This year’s presidential election has shown me things I never saw in previous elections. Part of this is because I can see it through the eyes of my now school-age children. The other reason is because I never saw so much hatred during any other election.
My boys are now in second and fourth grade and are finally old enough to understand the political system of our country at a basic level. At a deeper level, I’m not sure most adults understand it and that includes those in office. Anyway, the teachers in their schools have been great at educating the kids by having mock-elections and giving them information on the Democrat and Republican parties. They have been enthusiastically learning about it and giving their votes. My boys were sad that the presidential election results wouldn’t be in before their bedtime. It was really sweet to see their budding interest in how our country works and understanding why people vote for different parties.
On the other hand I was really saddened to see how many adults were misbehaving over the campaign and election process. People were attacking others quite personally over their political views. A friend of mine had someone writing very hateful things on her Facebook page. He was angry that she voted for President Obama and started attacking her Indian background, saying she’s “lucky you’re not being chased by a tiger in a village” and “you didn’t deserve to vote for that piece of #$&* Obama”. He was very rudely saying that she’s not American enough and that’s why her vote is wrong and hurting his country. Seriously?!? I know that there are hateful, racist people in the world but I’m still shocked when I see them in action. Another person I know had swastikas and awful racial slurs painted all over their yard because of their Obama posters. This is crazy! I know that the white-male majority has dwindled and the country is changing, but deal with it. In fact, the white males and the rest of us are all immigrants to this great nation. Only the Native Americans were here first. How can these haters decide who is a real American and not. As long as we pay our taxes and support the USA as our own, it shouldn’t matter if our ancestors have been here for two generations or ten.
I don’t know if the increased hate and divisiveness during this election is because of the economic frustrations. George W. Bush had done a lot to hurt our nation but the hatred between parties and supporters wasn’t as extreme then. Is it because we were more joined as a nation because of our fear of terrorists? Is it because this time our President is black and some people’s hidden bigotry is coming to the surface? Maybe it is just that people look for someone to blame when things are bad and Pres. Obama’s policies became a poster child for their problems.
Well whatever the reasons, the election has been decided and I hope we can now come together as a nation. When we stand together we can get so much accomplished and we stand strong. When we don’t, nothing gets done. This can be seen with our Congress where they can’t agree on anything and are holding back progress. We should take a cue from our children who do not yet have this hatred and show a passion and pride for their nation. Their innocence is heartwarming and gives us hope that maybe our next generation can work together for a better future.