Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Difference

We talk so much about bullying these days. Blogs and talk shows are filled with new alarming numbers of the increase in incidents. This group. That group. These kids. Those kids. This is a subject that warrants attention. This is a subject that, as special needs parents, we are concerned about. Our kids are the victims. None of us are bullies.

Or are we...

Name-calling is perhaps the largest component of bullying, and this is why I am disgusted and embarrassed by us.

There isn't a morning that doesn't go by that my Facebook walls and morning news talk shows aren't flooded with news of our upcoming presidential election (November 2012 for my international readers). Every morning I get to start my day with clever slogans or biting commentary or alarming expose of how terrible Obama or Romney are.

If I disagree with the tiniest bill the democratic party supports, I am a racist, a homophobe, a sexist, or an elitist.

If I disagree with the tiniest bill the Republican party supports, I am uneducated, lazy, or Godless.

I am none of those things.

I don't appreciate being bombarded continually with these accusations. The truth is I am a "decline to state" party member. Often called "Independents", but people who tell you they are registered "Independent" are lying, because (at least in 1992 when I first registered to vote, and again in 2004 when I moved and re-registered), "Independent" was not a choice on your registration card... "Decline to State" was, or you could leave it blank. So, perhaps I am an elitist because I answer to nobody's platform. They answer to mine. In November I will walk into my voting booth with my pen in hand and exercise my Constitutional right to vote for the candidate that represents 100% of my beliefs... myself. This will be the 6th Presidential election straight that I receive at least one vote.

There is nothing wrong with being a party member. There is nothing wrong with liking a candidate so much you (gasp) cross party lines for his/her vote.

But there is something very wrong with all the hate speech for your opposition. So, please, think about what you're forwarding about how dumb Romney is. Think about what you're forwarding about how dumb Obama is.

Your opposition is not dumb, just different.

Isn't that what we try to champion in our children on the school playground?

My child is not dumb, just different.

Has a familiar ring to it, doesn't it?

An end note here: This post is not meant to inspire anyone to leave comments about how correct their candidate is, or how ignorant I am by not seeing how incorrect the other is. We all have our own beliefs, and we should vote accordingly. I don't think there is one American that is going to change their vote because one Facebook friend posted a crudely drawn cartoon with a clever statement on it.

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