The Color Purple

November has always been a tough month for me.  For one thing, I seem to be allergic to it, because I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed good health during November.  At the very least, I get a runny nose and post-nasal drip, which causes a sore throat and general crankiness.  Some years I also get an ear and/or sinus infection but I’ve managed to avoid that this year…so far.

But my issues with November aren’t just physical.   I hate how it gets dark just a little bit earlier with each passing day, and how the bare the trees look once they shed their colorful leaves.  I don’t like having to rake up said leaves, especially since none of them are from trees in our yard.  And those of us with dogs know the leaves on our lawn can cover up all sorts of things that we’d rather not step in, and yet I do, almost every time I go outside.  I typically host our family’s Thanksgiving dinner, so I also stress over planning the menu and figuring out where I stored my big turkey-roasting pan.

But this November has been particularly hard, because it included an election day.  Few things shake my faith in basic human decency more than an election.  I don’t mind people putting up yard signs for the candidate they plan to vote for, although I don’t really see the point.  If I want to vote for “candidate A,” I’m going to do so, even if I’ve seen fifty signs for “candidate B.”  Still, yard signs are a nice way to show support for your favorite candidate, because they don’t hurt anybody.

The problem I have with the election process is the unbelievably vicious and negative tone of the campaigns, and I’m not just talking about the TV ads or the circulars that get stuffed in my mail box every day.  Those are horrible, and my personal response is that after I’ve seen a few, I don’t want to vote for any of the candidates.   Not because I believe the bad things they are saying about their opponents, but because I don’t want to vote for anyone who tries to win by smearing their opponent.  And these days, that’s basically everyone.

Social media is worse.  I only do Facebook, thank goodness, but even then I see way more hateful memes that I can tolerate.  And the really bad thing is, it makes me think just a little bit less of the person who is posting.  I know politics is the ultimate “them and us” situation, and it’s easy to think winning justifies any amount of fear-mongering and mud-slinging, but it still gives me pause.  And not in a good way.

The elections are over as I write this, although there are a few races still “too close to call.”  I don’t know what the outcome will be, other than that approximately half the nation will be happy with the results and the other half will be unhappy.  But whether happy or not, those of us who live in the US are all still Americans.  And it’s way past time we learned to live and work together peacefully despite our differences.  Because we’re not a “Blue” nation or a “Red” nation.  We’re a mixture of the two, which can make for a very nice color indeed….

86 thoughts on “The Color Purple

  1. I’m with you, Ann. I heard today that PACs, political parties, special interests, and individuals spent more than ten BILLION dollars on election ads, promotions, rallies, etc. (most of it negative). And we appear to have ended up pretty much in the exact same place politically–though with a few different faces. Just think of what all that money could have done it if were put toward ending hunger, or addressing climate change, or rebuilding roads and bridges…. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! Both sides spend tons of money demonizing the other side, and spreading fear. The truth is, everyone wants us to be better, we just have different ideas about what will get us there. We really don’t need to be so afraid. And that money could have been spent to help everyone, both in our country and the world! It’s madness…..and we really need to stop “buying into it.” It’s a horrible waste of resources, I believe. Thanks for your comment, Donna!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. no truer words spoken Ann … I also dread the mud-slinging 5yo tactics that seem to dominate all elections. What happened to expounding policies? Guess they lost credence once we all realise that they’re seldom kept.

    Purple has shades of ‘the melting pot’ song … nothing is ever blue or red; black or white … the hues between the two are just right 🙂

