I've had it.
I never get political on my blog. There are a few subjects that can elicit such passionate responses, such strong convictions, as politics and religion. I usually steer clear of them all. I want my blog to be a welcoming place where all can come and commiserate on the writing life.
But I've had it with the people in this country, and this is as good a place as any to vent.
If you live in America, and even if you don't, I know you've heard about the massive healthcare reform bill. Whether you agree with it or disagree with it doesn't make a difference right now. But I see a hatred in this country, a dividing line between liberal and conservative, the likes of which I have never seen in my generation.
Both sides - not just one - are responsible for this. One is not worse than the other. It all depends on where you get your news as to which side you're going to see more of. That is a sad fact. Integrity in journalism and unbiased reporting has been gone for a long time.
There is a way to take a stand for what you believe in without demonizing the other side. There is a way to voice your opinion without calling names. There is a way to understand the other side without resorting to blanket assumptions about them - i.e. they're all idiots/stupid/evil/whatever.
As Americans, we are passionate about our liberty, about our freedom of speech, and the other rights guaranteed to us by our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. But we don't have a right to bully others, to intimidate them, to denigrate who they are as a person.
If you're involved in any sort of debate, respect for the other side is absolutely paramount. Viewing them as the enemy - especially fellow Americans - isn't going to get anything accomplished.
So I say: ENOUGH. We are better than this.
Not only do our children see our actions and learn from them, but they do not forget. Teach them to be responsible, to voice your opinion, but in a respectful manner. I don't care if the other side is doing it (being disrespectful), sinking to their level doesn't do your cause any good and makes you just as bad.
I'm going to make a conscious decision to open my ears and my eyes to every point of view. And if I disagree, I can do so politely and even passionately - but never with cruelty.
Won't you join me?