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Monday, November 7, 2016

Are we ashamed of ourselves, or what?

Come on, America. This was an election or a war?

It lasted 600 days... 1 1/2 years! 12 dog years! And it seemed longer than the last time the Cubs won the World Series.

Everyone is unhappy... and mad. Really mad. Most major political
ads feature the diabolical other candidate, usually portrayed in gray and black or purple, with a scowl or mad face. The ads tell us of how bad the person is, how evil, how dishonest, etc.

We are so angry at one another, so mad. We grit our teeth and snarl. We call each other liars, thiefs, bad people worthy of no respect at all.

As the world watches, we represent the worst of America. And bear in mind, the President of the United States is THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON IN THE WORLD! So how do we look to you now, world?

Now we do have smart, good, kind, embracing brilliance in many of our leaders... but those people are also smart enough to not swim in this low water muddy pool.

Do we need more time to find the best of us?  How about never ending campaigns that start at the end of the last election? The television companies would like that. They make enormous dollars--like a year-round Christmas--during campaigns with the political advertising dollars. Nothing is richer to a media company that warring sides.

In social media, anything goes. We can call each other names, threaten and blacken every opponent at every level. We can create both news and undistinguishable fake news in moments. Social media is unrestricted and as crude as the users choose. It fans the flames of fire.

Are we smarter or dumber than those countries that have limited campaign seasons that last, perhaps 12 weeks long? Are we smarter than the countries that automatically register every eligible voter and those countries that make voting mandatory?

What's with us that we do it so badly? And to add insult to injury, we don't forget or forgive. We remain enemies is fact and in spirit so that we can accomplish little except revenge and work negatively to make sure we hurt the leader of the world in accomplishment and cooperation lest he/she get credit. Our congress has achieved the lowest approval ratings in history and we're out to beat our record.

Is there something great about spewing hate and disrespect? You know, this is the world we all have to live in, and we deserve better. There are real problems to solve, both internally and internationally, and we can't even begin without respect for the people we elect and should support.

The rich get richer. The poor and disadvantaged grow larger and poorer. The divide widens.

After such an election, couldn't we create a new platform that embraces the best of both parties for a common good. Then we could have a document to follow. You bet there would have to be give and take, something that never comes easy when it is party first, public last.

Africa offers a similar scenario. Countries divided by tribe that put tribe first, suffer. Countries that focus on common benefit rise. But it's hard to put those rivalries aside. And cohesion starts with listening to what the other has to say, addressing the ails that separate. Rogue candidate Donald Trump touched people. He may not have been THE candidate but he found a message that resonated, an itch that needed scratching. That shouldn't be ignored because it won't go away.

OK, so I've made myself happier by expressing what I feel. I'm guessing that feeling is shared by many. But how do we get to the next step? I hope to God that we find the way. I hope to God.

We are all equally worthy and that's a fact. Not believing changes nothing. If, for one day, one week or one year, we could swap places and see through different eyes, that would be meaningful. But that can happen only in our dreams.

Sweet dreams America.

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