I was on Facebook last night via my BlackBerry while out and about watching the election returns. Around 10 pm I found the cryptic post from a left leaning friend: "God help America." This afternoon, once on the computer I decided to check out the thread that developed.
After a morning of reading and listening to opining about the election and where our country is going, I was still bothered to some degree by my friend's short comment. How is it that the Republican victories gave such a sense of dismay that my friend was looking for divine intervention?
I think the first thing we need to do is to give our politicians the same grace we give our friends and family. My mother, bless her heart, was guiding Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Shumlin around her small town during the last month of the campaign. We agree to disagree, my mother and I on both politics and religion. The friend above is an awesome, funny, smart and passionate person. Her left leanings do not make me think less of her.
So we need to stop demonizing the opposition. We may disagree and do battle in the arena of ideas, but the ad hominum attacks and suspicions of evil plans do not help us solve the difficult problems that this country faces. Let's not take our disagreements to the levels such that we are running around thinking the other is not just wrong, but evil. It doesn't help our system, which is built on planned opposition and checks and balances anyway, work any better. Honest debate is what we need, not hysteria followed by stubbornness.