    Hope you’re feeling better soon, glad you’re back on WP 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Kate! One of the reasons I hate politics is that I truly don’t recognize myself or most of my friends and family in the little categories they push. People are complex, and mostly good. If we want to move forward (which is essential, considering the challenges our world is facing) we have to find common ground and stop thinking compromise is a dirty word. Politics is all about “winner takes all” but that just makes the problem worse. The true melting pot is the only way to go! And thanks, I went to the doctor today and got some meds to manage my symptoms. I’m already feeling better!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Well said Ann. I always say “Hate the act, not the actor”. Right now, Red and Blue seem at are with each other, rather than trying to help the voters and all Americans. The sheer amount of time and money wasted on electing people who populate venom and hate on their opposition never ceases to amaze me. It almost seems like the protections the founding fathers put in place are working against real progress. Similar things are happening up here too. Politics is all about rhetoric that will stir up you base into an angry fight, rather than looking for common ground. I really think the legislature in Nunavut has it right. There are no parties. You vote for the person and all those elected by the people chose a leader. Then the whole group gets together to work for the voters. It is the way of the First Nations and I do not think they got it wrong. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could just listen to each other and get along rather than going to war. All the best in the election outcome. Allan

    Liked by 4 people

    • I have never seen it quite so bad as it’s been the past ten years or so. (I remember being shocked back in the 90’s, when the Clinton campaign had the motto, “It’s the economy, stupid!” The motto would have been fine without that last word….but now that would be considered quite tame.) And you’re so right, all the rhetoric is designed to make us angry and afraid of the “other side.” It sounds to me that the Nunavuts have figured out an excellent alternative. I wish we could copy that!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, I would vote for just about any candidate who simply said, “I disagree with my opponent’s policies, and believe I can do a much better job.” The mud-slinging is a huge turn off for me. And yes, the biggest loser in all this is working for the common good. We all have to live with the government we elect, so doesn’t it make sense to elect one that knows how to compromise and work with people, even those who think differently? One can dream, I guess!

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  4. For my wife, November is perhaps the worst month of the year. Like you, she quickly gets depressed, especially about the ever-shortening days coupled with foggy and rainy (snowy) weather. Her beloved mother and twin brother passed away in November, conjuring up sad events. Fortunately, the weather does not affect me that much, and I can lend her my support.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Ann- I totally understand why November can be challenging. For me the election process needs to be addressed so that the amount of money spent is limited. Like one of the other comments all that mud slinging and energy could be better spent on solving “REAL” problems in the World. But, once elections are over I am faced with Veterans Day and so that always brings up bubbles of deep emotions over our National political policies, loss of former friends, the money dumbed needlessly into war and not into peace, and the senseless suffering of those kind souls who just get caught in the cross fires. But, we all have to remain hopeful. Leaves with dog poop get cleaned up, the cycle of elected officials fades, and with a snowfall a whole new World and outlook comes. Time changes everything. Hugs friend!
    P.S. sending a PM to you with housing news.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I think we should limit the amount that can be spent (not doing it is why we only have very rich people running for office, and also why they are indebted to their donor’s wishes once they get in office.) It would also be nice to ban election ads until October 1. One month is more than enough!
      And I can’t imagine how Veteran’s day must be for those who have served and/or lost a loved one in service. War is the ultimate hell, that’s for sure. And the trauma it leaves behind endures for years…. I wish I had the answer, but all I can say is (very sincerely) “Thank you for your service!”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loathe elections for many of the reasons you mentioned but also because I think fundamentally they’re manipulated. And the amount of smearing and negativity involved is off putting. We have a state election coming up in a few weeks time and all sorts of promises are being made, they’re rarely kept!
    Hope you’re feeling better. Allergies are never fun. Sending lots of good wishes your way.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I believe you are right. Whoever gets elected is beholden to the donors who ran their campaign, and they pay more attention to them that those who actually voted for them. Also, most candidates pay absolutely no attention to those who didn’t vote for them, and then wonder why those people are so unhappy with their performance in office. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could look at their government and see a least a few policies they agree with? I think that would go along way towards diffusing the situation. As for campaign promises, they mean nothing. Which is beyond sad!

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  7. Well said Ann.

    I’ve always wondered about those campaign signs myself. The church across the road from me is a polling place and so they had all these signs lined up one right after the other in front of the church and I’m thinking . . what a waste of money. As if someone who is strolling over to vote will spot one of these signs and decide, yes . . that’s my candidate!

