Be nice

American Election Time, like any important election brings out the worst in people. The two party voting system is becoming a very redundant measure of the people’s wishes, and increasingly removed from serving the purpose of democracy. What it does do incredibly well is divide people, friends, families, colleagues, and with social media, where we get to declare our ‘truth’ the door is firmly open for unspeakable lies, distortions, bullying, and quite frankly people lost and looking for a Mummy or Daddy figure to save our souls.

I don’t really want to be saved, and at this point in my life, it is unlikely that any political figurehead is going to personally come along and rescue me, nor deposit several thousands of pounds into my bank account, and assure me that all my lifetime’s bills will be guaranteed.

With our leaders firmly entrenched in the war game, they will commit their budgets to state of the art military investments and that means, bigger and faster jets, and huge arsenals to inflict huge damage to anyone we feel like – dessimate some village somewhere, and fill the river with the tears of orphans and grieving barely adult young people who were sure the future was theirs for the taking.

I am struck by our collective stupidity, and our refusal to see history as in any way relevant. I see a lot of dreamers and peace makers posting their hero of the day Putin, and I see a lot of people claiming to love peace, and doing a lot of hating. Was it always this bad? Or has social media become an absolute hiding place for our shadow self to manifest and unleash utter hatred upon anyone who disagrees with us?

Debate and discussion, that heady mix of long, lavish Burgundy filled evenings sharing food with the chosen protagonists, would never descend into bad feeling. The answer to those with controversial paradigm shifting perspectives, were just greeted with Oh, that is so interesting. Now, you are vilified if you hold a position that permits you sleep well at night, and that you feel allows you your integrity without harming another. You will be hunted, and mocked, and you will, if you are lucky, be unfriended.

What has become of us? We are like animals in a zoo. We complain that the two parties are representative of an us and them situation, and then replicate the exact same patterns in our small domain. When did it all become so extreme? Am I alone in noticing this alarming trend?

I shake my head, and remind myself of the pertinent quote, attributed to Mark Twain, “If voting made any difference, it would be illegal”.

Pass me the spicy buttermilk, I need to soothe my troubled heart.

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