In an effort to help me, my friends like to share articles from places like the Daily Kos, Conservative Daily, Think Progress, National Review, Huffington Post and World Net Daily. I will read them on occasion, but rarely find anything helpful. Both left and right produce mountains of nonsense.
The articles prior to election day affirm what the person who is sharing it assures me is the truth and a point of view I had not considered. But in general, these articles are nothing more than thinly veiled idealogical tripe that tries to illustrate how dumb the other guys are.
When the election is all over I have friends and sometimes family who don't talk to each other anymore...some in the SAME political party! And for what?
Over the years I've made many social media mistakes but have grown into following a few guidelines which have made me a happier person around election time.
- My friends are friends for a reason. If they have a political view that is different than mine, I consider that honest and intelligent people can disagree. If you have dishonest and unintelligent friends...well hey...can't help you there.
- I consider that my friends probably want the same things I do, but have chosen a different political route to obtain it. It's not always true, but at least I give it a thought.
- I try to have fruitful political conversations AWAY from the elections. Political opinions are formed in the off-season and acted upon during voting time.
- I'm sometimes a jerk, but I try to admit it and take correction with some humility. A couple of years ago I said something where a friend simply responded, "You're better than that comment." He was right, and thus proved himself a more valuable friend than I ever imagined!
- If your side doesn't win, just remember that it rarely makes a difference. Anti-war leaders bomb foreigners, anti-tax politicians raise taxes and both sides deliberately keep hot button issues broken to make you mad enough to vote on election day. Politicians like it when you're worked up and mad...but your friends don't.
- Vow to keep your friends through the election no matter what. If you can't do that, you may as well just unfriend them now and save both of you the grief.
We can do this, right?