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    • I think we’ve been conditioned to believe that the “other side” wants to take away our freedoms…I know people on both “sides of the aisle” and they sincerely believe that, even though they’re talking about two different parties. That’s where I think it would help if we could have more honest conversations about politics, we could find a whole lot more common ground than we think. But sadly, those who run the campaigns believe that fear-mongering and hate is the way to win. I wish it were different…..maybe someday!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I can see why you are so disheartened by those elections….much too much emphasis on personality and far too little on policy, coupled with the feeling, borne from experience, that little of what little is promised will see the light. Which goes for both main parties, in the U.S. as in the U.K.
    Armistice Day is upon us….it might motivate people to try to control government rather more….to stop throwing people into wars and try diplomacy instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, policy isn’t the big thing discussed in political campaigns. Fear of the opponent is, and sadly, it seems to work. And I agree, few promises are realized anyway. As soon as someone gets in office, the abandon most of the promise, and blame it on the other party. Which people accept, strangely. (And yeah, it’s both parties, although a lot of people don’t want to admit that.) I share you wish that our leaders would learn to try a lot more diplomacy and a lot less military action. Especially now that our weapons are so very, very dangerous to the whole world!

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  9. I so agree. It’s really gotten awful. I quit ordering spices from Penzey’s because of a huge political announcement from the president of the company. It didn’t matter to me which side he was on, I found it totally inappropriate. There are lots of other good spices out there.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. People all over talk about their rights- the right to vote yes, but also their assumed right to be rude, snarky, uninformed, to twist facts, to lie outright… Voting is an obligation in my viewpoint and the only way to fulfill that obligation is to be intelligently informed about the issues and candidates. You can’t do that as a voter by being inundated with junk, or by not doing your own research.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is absolutely necessary to do our own research before we vote, because we sure don’t learn anything by the ads! I always vote, even when I don’t care for either candidate (which is often). But I figure that if people don’t vote, we will absolutely lose the privilege eventually and it’s important to make everyone’s voice heard. Plus, there’s always at least one issue on the ballot that I do feel strongly about. I know I only have one vote, but if I cast it, then at least I can sleep at night knowing I did my bit!

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  11. You speak the truth! And I like that image of blue and red swirling together, and bringing out the best of what each has to offer…(cue intro guitar to Prince’s Purple Rain)
    Here’s to the silencing of nasty political ads!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I hadn’t even thought of that song, but it is totally appropriate! Thank you! And yes, in all the election mess, we forget that no matter what color someone assigns our State, we are all Americans. And we’re all going to have to live together and work together once the election is over. So it just makes sense to quit demonizing and/or ignoring the people who vote differently…..they’re not going anywhere, so are best bet is to figure out how to get along, and sometimes even compromise!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It is sad what politics in our country has become. Once upon a time people could have differences of opinion and that was a good thing. Do we really want every single person to think exactly the same way? Even in families, we like to have room for discussions and the freedom to express our thoughts. You don’t have to ridicule the other person for a difference of opinion. Really, it is sadder than sad. November is my birthday month, and I look forward to Thanksgiving, although it is a lot of work. The world is very beautiful in Virginia this time of year…still lots of colorful leaves on the trees. I have started raking though…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I long for the days when people had civil discussions over things like politics and religion. Now it’s totally, “if you’re not with me, you’re against me…..and you need to shut up and sit down.” It’s just awful! I’m glad you have a November birthday, that brings a nice touch to a sometimes dreary month. I like Thanksgiving too, once I get the details ironed out. I think I sometimes sweat those details a bit too much, and I need to learn to stop that. Thanks for your comment, Linda!!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Yes, Ann, purple is a beautiful color! I understand all of what you wrote and it’s great that you can express it. The early darkness is depressing, but I do appreciate the crisp coolness after such a hot summer. Thanks for giving me a chuckle – I am imagining your exclamation when you step on some leaves that squish under your feet!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I’m usually very good about cleaning up after Finn, but the leaves make it impossible to do that this time of year. Of course, I always “find” his little surprises anyway, but I’d rather do it with a pooper scooper than my foot! Thanks for your sweet comment and for understanding what I was trying to say. We are a purple country, and that’s a good thing! The two sides balance each other out, when they’re not busy tearing each other down.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Purple is the way to go if’n you want to believe in this country. I’m sick of all “us versus them” politicking that I read about. Also HATE signs for candidates in yards, not because I favor one or the other, but because they are eyesores that block my vision as I’m driving around our curvy hilly roads. They are dangerous– as well as wasteful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree! They serve no real purpose that I can see. I’m not going to change my vote because of a sign, and I really don’t care who my neighbors are voting for. I believe everyone has the right to vote their own conscience. And the reason I hate politics is the “us and them” approach. It is literally destroying our country, or at least it will if we don’t wise up. We’re all Americans, no matter which party we vote for, and so we have to get along. It’s as simple as that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! And I truly believe it….we will always be a mixture of the two colors, and ultimately, that’s a good thing. It’s the checks and balance system that our country was founded upon. We really don’t need to be afraid of it, I think!

