Tis The Season

IMG_0346The Christmas season has begun, and that’s just fine with me.  I’m one of those people who loves listening to Christmas music (yes, even in the grocery store), who puts up two Christmas trees and covers her house with Christmas decorations that are more tacky than tasteful, who enjoys baking Christmas cookies and even wrapping the presents.  If I could figure out a way to get out of actually having to shop (and pay for) those presents, I would be a completely happy camper this time of the year.

Sadly, the end of this Christmas season will coincide with the beginning of  a new season that I will definitely NOT enjoy:  the 2016 election season.  I hate all election years, but the Presidential elections are the worst as they seem to take the political ugliness to the highest possible level.  We’re not even done with the year 2015 yet, and I’m already seeing the hateful editorials in newspapers, the snarky Facebook posts, and the mean-spirited bumper stickers and yard signs.

I have no problem at all with people who have strong political convictions, and I actually admire the commitment of people who donate to and/or work on the election campaigns of a candidate they believe in. If you believe in a cause, you should be willing to support it with your time and money, in my opinion.   But I do have a problem, a huge problem, with people using their political beliefs as an excuse to to ridicule and attack those who don’t happen to share them.

Personally, I have never met a single person who has changed their politics just because someone else has made fun of them.  People don’t read a scathing blog post or hateful Facebook post and suddenly have an epiphany, see the error of their ways and resolve to vote for the other political party from now on.  It’s true that people whose views are attacked often enough can be silenced, choosing to just keep quiet rather than engage in ugly arguments, but I very much doubt that they have changed their beliefs (or the way they vote) at all.

I admit that when I read or hear something political that I find really offensive, there is always a small part of me that wants to lash out and let them know in no uncertain terms just how very wrong they are.  But I try hard not to do that, because lashing out through ridicule, snide put-downs, name-calling, etc. doesn’t help a thing, and actually does a lot of harm.  It makes the other person feel attacked, which means there is absolutely no hope they are going to listen to anything I have to say.  It’s completely possible for people with different points of views, even on something as important as politics, to have a polite and informative discussion about it, but only if we remember to always speak to the other person exactly as we want them to speak to us.

I know it’s naive of me to hope that this political season will be any nicer or more civilized than the ones before it, or that the candidates and their supporters will really treat each other with the respect and dignity that every human being deserves.  So all I can do is enjoy the rest of my Christmas season, and focus on its true message of hope, love and peace.  And then do my best to keep that focus through the upcoming election year…..

23 thoughts on “Tis The Season

  1. I’m afraid you’re probably right to expect the worst. And the combination of politics and social media is deadly. All you can do is engage with people politely, and hope to be met with the same. Our politics over here in the UK are not a great deal nicer, I’m afraid. Good luck!

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  2. Yes, I have never seen a human argument result in a postive outcome, except sometimes in marriage where it can be necessary. Political put downs are just noise. What is people worked for consensus instead? I try to stay out of it too.

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  3. If only we can carry the Christmas spirit throughout the year, though politicians and politics generally ignore the “good will towards men” motto. You’re right, Ann. It’s going to be an ugly year, not only on news channels and social media but at dinner table and cocktail parties, as well. I plan on staying clear. As you’ve said, nothing anyone shouts will change a persons beliefs. Politics is a very sad game on so many fronts. Enjoy the Christmas season..:)

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    • Thanks, George! I plan to concentrate on Christmas as much as possible. “Peace on earth and good will toward all” just sounds so much better than “squash your political opponent like a bug,” you know? I stay out of politics as much as I possibly can!

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  4. It’s the same here in Australia Ann, politics is never a nice game and most involved always have their own agenda. I generally stay out of it. Enjoy the season Ann and focus on what is truly important in your life. Peace to you and yours 🙂

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  5. Oh it’s the same here Ann – for some reason during elections it becomes ok to hurl abuse at the opposition … it’s like playground bullying on a larger scale and I’m never sure I want any of them running the country. Your tree looks fab by the way … and I love the skirt 🙂

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    • Thank you! I do get a little carried away with the ornaments, but I collect glass Christmas tree ornaments, and I only get to put them out once a year. And I agree: most of the politicians come across as playground bullies, which doesn’t exactly give me confidence in their ability to lead a country. It’s sad…

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  6. One of my last straws with Facebook was when somebody wrote some random comment on one of my posts (I’m not even sure they were a ‘friend’ of mine) that said “Kill all the liberals”. That was that–I had had it. There were many other reasons to give up FB, but that did me in. There was a WONDERFUL skit on NPR last night part of Prairie Home Companion where Garrison is Guy Noir and he’s been hired by Trump. You HAVE to go online and listen to it! It’s one of the best I’ve heard so far!! It’ll make your holiday political listening worth it! 🙂

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  7. You are quite right, of course. People should treat each other with respect and courtesy — perhaps particularly when it comes to politics since so many people feel so strongly about it. Unfortunately, it seems to be going very firmly in the opposite direction. 😦

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  8. Oh, if only more people left as you do! I agree with you. How I wish the election process did not go on so long – a waste of time and money! I try to stay out of the ugliness. However, more people should get out and vote. If you don’t vote you can’t complain! Your tree is beautiful and do not let the coming election madness take away your joy and peace of the season. Thanks for the recent visit to my blog! I am trying to read post but I know I am falling behind…blame it on the season! Merry Christmas and all the best for 2016!

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  9. I agree: if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain, no matter what! And I have vowed to ignore all political garbage until after Christmas (if not longer), so I can focus on what is important. Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!! And keep blogging!!!

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