We Can Do Better

Can we talk for a second?

Here’s the deal. The Republican and Democratic conventions are done. Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are the nominees. Some of you are wildly enthusiastic about one candidate and absolutely despise the other.  Some of you dislike both candidates.  Some of you are hoping for a third option on the ballot to be a large meteor striking the earth.  It is what it is and we can’t change any of it now.

What we can change is how we refer to the candidates, and presumably, the next president. (I’m not ignoring Johnson & Weld  from the Libertarian party or the other folks running but they seem like a long shot for purposes of this blog post.)

Somewhere in the Obama presidency it became commonly acceptable to refer to the president in derogatory terms. It’s gone on in some fashion for years but whenever it started this needs to stop. I’m no fan of President Obama but referring to him in slurs, misrepresentations,  racial epithets, and the like is just wrong. Disagree where you will but please disagree respectfully.

Likewise, referring to the newly minted presidential candidates in derogatory ways is inappropriate. While I may not think much of Mr. Trump’s hairstyle or  Ms. Clinton’s attire, neither should be a discussion point in the run up to the election. I find it difficult to take seriously your concern about safety within our borders or you concern for those in poverty when what you’re liking and sharing are jokes pointed at the color of Donald’s skin or Hilary’s laugh.  When you get right down to it, it’s really pretty juvenile to engage in these kinds of insults. I was going to say it’s the kind of thing I’d anticipate from my 8 grandkids (age 3 months to seven years) but in truth I expect much more from them.

Please don’t use the ‘They started it and I must respond in kind’ response, either.  My grandkids actually do that but they’re supposed to.  It’s age appropriate behavior for them, however annoying it might be.  Those of us old enough to be reading emails, blogposts, Facebook and Twitter are old enough to not respond to whatever insult has been leveled at our favorite son or daughter.

We can do better. Discuss the issues but leave the invective behind. Please.

This applies to anyone but if you’re a follower of Christ I especially urge you to consider the role of your faith in your election cycle conversations. It is easy to fall prey to the temptation to join in with the rest of your echo chamber in hurling insults (or liking/sharing memes).  But it is nigh on impossible to square those put-downs and insults with the love of Christ.  Disagree where you will but please disagree respectfully.

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