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  15. I am so happy that the elections are over (for the most part, anyway). We had a local city council election that generate a lot of hit pieces, several that mentioned abortion rights. That particular council person may have normally gotten my vote, but I voted against her because of the hit pieces her campaign sent out and the fact that our city council has nothing to do with deciding on abortion issues… it was just a way to smear the other candidate by innuendo. The whole thing made me mad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, isn’t it ridiculous that the candidates assume we don’t understand something so basic as city councils have no say over abortion rights? Anything that can be used to smear someone is used, and it’s insulting, not to mention destructive. I have also turned away from candidates I agrees with in many ways simply because their campaigns were too sleazy for me to stomach. So I completely understand!

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  16. I hear ya, Ann — especially about the dog poop! I try to get Monkey’s scooped up every day or so, and it’s not too bad even with the leaves. It’s when the snow piles up and I have to try finding it that I have trouble! And you’re so right about the election — what happened to civility? I don’t remember any yard signs or nastiness from elections when I was a kid. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, the elections were never this awful before. We’re trending in a new, and rather dangerous, direction. As for the dog poop, yeah snow also masks it! And just today, I was playing soccer in the back yard with my grandson. He did a sliding kick and came up with a patch of brown on the knee of his pants. I wasn’t sure if it was mud, or dog poop, but we changed the pants anyway!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know…that’s what makes it so scary. People I know personally who used to be very tolerant are now spouting hatred toward the “other side.” That’s not good, for anyone. I really believe the cause is both post-pandemic stress and social media, which we now know actually encourages hate speech against anyone and anything. But as the old saying goes, “just because they’re selling it, doesn’t mean we have to buy it……” I refuse to get sucked into that!

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    • I agree! We have created this civil war in an effort to win campaigns and to try to gain more control. It doesn’t work, because the losing side doesn’t go anywhere, and they vote in the next election. We need to learn to work together, peacefully and respectfully, despite our differences, or nothing will improve. I do think that it will end eventually, and not dramatically. As you said, it will just fade away as people continue to get disgusted with the whole sorry mess!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! Our political arena has become “winner take all” with whoever is in charge completely ignoring the almost half the country who doesn’t believe in his or her policies. And that just contributes the polarization. The horrible way politicians and their “fans” speak to each other contributes to the hatred, and makes it hard to respect anyone. How can we expect our children to learn to be civil and tolerant when they see adults behaving otherwise? It’s up to us to set a better example, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I like the way you put that, because it has become so very sleazy, hasn’t it? And yes, I don’t think it will get better in the near future. I’m hoping that enough people will get tired of it that it will eventually end, but who knows? The problem is that the people who run the campaigns believe in fear-mongering and promoting hatred, and then their followers join in the hue and cry. But I really think that most people are a lot more tolerant than that, it’s just he extreme voices that get all the attention, on both sides of the aisle.

