Remember all the nasty names your worst boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, partner called you? How they attacked your character, spread lies about you, said mean things about your family?
Now imagine your response if they suddenly tried to get you to vote for someone they support. Oh yeah, get right on that.
That would describe the current strategy of members of the Democratic party. We are angry at everyone. We delight in the stupidity of anyone who thinks differently. We attack and block and disparage and bully.
And this is just how we treat one another.
It’s interesting (and extremely unpopular) to compare ourselves to Republicans during the Obama years. All the horrible things they said about our beloved President. The photoshopped pictures, the ugly cartoons, the attacks on Michelle and the girls.
We were appalled. And of course, we were right to be – those people were racists, controlling white men, hypocritical Christians, in bed with lobbyists. They were out of touch with America. Living in a different century. Whiners. Losers.
They should have won. They knew it.
Shoe Meet Other Foot
Now the power has shifted. We are the whiners. They are the winners. We are libtards, snowflakes, cry babies.
In response, my twitter timeline is full of photoshopped Trump pictures, political cartoons, nasty pictures of Melania, Donald Jr, Eric, and Ivanka. I retweet them with glee. I know the folks I follow will like them.
We should have won. We knew it.
Why does this sound familiar?
As I watch all the Sanders | Clinton bullshit continue to go on and on, with increasing viciousness from both sides, I wonder about us. Many seem incapable of introspection. Of addressing and resolving our emotions. A lot of us refuse to consider critique.
I wonder if we only practice what we preach when we get what we want? If we only respect others when they do what we tell them to do? Setting party aside, that’s not who I want to be as a person. Yet I’ve done it.
It’s creeping me out. Not to mention, taking a stand against it is a pretty unpopular position.
We’re Allowed to Disagree
I voted for Barack Obama twice. Love the man. But I didn’t agree with all his decisions. He tried to play too nice for too long with Republicans in Congress. That made me nuts. Voicing that disapproval earned me tons of attacks, from Republicans and Democrats alike. Folks, democracy guarantees me the right to voice that disapproval – even within my own party.
If you supported Clinton, you get shit for it. If you supported Sanders, you get shit for it.
It’s just not okay. This is a democracy. I don’t owe you my vote and you don’t owe me yours. Surely there is a way to support Hillary Clinton without trashing Bernie Sanders. There must be a way to support Bernie without attacking Hillary Clinton.
If not, then we have done a very shitty job identifying candidates.
This idea of being a big tent party needs to include welcoming new ideas, agreeing to disagree, acknowledging contributions from people who came before us, creating a path for people who will be here after us. We can’t be the Hillary Party. Or the Bernie Party. Or the Any-One-Person party. It’s just not working.
Then there’s Trump Voters
All Hillary voters are delusional. All Bernie voters are sexist. All Trump voters are racist. Nazis. Rednecks. Morons.
If stereotypes are your thing, our party is for you.
What if a lot of us are just people? Crazy, right? Because some Hillary supporters are delusional and some Bernie supporters are sexist and some Trump voters are racist.
But does that mean all of them are? Lord knows the media gets a lot more clicks covering the crazies….
I know some Trump voters. They would no sooner raise a Nazi salute than pee on the floor at the coffee counter at Starbucks. They simply bought into a conman’s promise. That he would make government work for them too. That he could break the log jam in D.C.
If you’ve ever believed in someone who didn’t deserve your trust – you know how that feels.
So should we just discount all these people, write them off? Shame them for their vote? Does that type of bias help to protect our country? I’m not suggesting we condone the lunatic fringe. But I do wonder if we need to step back from the name calling and labeling everyone in a group whether they’ve earned it or not?
I’m old enough to remember when Democrats were against that sort of thing.