It has to get ugly

It’s going to get ugly, my friends, really ugly.  The next 2 months have to.  Everyone has to be angry or it won’t work. 

WHAT?!?

It is presidential election season:  The goal of both sides is to get you angry because the angriest side has the best turnout.

Don’t be angry, but vote anyway. 

Take everything you read with a grain of salt.  Evaluate the issues honestly.  Do some research for yourself.  Look at the candidate’s own web pages where they outline their positions.  Don’t get hooked into the chaos on social media or the news.

Be kind: even if people disagree with you.  Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say to their face (or that your grandmother would be embarrassed that you said to their face!).

When this country was founded, only male landowners could vote.  It seems an atrocity to us now, but sometimes I see a speck of wisdom in it.  The reasoning was that those that made the decisions wanted to ensure that the decisions were informed, educated and thoughtful.  That each vote counted because there was information behind it.  Now I’m not saying that is the way we should go, but when I see angry people voting a certain way because they always have (or their families have), because they believe half-truths, because someone urged them to, it grieves me.  An uninformed vote is just as wasted as someone that doesn’t vote.  Perhaps even more dangerous.

In the decades since the Boston Tea Party, when Americans protested taxation without representation, the right to vote has been extended to all of us.  We all have the power to make our voice heard.  Don’t waste it.  Be one of those voters that is informed, educated and thoughtful.  Don’t stay home because you don’t like either candidate.  One of them will be president; be a part of the process.

My husband is a political junkie, so every minute of the conventions for both parties will be aired in our home. Two weeks of late nights as he flips stations between all the commentaries afterwards.  It’s exhausting, both physically and emotionally, but I have to say, as my teenagers are becoming part of that process, we have some good conversations.  My oldest will vote for the first time in November and I’m proud and thankful that his vote will be informed, educated and thoughtful. Make yours as well.  And be kind…it is rare this season.

Voting,

Heather Smith

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