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      • Though I think I’ve got you by a couple of years, Ann, I agree that ‘getting older’ is getting OLD! Often on my way out of what we used to know as a
        ‘Big Box’ store, having just embarassed myself seeking assistance at one of the ‘self checkout’ lines, i will stop a couple of teenagers and admonish them not to get old! Their startled reaction to the audacity of this old fart speaking to them most often elicits the “Why?” response, to which I reply,
        “Because, the extra time isn’t worth the confusion!”
        Not that I’m ready to go, mind you, but I’d love to walk into another room in my apartment, and not wonder why I had made that trip!

        Liked by 1 person

        • What’s that old saying, “getting old isn’t for sissies?” I think that’s absolutely the truth! And yes, I often walk into a different part of my house and think, “and why exactly did I come in here???”

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  17. Well-said, Ann. The negative ads and promotions (you can’t even call them promotions) were over the top this year. The voting atmosphere was tense where we live. I missed the deadline to vote by mail and dreaded going in-person because I didn’t want to be approached. But I’m happy to say that the in-person voting was extremely positive. So there’s a good thing!

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  18. I couldn’t agree more, Ann! With ALL OF WHAT YOU WROTE!!!
    Moving to Florida definitely helped with my Fall/Winter blues…but it completely dark at 6:30 and that makes me tired and ready to go to bed WAY too early!!
    I am Aldo glad the election is over…some of the adds were just heartless…and I don’t understand how people think that it is ok…I just won’t EVER understand it!
    Sending lots of GOOD energy and kindness your way…we need much more of that!! 😊💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I keep thinking it’s late, and then I look at the clock and it’s just dinner-time! But I envy you your warmer Winter temps. And I’m like you, I will never understand how people are okay with the political tone in this country. If you question it, the response is usually something along the lines of, “But the other side is so awful it has to be stopped in any possible way!” Which is a bunch of baloney….people have just been conditioned to believe that. There are plenty of good and decent people on both sides of the aisle, and it’s okay to disagree with people, but not okay to attack them, in my opinion.

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      • Amen to that, Ann! I agree with what you said 100% It amazes me that the way a lot of people act is not in any way, shape, or form, the way we would want to teach our children how to behave. I just don’t understand when…and/or why…it had to become it’s an “us or them” mentality! WE ARE ONE…We are all connected…and we are so much better as a people when we realize this! It is okay to have disagreements…or to philosophically believe differently. It is NOT OKAY to stand so deeply in hatred for someone who is different that we can’t even try to see things the way they do.
        Something has to change…someone has to become a leader who brings us all together instead of the current energy of purposefully trying to tear us apart!!
        Oooops! I try really hard to not get involved…but maybe that’s the wrong approach too! It just all comes down to kindness…compassion…and love. Wish we could find a way to turn that up!!
        Hope you have a splendid Sunday, Ann!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. The ads were relentless this year, Ann, and I ignored them all, as well as the signs. (I’m not on FB at all. It’s way too divisive for me.) I know the country is divided, but it seems that overall we still want a democracy and for our elections to count. That’s great news. I wish our government the best and that our representatives start doing to work of the people, all the people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • First, I’m sorry for my delayed reply, I somehow missed this comment and the three below it. But yes, I agree that people in our country still want a democracy and the elections that support them. And more importantly, I think that the elected leaders to need to remember that they represent all the people, even those who don’t vote for them or their party. I think that would be a huge step forward toward “bridging the divide.” Because whatever our political views, we’re all in this together!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry! I think the worst thing about elections these days is the length of time it takes to get a result. That just drags the nastiness on and on, and no one needs that. Wouldn’t it be nice if campaigns were only allowed for one month, and the results were in no less than three days after the polls closed? We could all live with that! (And I apologize for my late reply, I missed these last comments!)

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  20. Hi Ann,
    Thanks for the comment over at Sorryless, a place where Marc graciously allows me to occasionally post … so thought I’d visit. Interestingly, I see we have a number of people in common! 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your frequent battle with the yuks in November. Hang in there …. and I know your family Thanksgiving will work out.

