. It’s a lesson to just how powerful the undercurrent of anger really is. It can truly pull you in.
Sharp tongues and words that serve to only hurt and harm anyone who isn’t aligned with ‘your way of thinking’.
I thought this country was founded on the very principle of free thinking and learning.
So, when someone has a thought that butts heads with yours, why is everyone so up in arms about it? So what if you don’t agree? You don’t have to go down swinging!
And this year…with all this craziness…I’m worried. Is it safe to bring my children to the polls?
It’s GREAT to be passionate about a cause. Lord knows, I certainly have a list a mile long of causes that I am wild about. So go ahead, campaign your heart out for your candidate – but no one is going to listen to your cause if you don’t listen to their story first.
And I mean listen. With an open heart. Period.
As a side note…one of the best things I’ve read in a long time…
People have become so angry that they have forgotten what they are fighting for. It’s like they are fighting…just to fight. And at what cost are they willing to win?
I’m not sure I want to walk my children through that line of fire.
Yeah, I know that there will be police. There NEEDS to be police. And boy, I am eternally grateful for the police. I don’t know how they do the job that they do. I have enormous respect for them.
But look at how our police have recently been treated as of late. What is going on with all the ANGER?
There probably won’t be a safety incident in my town on Tuesday. I would hope not. But I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some acts of massive immaturity. This stuff is just out of hand. My kids come home from school, on a regular basis, with all kinds of ridiculous remarks, about the candidates that they hear from school that are either mean, or not even true.
How is this helping promote any kind of productive future?
ANSWER KEY: It’s NOT.
So, vote early? I don’t know if I can. I don’t think I’m ready. Why? Because honestly….I’m not feeling too confident about what to do when I’m alone with that ballot.
There are four candidates…and I’m not yet sure what is the wisest choice for my country and my conscience.
The reality is, I may just HAVE to wait until next Tuesday to BE READY. And Tuesday, is when I’ll be with my children, fighting the instability of the angry mobs of voters.
Tuesday may just be when I will know what it is i need to do.
But the ANGER? The CRAZY ANGER?
That needs to go away. Now.