Anyone who follows me on Twitter or facebook pretty much knows where I stand politically — solidly on the left. I am liberal and proud of it. (I believe it’s the logical outcome of my Christian faith, but that’s a matter for a different discussion.)
And I have willingly shared lots of snarky posts from others — and contributed a few of my own — about what I see as the misguided actions of those on the right.
I have wrung my hands worrying about the future of this country if the current crop of Republican leaders take the White House, and even worse if they manage to corral the Senate.
But nagging at me the whole time has been a concern for the way we are treating each other.
Don’t get me wrong: I think Romney-Ryan-Boehner-McConnell-Koch et al. are wrong pretty much across the board. I think they are smug, arrogant and don’t give a damn about “the people.” And, at least some of them have no core and take a position based solely on how they think it will bring them money and votes.
But it’s different when I think about some of the people who support them, some of whom are my very good friends and relatives whom I love and respect. I know many of them are students of history, are intelligent, are caring, hope for the best for all people. They are generous. They are kind. They give and give and give.
And while I can’t understand why they support this current crop of pretenders leading the GOP, I figure they wonder the same thing about me and my unshakable support for most things Democratic.
So I am no longer going to question their sanity, their faith or their motives — and that’s exactly what we’re doing when we do that of the people they have chosen to support. (I acknowledge that the left is not without its share of snarkiness and attack-dog politics — think James Carville. But in my mind it is much less in quanity and viscousness. I also acknowledge I may think that because of my own leanings.)
So, I am not going to retweet, or “like” or repost anything that does it either — no matter how clever, funny, biting or effective I think it is.
I will instead argue that Barack Obama is the best person for the job and this country will be better off with him another four years than the alternative.
I believe that because I think the advances in health care are significant. I have said for years that the quality of a person’s health care should not depend on the size of their wallet. And while we’re not there yet, we’re headed in the right direction.
I believe that government does have a role to play in making life better for all its citizens. But that’s because “government” is us, not some separate entity. Government is all of us acting together. To demonize government is to demonize ourselves. (I won’t go too far off on a tangent here, but I see it as an extension of what I believe about the church — that we do better together; it’s why I’m Presbyterian.)
Unlike Ayn Rand — and yes, I’ve read both Atlas Shrugged (I know who John Galt is) and The Fountainhead; they are entertaining reads, but not a foundation for life — I believe we should reach out to help others and that objectivism is selfishness by a different name.
I will do my best to argue FOR my choice, and not AGAINST others.
I wish our politicians would do the same, but they won’t.
They won’t because negative campaigning works. Damn it.
But I know I’m not alone in the desire that maybe, just maybe, if enough of us began calling for serious debate about issues, recognizing that to disagree is not to demonize; that reasonable, intelligent people of integrity can have different opinions on important subjects; that working together is not akin to treason, then maybe, just maybe the republic will be OK.
For this I pray.