Can we stop this game, already?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It will soon be over. Thank goodness, it will be over soon. Thank heavens it’s almost over. I’ll be so glad when it is finally over.

What, you ask, is about to be over?


I am so weary of the talk, speculation, arguments and the ugliness that is part of electing a president in this country. My mind has shut down when it comes to listening to another word from another news source or another political ad. I’ve stopped watching the news and the mute button works well when a campaign ad comes on television.

And, if you are one of the folks who visits Facebook, you know comments between “friends” get downright nasty when it comes to discussing their chosen party and candidate. I’ve taken to hiding posts that get my dander up because I don’t want the drama.

How did we get here? I don’t think what passes for campaigning was what the founding fathers had in mind.

As I listen to people talk about the election, it reminds me of fans talking about their favorite team. Doesn’t matter if the team is good or bad, winning or losing, we support the team because it’s our team.

Now that might be fine for football, but not so good for choosing the person who sits in the Oval Office. I fear we might not look with an open mind at what the parties say they stand for related to the issues. We choose a side based on a few sound bites or whether everyone we know supports that side.

I know this because I am guilty of it. So, trying to be more open-minded, I listened to the speeches candidates made at the close of their conventions. I did my best to remain neutral and to really “hear” what they said, and that wasn’t easy.

Then I took a step beyond listening to the speeches. I went online to the party’s websites and read their platforms. This is where they spell out what they believe, their vision for the country and how they plan to accomplish it.

I tested what I read in my heart, asking if I could support what each platform said about specific issues. I considered how what they want to do will affect me personally and then asked how it will affect the country as a whole. Even broader, did the stance move us forward or was it a return to the past. Then, based on those considerations, I chose my candidate.

Now that I’ve decided, there isn’t much, short of that candidate running naked through the streets, that is going to change my mind. And I think that is the case with most voters. Once a person decides whom they support, no arguments, discussions, ads or debates are going to change his or her mind.

So now we roll on toward Election Day. I don’t hold much hope that the nastiness will get any less nasty in the final days.

Once upon a time a wise man, (who happened to be a politician) said something that stuck with me. We were talking about how to move this county forward, about the rivalry between towns when it came to bringing in industry (and yes, there was and is rivalry between communities so don’t send me nasty messages, please).

Anyway, he said. “We need to stop playing football 12 months a year.”

In other words, when it comes to moving a county or a country ahead, at some point the sides must stop competing and come together. Elections foster separation into opposing camps. Elections are both parties playing football 12 months a year.

Now thankfully, this election is almost over. My hope is no matter who is the winner, we find a way to come together and move forward with hope, compassion for each other and a desire to be a better country and a better citizen of the world.

My hope is we stop playing football and get on with living as a united nation.