It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

Today is Election Day. A day that was once pretty uneventful, considering that the president we choose and the other people we put in office have such a massive impact on our lives. This presidential election is different. This election we are led to believe that this is a battle for the soul of the nation. In a way, that campaign slogan is 100% correct. But I don’t necessarily buy into the fact that a single party cares enough about the people to care about the soul of the nation. I’m convinced they’d rather the soul of the nation be squashed because they like the anarchy. They like us divided because they can better control us.

My great state of Massachusetts announced that they have called up the National Guard for Election Day. How absurd? Not that the governor made this call, but rather that this was the right call. No matter which side wins tonight or whenever the election is officially called by election officials, there’s going to be trouble. Either side will argue that this was an illegitimate election. Not all the votes were counted. There was armed people at the polling stations intimidating voters. There’s going to be some reason for trouble, and the sad fact is that people are okay with that. They welcome the chaos, including our own elected officials.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. It really doesn’t. I’m sad for today. I do view today as a doomsday. Not because of the outcome of who gets elected into office. Because of the aftermath. Our country will burn and I’m so sad thinking that nobody cares about that fact.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope people can learn to be adults about this. I hope that people can say “Well, you voted for that person because you have your reasons and that’s okay.” I admit that I struggled voting. I have never voted for a major party candidate for president. The closest I came, admittedly, was considering a vote for Romney. I ended up deciding against it because I didn’t feel right about it. This year, I did vote a major party candidate. Not because I felt strongly about them. Not because of any other reason than I just didn’t want the other guy. Because I feel like one person wants to bring people together and the other loves the division. That was the deciding factor.

We need someone who brings everyone together. I hope that whoever wins decides to put their party aside and works to heal the divide in the country. It’s optimism that our elected officials don’t deserve. But we need it or, and I’m not a particularly religious person at all, God help us all. It will be a doomsday if we don’t get our (pardon my language) collective shit together.

It doesn’t have to be like this. It doesn’t have to be a Democrat vs. Republican thing. We don’t have to let a political decision divide us so much. It doesn’t matter who you voted for, as long as you truly believe in your vote for whatever reason you have. I hope that tomorrow, our country isn’t on fire and we can come out of our hangover feeling less terrible about how the world is going. Because we can change it, not in who we vote for, but in how we act and behave towards each other.

Tomorrow, if there are definitive results I will post a follow-up blog. But today, let’s try kindness and remember to vote.

Those Three Little Things We’re Never Supposed to Discuss

They say that there are 3 things that you shouldn’t talk about: religion, politics, and money. They cause rifts between families. These should never be discussed at family gatherings. This is a principle that many of us grew up with. They didn’t go into too much detail why these were forbidden topics, but they were. Today, not so much.

Should these be forbidden topics? No. I think that by keeping these topics so bottled up inside is how we ended up where we are today. Think about it. Growing up with this idea means that you’re not talking to other people about it. You’re not learning about new perspectives on how you see things because you don’t talk about these things. Then you grow up believing that your opinion is the only opinion, ignoring the fact that there’s another point of view that is just as valid to consider. The fact is that there’s always some middle ground people can come to, even if it’s just a mutual respect of someone else’s opinion. This can be done through a rational and calm debate. Through polite discourse.

Today, everyone has the “right” opinion. They don’t want to open their mind to other possibilities because they didn’t grow up learning to properly discuss topics. They didn’t learn about coming up with a logical reason for their beliefs or ever get challenged for them. Because they never had to talk about it. They didn’t grow up learning to ask questions or to keep an open-mind. Because nobody talked about these things. These were too taboo to discuss openly and now look where we are today.

Growing up in my household, there was always open debate about these topics. We didn’t always agree, but we did always rationally discuss any of these topics. That’s probably how I grew up to say my piece, consider others, and if I didn’t agree I wouldn’t really fight back. Because you can tell whether or not you can change someone’s mind. You usually can’t, especially in divisive times like these where everyone seems to stick to their convictions.