Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Does Your Voice Sound Like?

I am not a political blogger.  My blog is not politics centered.  In fact, most of the time I avoid the topic altogether on my blog.  But there moments, as few and far between as they are, when I feel compelled to go a bit off topic from my usual blog fodder.  

This is one of those times.

I thought I may just let this pass me by.  Just let it slip away silently in the coming days.  But realized I could not.

The evening of Election Day got ugly in the social media world.  Real ugly.  
Twitter was a battlefield.  
People I usually get along with and enjoyed "conversations" with despite our differing views and beliefs, became for lack of a better word... extremely unpleasant.  To the point, that I could no longer be comfortable being a follower of their's.  And I am not going to get too much into what was said, the words and accusations that were thrown around.  I am not the type to sit on Twitter and argue a point with another person once they have stooped to name calling and insults.  I just unfollow. 
Without looking back, and without losing any sleep over it.

Our country's problem isn't just the economy.  Or how the United States should handle foreign policy.  Or this party's political views.  Or that party's platform.  Or who believes in God more.

Our country's problem, quite frankly is.... us.

We expect our Congress, our President, our government to work together, to put aside their differences to strengthen our country and our economy.  But have we ourselves been willing to do the same?

From what I witnessed on social media Election night, I would say the politicians we voted into office 4 years ago have been doing their jobs of representing the American people perfectly. 

Division is not what will strengthen this country.  Forcing one group's beliefs on another will not "fix" this country.  Denying an entire segment of our population basic civil rights that everyone else is entitled to will not make us a nation united.  Making widespread negative generalizations of large segments of our citizenry, laying judgement on others will not result in comradery and cooperation.  Not having respect for everyone's right to freedom of religion guaranteed by our Constitution will not return us to some American utopia.  (By the way, that never existed.)

Respect- from all sides of the political spectrum- will strengthen our country.  Recognizing other's beliefs will not mean that you are compromising your own, but it could help heal this country.  Supporting equal rights for all will demonstrate that we are all on the same team and rid this country of this us versus them mentality.  Empathy, reaching a hand across, opening our hearts a little more can can make us all feel a little more included, not divided and ostracized.  Tolerance and acceptance of the way other's choose to worship and practice their religions may not result in an American utopia, but it will do wonders to close the rift that has been created in this country.

We have a long way to go.  No doubt.
But where we are as a country four years from now has more to do with us, and not who got elected for the next term last night.  We cannot shirk responsibility for our part in where our country is now, and continue to pin the blame on who was in office the past 4 years, or 8 years ago, or 12 years ago.  Regardless of which candidate you voted for, we cannot remain complacent now thinking that just because we got that "I Voted" sticker we have done our duty as American citizens for the next four years.  We have to stop with the "you have been voted you in, fix everything for me now" mentality.  

WE need to step up.   We need to become a better people for our politicians to represent.  Our government, how those in office behave is a direct reflection of us.  Our political leaders are elected by us, to represent us and our voice.  Ask yourself, what voice are you putting out there?  Is that what you want to be listening to for the next four years?