I can't wait for the election to be over, I really can't. Come November 7th, which just happens to be my birthday, I am going to have one hell of a hangover. Hopefully it will be from celebrating. Then, once I recover, I am going to start cleaning house. It won't be just cleaning up the empty beer bottles, it will also be rethinking a lot of the groups and individuals I have found myself inadvertently aligned with in the coalition of people who are trying to make sure Mitt Romney never sets foot inside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In order to accomplish things politically, you have to sometimes get in bed with people you normally would rather never have to even be in the same room with. Every election, it is that way. You find yourself having to hold your nose, and biting your tongue every time you see the same old tired cliche political memes with a slightly different twist and page's name on it. It gets even more annoying seeing the same controversially titled, tabloid-esque link to a rewritten version of a story that you've already known about for a week 10 times in one morning on 10 different Facebook pages, all owned or controlled by the same person(s). It is really hard to keep your mouth shut when you see "writers" take an old news story and blow it out of proportion in order to drive traffic to their website where they're more interested in making money than changing minds or creating original content when it comes to politics. My belief that selfishness, greed, pettiness, narcissism and general douchebaggery (yes, that's not a real word) aren't inherent to just one political world view hase been reaffirmed on almost a daily basis.
I've also watched people with many of the same views as I share stoop to the same levels that the worst of the opposition groups are notorious for. I understand that politics is very similar to war and the side that uses the worst and inhuman tactics often wins. It still doesn't make it right. It explains some of the actions but it doesn't make me any less queasy when seeing it. This is especially true when I see some of the stuff that is supposed to pass as political humor which is rude and crude for no other reason than to be rude and crude or articles that rely on untruths and statements taken out of context. It directly contradicts the notion that "we can win with facts and intellect" and instead panders to intellectual laziness, group think and everything else that we should be fighting against. I want to say "we're better than that" and crucify them in front of the digital world but like the opposition, I have to bite my tongue in the name of the greater good, the overall goal.
As the owner of a moderately successful Facebook page, it is even harder to walk the tightrope of dealing with competing egos and demands while trying not to get sucked into the orbit of the personal agendas of others. I have no problem with going lowbrow or outright crass when, like art, it serves to illustrate a greater point but not when it is for no other reason than to drive page traffic and sell articles. I don't mind fighting fire with fire but some people think it is perfectly OK to make fun of a politician's family, whose only fault is sharing the same last name or DNA. Others think it is fine to engage in the same tactics of repeating the same lie or half truth over and over again until people accept it as the truth. As much as possible, my page admins and I avoid that. Other pages may engage in that, but we won't.
Unlike previous election cycles, the liberal/progressive/moderate/independent coalition that has assembled behind the mission to reelect the President has managed not to engage in the traditional "circular firing squad", at least not yet. Just a few more weeks...let's hold it together.