Boy, such a mean title, kind of chilling that this is what is floating around in my head. I looked at the news this morning and there, you have my mindset. I know we are nearing the endgame of an election season, and the politics of late is not nice, but any restraints or nicities are long gone. We have been moving in this direction for a while now. Decency and the guardrails on public discourse were casualties of the 2016 election cycle. Since then, it is really like our society has given permission to our politicians to be the cartoon character and evil doer, “Filthy McNasty.”
I look to political leaders for ideas and solutions to our problems. I recognize that no party has a monopoly on all the good ideas. I appreciate the way compromise works and the solutions to problems that result in a process of compromise. Mostly, I am looking for good minds suggesting good solutions to present day problems we are faced with. We have plenty of problems in search of solutions, but not many ideas being shared.
Church has turned me off for a long time, and those of you that know me, know I gave it a good try. I find most churches and the preaching today an overload of judging. I find church to be a dismal place. I prefer my own conversations with God. It seems today, church is giving a ho bunch of people permission to judge the rest of us. I leave that at the door. It is a sublime form of hating in my opinion, and it seems to migrate to politics quite easily today.
When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, I was so proud of America and being an American. I thought, hey, we have finally moved beyond our past of racism as a nation. All of the struggles for civil rights and equality have finally given us what they were intended to do, a nation trying to be a nation of equality.
Well, all my celebrations to our progress as a nation were flushed down the national toilet. My thinking was premature and overly optimistic. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is. The politics of hatred are in vogue today and one party makes every effort it can to court and fan the flames of hatred. What I am stunned by is the receptivity out there in the public for the politics of hatred. It is hard for me to understand that about half the country has no interest in ideas or solutions to problems, but feed them a plate full of hatred and they gobble it up. Leaders stoke the division and partisanship that is characterized by hatred. There are no ideas being presented, and this is fine with so many as long as they get their dose of hatred instead of a meal of ideas.
I am trying hard not to hate the haters. I admit to being revolted by so many. I find myself pulling back into my personal bubble and wishing all of this would pass. I form opinions like we all do, and my opinions of others I keep private. Oh, they are still there, but I am trying not to hate the haters and hope my life will finish in some sort of peace, not just for me, but for all of us. I will be 71 in a couple of weeks, so maybe time is on my side, one way or the other.
West Topsham, Vermont