Election season brings out the very worst in people.
During this time, so many people say and do horrible things. They have terrible ideas. They make egregious mistakes. They antagonize and berate one another. They are rude. They are inconsiderate. They make assumptions that are unfair and unfounded. They are disrespectful of each other, our elected officials, and our country. People are the worst.
This can be incredibly disheartening to watch. It can be hard to hold on to the belief that people are inherently, basically good when you see them saying and doing things that are just — well — the worst.
However, I don’t believe that being basically good and being the worst are mutually exclusive.
Let me explain.
I do believe there are corrupt people in this world. However, on the whole, I think humans are basically good. We want to get along, we want peace. We want what is best for our families, and for others. We just have different opinions on what’s best.
Liberals want to redistribute wealth in order to provide opportunities and help those in need. Conservatives want everyone to work for their money and receive a fair wage, not handouts. Both groups think the other is either stupid, selfish, or both, and treat each other accordingly (hence being the worst).
What everyone seems to forget is that both groups actually want the same thing: for everyone to have opportunities to learn, grow, and work. Liberals just think the government needs to play a bigger role in making that happen by leveling the playing field. Conservatives just think the government needs to stay out of it and let people make their own way via hard work and determination. Different routes to the same destination: a better future.
So please, consider carefully the words with which you describe your political opponents. Please remember that (for the most part) we are all just doing the best thing we know how to do. We can have different opinions, and still have the same good intentions.
And if we can calm ourselves down, be respectful and kind, and exchange ideas rather than insults, we may even learn from each other. There can be more than one right way to do things.