Rules to Live By - Be Kind or Be Silent

Tuesday, July 3, 2018
You want to know why I don't post political content on social media anymore?

It brings out the worst in people. Folks who are normally civil, polite, and wouldn't dream of confronting others in a rude way in person suddenly become perfectly comfortable calling others out in public while checking their manners at the door.

It doesn't seem to matter how long the poster has known someone, what their feelings are about one another, whether or not they're family. None of it matters when someone is sitting behind a keyboard, and someone presses their particular buttons. Suddenly their manners go out the window, and they're hurtful, rude, and act like they were raised by wolves. They make the discussion personal, not realizing that such behavior only serves to isolate them from the people they care about and makes their argument null and void. After all, if I can't trust your self-discipline, judgement, and critical thinking skills when you're trying to make a political point, then why should I trust those things when we aren't talking about politics? 
I've fallen victim to this viscous circle myownself.  I would get wrapped around the axle, make unkind statements, take things personally. And you know what? I didn't like myself very much when I would fall victim to the political baiting. I don't want others to feel bad. I don't want others to make me feel bad. I want to emulate my beloved lost Auntie, who taught me through word and deed that being kind is the very best way to make a difference in this world, as long as you apply that kindness to every aspect of your life.

That doesn't mean people shouldn't be politically active, or have strong opinions about their views. That's what voting and activism is all about. But do you have to be a dick about it?

My dear cousin, whose politics are basically diametrically opposed to my own, and I have had this discussion. I love my cousin. She loves me. We don't agree on politics. I'm not going to tell her she's stupid, or lacks compassion, or a NAZI for Christ's sake.* And she doesn't make it personal with me, either. Because we love each other, and I don't believe any of those things are true, and she doesn't believe all the usual insults about liberals are true of me, either. We just disagree, and that's okay. ALL politicians, regardless if they fall on the left or the right, require a loyal opposition to ensure our Republic works the way it's supposed to. Right now, I play that role. When President Obama was President, that was her job. WAD=Working As Designed.

Remember, folks - if you're a jerk to those who do not share your political point-of-view, but polite to those on the same side of the aisle, you're still a jerk.
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*ACTUAL Nazis and White Supremacists are exempt from this rule. Because sometimes there really is just one side to the story.