    The elections stuff from the worst to the more worst. Their pathetic – besides, they don’t ask questions! Listen to the question asked and focus on the answer. They craftily segway to a scripted response. Grrrrr …. I’m in Ohio, and we were bombarded with ads this year. Plus given that I’m in Cincinnati, that means I get to see Kentucky ads too! At least Indiana seldom joins the fray.

    On a brighter note, yes – we are a purple nation. With that in mind, I’ll introduce you to my blog with a beach walk essay about purple. https://beachwalkreflections.wordpress.com/2022/09/14/149-purple/ … I hope you stop by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Frank! I’m glad I’ve discovered your blog, because it’s very good. And yes, one of the worst things about campaigns and debates is that the candidates never answer the actual question. Sometimes they even say, “That’s the the question. The question is….” and the trot out their planned response. No, the question is what you were asked, and we’d like an answer! As you said, all the political parties want is our vote and our money, and they pay zero attention to our ideas and opinions. No wonder we’re tried of this mess. We are a diverse nation, and that’s actually a good thing, I believe. We just need to learn how to give everyone a voice!

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  21. Well said! I’m with you. What happened to respect and decency? United we stand, divided we fall.

    As a retired teacher I am ashamed of the behavior of many of our politicians running for office, especially in one particular party. In Florida their ads were aggressive, hateful and they out an out lied. I used to have students research the candidates, present their goals and we’d have a class election and learn the voting process. It was a social studies lesson. No side was right or wrong. I taught them to make a list of ways to improve our state, then research each candidate and vote for whoever’s policies more closely matched your list,.. It was strictly a lesson on voting, researching, and thinking up ways to improve our state. It wasn’t a crazy mud slinging liefest. Just a way to face and fix Florida’s problems.

    I’m also old enough to have lived in Florida long enough to remember that while it often was a swing state, people still voted for whoever they wanted without bullying, and, politicians told citizens what their goals were. Candidates didn’t behave like madmen and their supporters didn’t act like crazed bullies or zombies in an apocalyptic search for brains.
    Usually it was pretty equally divided. Candidates spoke about their their objectives to help our state, citizens voted, it close and somebody won. .
    But this time one party accused the other of the weirdest things. Get this, the current senator stated if they voted blue all the boy children would be turned into girls. And their ad showed a commercial of little children dressed up like princesses getting their makeup done. The ad lied about every single agenda. I’ve lived here since 1960, long enough to recognize all the lies. And I wonder what blend of cool aid did the people of Florida drink to overwhelmingly vote for a senator who never showed up and a governor who took tax dollars to round up unsuspecting people and their families and remove them from our state.? As a child of a father whose entire French family was round up, dragged from their homes , put in cattle cars and killed when got to Auschwitz, yep, I have family members who were taken from their homes in Paris,and murdered by Nazis. There is a wall in Paris with dozens of Kluchinsky’s who died because of such a monstrous political act. So I’m horrified that a man who did a similar action was re-elected. Yup, I’m upset that my state was fooled And ignorant enough to believe the lies.
    BTW, The ads on tv were so vile that I couldn’t let my grandchildren hear or watch them. I do not vote for anyone who trashes their opponent. That’s cowardly.
    Floriduh! What have you done? It’s mind boggling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I think there needs to be some sort of filter for ads, or at least some sort of price to pay for running false ones. (Slander and libel are still reasons to sue, I believe. I’m not a fan of suing in general, but in this case it might be an answer.) I can’t even stand to watch TV in the week or two before the election, because the ads are so bad. Because I live in St. Louis, we get the ads for both Illinois and Missouri, so it’s a double whammy, and both parties are just awful in their ads and smears against the other.
      It sounds as if things were taken to a whole new level of awful in Florida this year, and I’m so sorry for that! People don’t realize that kind of behavior hurts everybody, not just the candidate they’re trying to harm. It shouldn’t be allowed! It just “flames the fire” and people are too afraid of each other as it is. I think the fear is how they justify their outrageous behavior, because people who are entrenched in partisan politics truly believe the other side is so awful and dangerous that they need to be stopped by “any means necessary.” And that is very, very, dangerous for us all. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!! It’s very much appreciated.

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