Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election-Related Tantrums

Regardless of an election outcome, someone will be unhappy about and with the person who won the vote. There will always be folks who become downright hostile and regress to a level of immaturity that rivals bad-tempered teenage snits - because their guy didn't win. I know that this is just one response of voters on both sides whose response to loss is that extreme.

In my own limited experience, such reactions have only been those on the conservative side. I don't quite know why that is. (Just because I haven't witnessed it elsewhere doesn't mean it hasn't happened, though, of course.) I really don't understand such deeply negative responses. If you're that unahppy that your guy lost, perhaps you shouldn't be living in a country where there are elections. Perhaps you've never encountered disappointment before, although how you get to be old enough to vote without encountering disappointment is also beyond me. If you're that unhappy, instead of complaining about the system, what are you doing to change the system?

I have trouble with the extreme expressions of disappointment, rude and downright unkind remarks that touch on things like our living in a state where freedom of speech will be eliminated, that we should all get out of the country, etc., etc.

This is the fifth presidential election in which I've voted, and "my guy" hasn't always won, but my reaction was more along the lines of hoping that the guy who did win would do a better job than I thought he would. I don't think the "other" guy is stupid, or out to get me, or will take away all my rights. (I may think some of his policies are ridiculous, but that's something else.) I didn't think I need to move to Canada or Mexico or Europe or anywhere else simply because my guy didn't win, or the other guy was reelected. I have yet to enconter a single candidate whose ideologies perfectly reflect my own.
I quite expected much more wailing and gnashing of teeth on Twitter and Facebook than I actually encountered. All of my Catholic friends were silent; I didn't hear a peep of reaction from any of them. I wasn't expecting to hear much of anything from my international friends and family. A handful of friends from New York and Pennsylvania expressed varying degrees of happiness or disappointment that Obama had been reelected - and this was fine. I can handle disappointment.

One friend of an acquaintance wrote that on the mutual acquaintance's wall; I replied that this was, of course, why I'd voted for Obama - I was tired of all that free speech getting in the way. I was almost immediately defriended. A couple weeks ago, an older cousin of my father's posted some nasty comments about Obama as well, and I nipped that in the bud; her comments stopped. (She said she didn't want to hurt my feelings, that she still loved me; I said I wasn't hurt, I loved her too, and I could quite well handle hearing specific complaints; I said I'd be really interested in hearing what she specifically had a problem with, and curious as to how she would resolve the issue, but personal attacks don't resolve anything.

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