Purple Plea

Can’t you people read a calendar? I have more than two weeks before this silliness is supposed to start. It’s not yet Labor Day, and that’s when you are scheduled to begin acting like fools. I loathe the silly season. I’m not referring to crazy Hog fans who have phones and know how to use them, fired reporters in Florida hats and other football nonsense. We’ll cover that territory another day. I’m talking about politics. And no party is immune from my disgust here.

I believe the credit is Thomas Nast

It’s an election year. I spent enough years in political communications to know this typically begins a showcase of our worst nature. Hacks will dissect every vote, every remark, every contribution and every event attended or not. Every outfit, haircut and piece of jewelry will suddenly take on a dramatic significance. People will be enraged – often not even knowing why. Absolutely every.single.issue will be cast in red or blue. There will be no middle ground, no nuance, no compromise, no subtlety. As if life is really like that. To my mind, much of campaign rhetoric is the greatest insult to the intelligence of the voting public.

The truth is, most people live in the purple. Many of my friends are fiscally conservative and socially moderate. Others are pretty near libertarian. Some are raging liberals. Still some are so socially conservative, I’m not sure why they talk to me at all. But what we all have in common is a respect for one another. In my happy little bubble, we have all chosen to believe in the best motives of the other. We all want the same outcomes; we just come from different world views on how to get there.

jerrypettit.com

I suspect given the high stakes of this election, the rhetoric leading up to it will make my Thanksgiving dinner remarkably uncomfortable. Most of the people I will dine with have very different political views than me. There will be winners and losers at that meal.

So here is my plea to those on campaign staffs: If politics really is the only game for grownups, then act like it. Treat us like we are. Trust us enough to understand everything cannot be boiled down to “I’m right, he’s wrong.” Believe we have the best intentions. For the love of turkey and dressing, rise above.

Or at least pray for a good Razorback football season. That, in practicality, is the only thing that can save me now.

Baby Daddy begged me to look away or I’m gonna make myself sick again. I don’t want to look away. I want the view to change. And this rant now requires me to refer to a West Wing green bean speech:

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1 Comment

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One response to “Purple Plea

  1. Ben

    We all could use a “green bean” speech.

    I wish it was just green beans and putting a guy on a stamp. We’ve elevated the noise past “eleven”, and I’m not sure any of us know how to dial it back — or if a green bean speech would even do it. Have we crossed a point of no return?

    Lord, I miss that show.