Thank goodness, in a couple of months it will all be over and hopefully people will have gotten past all the ugliness that is rapidly spreading across the country. And frankly, I will be glad to see the back of this election. I have sympathy for all those who didn't realize how much deep-rooted hatred existed within the hearts of many of their friends and neighbors.
Some of my female friends have been driven to the verge of tears by some of the careless, spiteful and regrettable remarks they have overheard concerning the presidential candidates. Ageism, sexism and racism have all reared their heads. Actually, we've come a long way in defeating those attitudes, at least in the expression of them. Still, there are many people who refuse to acknowledge that amongcertain groups, those attitudes continue to exist. These are part of the old ideas that turn many of the young people off. And it's these ideas, rather than the age of the individuals that express them, that give older people a bad reputation.
Not all older people are still living before integration and the feminist revolution in their minds. Some young people have had those old ideas handed down to them from parents who were never able to cast off the value system handed to them by their parents. We can probably expect more demonstrations of rude and caustic words and behavior before it all winds down.
Surely, there could be little doubt in the mind of any rational person that education is a sorely needed commodity in this country. We really do have to be prepared to sit at the table with people from all parts of the globe to ensure world peace. We simply have to get over our little prejudices and ill-conceived notions that Americans are superior to every other person on the face of the globe. These attitudes are not secret, they have made enemies of people from many countries. It is neither natural nor normal that we should be despised by people who only know Americans by their history of dealing with non-white races.
The political parties depend heavily on these attitudes to attract voters. There are enough differences among the nominees to give everybody somebody to hate. After all, the two-party system's modus operandi thrives on the philosophy of us versus them. You either choose a side or throw away your vote, so to speak.
I have made it a practice not to encourage people to discuss the election with me. I have many friends representing all kinds of groups and I plan on keeping them for the rest of my life. I trust that people will keep future generations in mind when they go to the polls. And in the meantime, I don't really care how they vote.
I have been advised that in identity politics, nobody bothers to vote on the issues. This is all the more reason I would choose not to participate. The economy, health care, the war in Iraq, the energy crisis and immigration are all issues of vital concern to me. I can't imagine considering anybody's race, sex or age more important than how we are going to deal with the problems threatening to unravel the fabric of the nation. At one time, I was almost willing to believe that the two national committees were truly concerned about the welfare of the country as a whole. This year's election has made me come to my senses. I consider popularity contests in the same category with beauty contests, as not being worth the time it takes to scratch them off my to-do list.
One would think that institutions like colleges and universities would take the opportunity to invite serious people, like constitutional law professors or historians, to provide lectures for communities before we go to the polls. But then, I suppose, that would suggest that somebody thought this more than a crap shoot, which would probably upset officials of the Republican and Democratic parties.
After all, they wouldn't want to give anybody the idea that the direction of the country was at stake. Well, at least it will all be over by the holiday season. That way we can concentrate on the well-being of our families and try to rally all of our resources to provide for their needs in the uncertain economy.
Of course, the problems will still be with us and the solutions will remain in the distance as one party takes control of the administration.
Soon they can begin the new year by blaming all of the system's failures on each other. Actually, I think I've been down this road before and if I remember correctly, it leads to a dead-end. Is this the country's longest playing re-run or what? Would somebody please wake me up when it's over?
You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.