Monday, November 5, 2012
Doing the "Right Thing" on Tuesday and Political Bullies
Tuesday is election day in the US. We are voting to either reelect our current President, or voting to elect a new President. We hold these general elections every four years. It's a very exciting time for most of us, and it can also be a very stressful time for some.
I don't post about politics or my political beliefs here on this blog. I'm not doing that now. I happen to be a rare dying breed: I respect everyone's opinons. So this is just a general post mainly for those are worried about voting, and for those who don't live in the US and are curious about what it's like over here during voting time.
This year it's been particularly brutal. It's usually intense during presidential elections, but I haven't seen it this way in a very long time. People are passionate about their candidates and they are fighting hard to see them get elected. Some are turning into bullies and it's getting ugly.
And when that happens sometimes we lose sight of common sense. It's wonderful to be passionate about a political candidate, and to work hard to see that candidate get elected or reelected as the case my be. But voting in the US is not a group activity, at least not as far as I know. Voting is a private matter for every single individual and no one has a right to bully or force anyone into voting a certain way.
The other day a good friend told me that a mutual friend of ours said this to him: "Remember to vote the right way on Tuesday." Of course that means that our mutual friend wants my good friend to vote for our mutual friend's candidate of choice, not to vote according to my good friend's own conscience. Not only is this wrong in too many ways to count, it's insulting and patronizing and no one has the right to tell anyone else how to vote. NO ONE. No one has the right to apply pressure or force, not even gay people.
So don't be bullied by anyone. If you aren't the confrontational type and someone says this to you, just smile, nod, and walk away. Then go vote for who you believe is the right candidate. It's your choice. You have that privilege as an American to vote however you wish. And no bully has the right to force you into voting any other way. If you are the confrontation type, do what I do: tell them to fuck off, and then smile and walk away.
Doing the right thing when you vote is about what you believe as an American, not about what someone else believes.