The Trump/Clinton campaign was not the nastiest in America’s history. Politics does seem to bring out the worst in people, however. It’s very easy to find numerous examples of dirty politics.
- Thomas Jefferson was John Adams’ VP while he ran against him for the presidency. It didn’t go well.
- John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson hated each other, especially after Adams repeatedly insulted Jackson’s wife.
- Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas hurled awful insults at each other on and off the debate stage.
- Political commentators called the Trump/Clinton campaign the nastiest in recent memory.
It’s time to cut the insults. The election is over. Both sides are guilty of saying outrageous things about the other.
Divisiveness is nothing new. Today’s bad feelings are nothing compared to the level of mutual rage that fueled the Civil War of the 1860s. About 620,000 men died as a result of a divided society, devastating families on both sides. Both Clinton and Trump supporters need to take a deep breath. Solutions will be found for most of today’s problems. In politics and in life, few compromises satisfy everyone, but it’s better than bloodshed.
No one can control someone else’s feelings, but everyone can control how they think, feel, speak and write. Most people, whatever party or race they belong to, are rational human beings. All the name-calling is counter-productive. Most people are not communists, fascists or racists.
Yes, today’s problems are very serious. Trump’s solutions will be different than Clinton’s would have been. There’s another election in four years for those who disagree.
Each person can do his or her part to reduce the anger that permeates much of society today.
- Stop the rants on social media. They are harmful, not helpful.
- Eliminate derogatory remarks about entire groups, usually beginning with “they all…”.
- Remove insults from your vocabulary. Disagree on the issues without hurling personal insults and sinking to the lowest level.
- Learn and practice good manners.
- Acknowledge kindness wherever it’s found and pass it on. That sounds goody-goody, but try it. Doing something nice for a stranger, how matter how small it is, feels good.
Everyone is worthy of respect regardless of their political views. Strive for a balance between holding firm to your own values and being willing to acknowledge the other person’s. Agree to disagree.
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