|I will do better this political season|
Now that the "official" teams are set, it is really on.
You can feel it in the air.
But I am taking a pledge this election season and I am hoping many join me...
I pledge to do the following starting now until Election night 2012:
1. Respect people voting for folks I'm not voting for.
2. Ignore political propaganda that name calls.
3. Engage in discussions civilly or not at all.
In today's blasting/broadcasting/posting your every move, these three actions can prove tricky but I will stick to them. Here's a bit more detail on how I will do that.
Respect people voting for folks I'm not voting for
You've all felt it. That moment when Facebook lets you know that someone you like a lot has "liked" a page you'd never look at. It stings. C'mon admit it. What's the first thing that goes through your mind?
"I thought I knew FILL-IN-THE-BLANK"
Well I'm here to say that you do know FILL-IN-THE-BLANK, you just have a different view on how to achieve what we all want in our country. It's not the end of the world or your friendship. In the last three days, I've seen that many times and with each sting - I say out loud, it's OK. Now I know what I will see in the coming weeks on their page and I have the option to keep it there and get irritated everytime I see it or I can hide them for the next 90 days.
I will most definitely not be going on their wall to post my views. And I expect the same courtesy from them.
Ignore political propaganda that name calls
This will be, by far, the hardest of all the actions but I will stick by it. I will read carefully each article and will be ultra selective on which ones I post or spread.
In my humble opinion, we should do away with the labels "Conservative" or "Liberal." Labels and absolutes are made for inanimate objects, not people. People have opinions that change over time and evolve. Look at most politicians - it's really impossible to be completely one side or the other.
So this season, you won't find any negative political ads on my wall or in my stream. I plan to actively seek information sources that stick to the positives of the candidate that I am supporting versus tearing down the candidate I am not. I will change the channel if an ad comes on and goes immediately dark - we all know what those ads look like. And I am opting out this year.
Engage in discussions civilly or not at all.
Perhaps the easiest of the three for me. I have already stated that I will not "troll" pages/blogs/comment strings of folks I know think differently looking for opportunities to pounce them with my "truths."
I will also not engage people who do that to me or my strings. I will politely ignore any goadings to argue or "defend" my candidate. I understand the issues and am not undecided so there is no need for me to "explore" or feel the urge to "educate" others.
When asked, I may choose explain my position without name calling or anger. I will use many smiley faces in text over the next few months. I will also look for opportunities have face-to-face discussions versus cyber ones. It is easier to exercise self control when a person in the flesh is standing in front of you versus a high resolution screen. Further, I will just do the polite thing and not talk politics at all. If I hear a conversation brewing near me that is going in a direction I don't want to go, I'll simply walk the other way and get another snack, remembering again that I don't HAVE to share my views.
That's what I'm planning to do the next few months -
Who's with me?