This has been percolating in what passes for my brain for awhile. I don't know that it's brewed up to much but I want to put it on media outside my own skull before the mood passes.
People have opinions, evaluations, judgements, and most of us try our level best to get it right, at least according to our own lights. We're in the middle of a contentious election season and folks are worked up.
That's normal. It's okay.
Readers here will see me speak harshly of politicians and political schools of thought; I am not especially even-handed because, as I see it, the Left does more harm than the Right, but I have criticized both of the major parties and will continue to do so. (The only thing that got me voting for John McCain was the press's bizarre reaction to his VP pick; anyone they loathe that much starts out well ahead of the pack with me). I'm also unsparing of folks who take me to task for my politics in comments here; you can see two choice examples (along with a stunned reaction I'm proud of having caused) skewered on the sidebar.
However... I don't force my opinions on anyone and as long as they extend the same courtesy to me, we get along fine. Tam writes occasionally of our neighbor, as nice a person as anyone could hope to meet, and I am pretty sure she and I come close to cancelling each other right out at the voting booth. So what? We still get along fine. Our vastly differing politics don't make us enemies. They do mean we vote for politicians who are enemies and guess what? It's those yabbos' job to fight it out.
I've read a few reports of more-than-rudeness -- people hit over the head with signs. Vandalism. Y'know, a nice shouting match between a couple of folks in the mood for it is one thing but bear in mind, when the dust clears? We'll all still be there. Buying groceries, runnin' the register, pumping gas, playin' cards against one another and stuffin' our lunches side-by-side in the same fridge.
It's okay to think some (most?) of the people around you are misguided or just plain wrong but no matter which side you're on, no matter if your guy wins or loses, there's no excuse to initiate force against people who are not doing so to you.
And that holds true no matter if you believe in ant-heap socialism, old-school good-manners conservatism, or everything's-a-transaction anarchocapitalism: we do all have to cope with one another. "Please" and "thanks" and "how are you?" are there for a reason, as is small talk about the weather; smile and use 'em.
When you just can't keep your pearls of wisdom to yourself? Then you get yourself a blog!
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
7 months ago