Here’s a newsflash that’s news to no one: It’s been ugly out there for months.
I’ve watched close friends, relatives and six-degree acquaintances rant, insult, recklessly post, plea, beg, hate and prematurely spread nonsense from both sides of the aisle. And like each of you, I’ve seen friendships fizzle over our country’s presidential scurry.
Personally, I’ve opted to zip my lip, though I’m solid, content and more confident than ever with the mid-life clarity of my convictions.
Here’s what’s bugging me since Tuesday night though: The melodrama. The name calling. The tantrums… All bad. But bigger than all that: The “how can I possibly explain this to my children” nonsense.
I applaud any parents’ prerogative to educate their children of the political process. Likewise to teach their own convictions as means to direct. But what’s to explain when the vote doesn’t go your way, other than the other team won this time?
If you’ve taught that opinions are opinions, there is nothing to fear. Because one opinion is no more right than the next and that’s an important lesson for children in all aspects of life.
If you’ve taught that America’s system for electing a leader is based on a democratic system that seeks to determine the wishes of a majority of its citizens, there should be no fear in the explanation. The electoral college system was uniquely designed to measure the voices of all citizens, so reassuring your kids of its merits and keen design can simply parlay into a great lesson in American civics.
But if you’ve taught your children that those with opinions other than yours are wrong, or evil, or something to be feared, shame on you. If you’ve fed your children with ideas that bad things will happen to them and their friends if the other candidate wins, triple shame.
If you’ve described the other team to your children by placing all in a single box and tagging it with stereotypes, your teachings are as injudicious as your understanding of platform.
Let’s move past the ill will and misguided drama and set some unity into motion. And may God bless America and our newly elected officials.
And may God bless the children.