Respecting the Other: I Don’t Think You’re an Idiot

Respect the OtherI have strong opinions about the presidential candidates. There are a couple that I particularly like and a couple who I strongly disapprove of.

This blog is entitled Me Myself and Kids. I take that moniker seriously. Those of you who are regular visitors know, I rarely venture outside of the mission I’ve set for myself. People who come to a blog with the title Me Myself and Kids have a right to expect parenting and family related material. Though I often talk about myself with little mention of the children, I imagine the topics could be on the minds of other parents.

Throat cleared.

Thanks for reading this far. This post will be outside of my normal purview. I hope you’ll choose to read on.

This past weekend I was speaking with my Aunt M. She and I have very different political views. We completely disagree on many of the issues that are being discussed during this political season (and many that are not).

But I don’t question her intentions. I don’t question that she means well. I don’t question that she wants what she wants because she thinks it is best for the country.

I respect her right to have an opinion that is completely different from mine. I fully believe that her thoughts are coming from a decent and patriotic place.

I’m confident my aunt would say the same of me.

Now, part of this comes from the love we have for each other. I don’t just see her as a Democrat or Republican. Conservative or liberal. Progressive or moderate. I don’t just see her for the opinion she has on political or social issues.

She is my aunt first and primary.

But it’s more than love.

It’s respect. It’s a willingness to hear and listen to the other. It’s the courtesy of appreciating that different opinions and viewpoints don’t make the other person stupid. They don’t make the other person an idiot. They don’t make the other person a fool. The don’t make the other person evil.

And I wonder why can’t this happen on a wider scope?

I wonder why people can’t respectfully disagree.

Why can’t we simply accept others have different opinions without insisting they have ulterior motives? I know my belief is coming from a sincere place, so why should I assume differently from someone whose opinion differs?

I’m not naïve. There are certainly some people who do have ulterior motives. We all want what is good for us. But for the mass majority of people, their interests are not exclusively self-centered.

In a couple of months (in all likelihood), both parties will have selected a nominee. A few months later we, as a nation, will select a new President.  And on January 20th 2017, that new President will be sworn in as the leader of all Americans. It does not matter if he or she was the candidate you supported.

And on January 21st, the sun will rise.

So…

Let’s afford each other some respect.
Let’s remember that disagreement does not have to lead to hatred.
Let’s not vilify those who believe differently.

17 thoughts on “Respecting the Other: I Don’t Think You’re an Idiot

  1. I’m long tired of the so-called jokes on facebook, emails, and anywhere else that people can post them, making fun of people who are voting for Candidate X or Candidate Y. The campaigns themselves have turned into little more than much of the same.

  2. Hear hear. We have gotten so far away from polite discord in this country. I think social media has a lot to do with it. People feel free to say whatever they want online, usually in an anonymous fashion. Then this becomes the new vernacular. But it’s a disturbing one and one that as a nation I hope we can move past. Promptly.

    • That’s a good point Carrie.
      I have doubts about it improving.
      I think feeding the 24/7 news cycle and talk radio gin up the issues as well.

  3. I consider myself pretty middle of the road, but my wife and I often seem very far apart politically.I think that as she gets older and starts paying more attention, she’s coming a little closer to my side of the fence, but I run and hide when her mother starts getting on a roll.

  4. Politics has become a sport. People care more about their team winning than the actual issues. Sadly, like everything else in this country, it is now all about money. NONE of the politicians care about the issues. It’s all about “winning” a job where they don’t actually have to work. Politics, among everything else now, is a huge money making topic for the media, whether it be social media or so called real news. The multi-billion dollar media starts the fire by dividing opinions and enticing a debate amongst their viewers. These debates become personal and in the midst of this, the media is making even more billions. How much more money do they need? Is it worth it starting a war between blacks and whites, Democrats and Republicans, cops and minorities, etc.? It’s all in the name of MONEY. As Carrie Rubin stated in her response, the problem lies with social media. I attribute it to all media. Even looking at this site I see 5 links to other sites that each have numerous paid advertisers. This country cannot withstand 10 more years of it going in this direction or our kids will all be in trouble.

    • There are some things you say above I definitely agree with. I do think this election has shown some people to have the attitude my guy/woman or no one else.
      Also, there certainly is a lot of money in politics and that money is spread out across a few different venues including the media.
      I think feeding the beast of the 24/7 news cycle including talk radio requires more ‘news.’ People are more worked up and opinions harden making compromise nearly impossible.
      Regarding advertising on this site, I don’t know what you mean. I did not put anything on here and get no money from anyone.

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