For the past year we haven’t been able to escape it- the impending election. Today it’s finally here, after months and months of coverage, commercials, Facebook ads and rants- the day has come.
I personally have never seen so much political anxiety on a individual and national level. Every single person who I’ve spoken to has experienced significant levels of anxiety no matter who their choice of candidate is. To say this election is unusual is an understatement.
Something else I have noticed, as I am sure you have as well, is the online community has become extremely nasty towards one another. When it comes to religion and politics, there is a very small chance anything we say will sway someone to think in an opposite way. I have heard so many times in the past few months “ I had no idea * insert name* was such an idiot, so I stopped talking to them!” in relation to the election. I have also witnessed so much online name-calling and mudslinging, it would make a sailor blush. It is more than okay when together with like minded folk to talk and wonder about how people could vote for the “other” candidate, however, we need to be cognizant of how we react to each other from behind a computer screen.
Bullying is bullying, even if it is under the guise for a just cause. It is okay to put up memes, updates and whatever else you please, but going on to other people’s pages or specifically targeting someone for the sake of shaming or name calling still constitutes as being a bully. This election has everyone up in arms, and I too find myself getting incredibly upset over certain candidates or props. No one is remotely close to being perfect. What is important to keep in mind is just because we are angry at politics does not give us a free pass to go and beat up on strangers or friends. You know that saying “agree to disagree?” That applies here as well. Let’s face it, when was the last time you hear someone say “ wow, that meme in that comment thread, about 50 comments down really changed how I’m going to vote!”
The truth is however set we are in our internal beliefs, that person who is making those outrages statements is equally as set in theirs. Telling them off is just going to make them angry, which may feel good to us initially, but when was the last time hate or anger turned into something productive? This is not meant to be preachy, rather to invoke a sense of taking a step back to ask ourselves “is this really who I am- someone who makes hateful comments for no real reason?”
No matter the outcome, we will always need our friends. No matter the outcome, it is important to embody what we want most from this election, which is to make this country better. Making this country better is something we can all start doing by being a little nicer to one another.
The good news? There is one huge thing we can all agree on- democrat or republican, libertarian or writing in for Bernie, there is no greater rush than getting that “I voted” sticker.
Alexis has been a part time contributor to the online website Patientworthy which is dedicated to education and awareness of rare and serious diseases. Links to articles written by Alexis: