Friday, October 24, 2008

A Call for Civility

OK, I've had it.  H-A-D HAD it.

This election is driving me crazy.

Well, that's not the precise truth.  It's not the election, it's some of the people who are fired up about said election.

When on earth did it become OK to act like a complete jerk in the name of supporting your political candidate?  Oh, never?  Someone should pass the word around.  Because plenty of people have forgotten this.

I don't give a rip-roaring monkey's patootie who you're voting for.  It can be Obama.  It can be McCain.  It can be a write in vote for John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt.  (Because since his name is my name too, he's the true people's person).  Voting for someone does NOT give you permission to trash the other candidate.

Wearing t-shirts that call a particular candidate an awful, vile name?  NOT COOL.

Expressing hope that a particular candidate will be assassinated?  UM, HELLO, PEOPLE?  AWFUL!

Attacking a candidate's family members because you can?  Since when has that been ok?

It's perfectly ok to disagree with a candidate.  It's expected.

And that's why we're given the opportunity and privilege to vote.

After all, since when did nasty mud slinging and insult throwing change your mind about a candidate you support?  "You can't vote for Jim Slim because he's an ignorant racist pig!"

Right, because that would change my mind.

You believe he's racist?  Show me areas why.  Show me something.  Do some research and come TALK to me.  In a civilized way.

And I'll take that into consideration when I make my decision.

I still don't have to agree with you.  I do hope you'll respect that.

Whatever happened to civilized discussion?  Just because I don't agree with you shouldn't make you angry.  It's America.  We have the freedom to chose.  And we should have the common decency to respect other people's views.

There's nothing wrong with offering up your side of things.  But can we please start doing it in a way that doesn't make me want to scream at the sheer crassness of the conversation?  Insult for insult isn't going to get anyone, anywhere.

Do your research.  Make your decision.  And if you want to discuss, discuss civilly.  And VOTE!

Why is this all coming to the forefront now for me?

Because as a mother and a teacher, it's absolutely painful for me to watch the example we're setting for our children.  All of this nonsense is not showing them how to educate themselves to make a good decision for when they vote.  It's showing them that it's OK to slander a fellow man for something they believe.  That it's OK to be nasty in the name of politics.  It's showing them how to make a mockery of the golden rule:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

No matter which candidate ends up elected, our country is headed to hell in a hand-basket if we allow our children to be raised thinking they can act this way.  As much as certain outcomes and certain candidates make me severely uneasy in this election, the idea that there are countless children out there who are being exposed to such incredible hatred for a person in their own households makes me absolutely sick.

So do me some favors:  1.  VOTE.  Please.  2.  Show some class.  If you can't bear a candidate, fine.  But please show some civility about how you express it.  and 3.  Talk to your kids about this.  The older they are, the more this is important.  

Oh, and 4.  Please vote John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt in 2008!  (Because you can't make mud for slinging if there isn't any dirt)

(I'm kidding on 4, of course... but wouldn't it be fun to have a President Jingleheimerschmidt in office?)


  1. I would vote for Mr. Jingleheimerschmidt. :)

  2. Amen! I'm thinking of becoming a member of PETO (People for the Ethical Treatment of Others)... or PIZZA (People Inclined to Zany Zealot Avoidance).

  3. I'm with Amy and April-Jan

  4. You are SO right on, Jen!! Thanks for putting into writing what many of us feel. I wish you could get the media to print it!

  5. Send this to "The View"! I am so tired of hearing those ladies, I don't even watch it anymore! YUCK!!

    ps How can I join Amy's groups??

  6. 100% in agreeance. This election and the mud slinging is getting way out of hand. We need to show our kids better. Teach them why this ocuntry is so great and why it was founded inthe first place.


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