Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Time and Place: Debating with (Self) Respect

The election is over. President Obama is still president. Some people are overjoyed while others are far from it. But that’s no reason to be uncivil.
I’ve seen a lot of hate in comments on articles and social media, a lot of partisan nonsense that disintegrates into ill-informed gossip, racist/religious digs, and basically shameful, childish remarks.
These comments are often posted on nonpolitical issues. Like a natural disaster. Or a child’s death.
No, people. Just no.
We live in a country where we have the right to voice our opinions. To make choices. To disagree with each other. This is a great thing.
Until we abuse it. Yes, it can be abused, and we can make ourselves look like total asses. When you make the choice to enter an argument, please, PLEASE, for the love of all that’s holy, be reasonable, be respectful, and if you feel the need to say something ill-mannered, rude, and probably stupid, then step away from the keyboard.
Sometimes we can’t stop our mouths from spouting off, I get that. However, there’s no excuse to have textual diarrhea. You have to go through the effort of writing down those thoughts, and I hope like hell you read what you write. And if you even for a second think, “You know, that sounds pretty rude,” don’t post, tweet, or publish it. Let’s not fall into the lame tropes of election campaigns. We’re all human, right?
So, the smartest thing I heard during the election campaign came from former president, Bill Clinton. He said we have to work together. Democrat, Republican, it doesn’t matter. Because in the end, we are the freaking United States of America. United is in our name. And while we may not agree on everything, we can agree that we love our country.
Go ahead and argue; it’s your right. Just don’t let it dissolve into a schoolyard name-calling match.
And don’t do it at the bottom of an article about a kid who lost both parents in a tornado. Not the place.  

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