In a way I love a good political season, filled with contested positions that are going to get the people active and engaged. People begin reading the paper more and you can hear conversations all over town about people discussing what is important to them and what they feel is important for the community.
Then there is the flip side to all of this and in a way I kind of hate political seasons too. The bad mouthing, the rumor mill and the way every part of a candidates personal life is run through the mud.
When I was younger this always seemed so much worse on the national scale then it did here locally. I’m sure I am probably wrong about that, though I just wasn’t as aware of it, because it happened in a quieter more private way. Not anymore though, now with the courage of being behind a screen, people attack the candidate they are against with a vengeance through their social media accounts on a daily basis. Though I am a member of a lot of the local Facebook groups I usually try not to engage often. Its more like people watching for me in a way I guess, but I have begun staying away from them more often then not, because, well frankly, our community’s behavior on there can be quite appalling lately.
I understand that when someone is running for office they are going to have things said about them and unfortunately their families often get drug into it to. However, when did it become okay to attack someone you barely know because they support a candidate you don’t like or have some other type of political position that you don’t share. Or worse yet, attack someone you do know a little something about and because they back a person for a certain position and use that information against them by writing it for the whole world to see. When did it become okay to be a bully because someone doesn’t believe a town should hold a beer festival to raise money for Christmas decorations. That’s their opinion and they are free to have it. Just like I’m free to enjoy the festival and I do, we’ve gone every year. When did it become acceptable to make fun of people because they think “so and so” would make a good WECRD Director or city councilman.
We tell our children to not be bullies. We tell them to stick up for kids being picked on and to not judge people because we can never really know what someone is going through.
Well Mountain Home, guess what, lately our social media has been nothing but a bunch of grown ups acting like a bunch of spoiled junior high girls and a bunch of bullies. Stop being jerks. What’s that old saying “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Let’s all give that a try when there is something we find “ridiculous” being put out on social media for a change. Our children are using social media too, they can easily see how we are acting and what is being said.
I am all for having the freedom of being able to state one’s opinion on matters, but there is a way in which to do it and that isn’t by being a bully. After all our kids are watching us, so put your money where your mouth is and lead by example.