Abraham Lincoln proclaimed our government is a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” So why does it feel like we’ve lost sight of that sentiment? I don’t generally discuss my apolitical views, but after watching last night’s State of the Union Address, I feel compelled to explain five reasons why I call myself apolitical. If I had to guess, I’m not in the minority in my thinking. Maybe there are a lot of us 40 and 50-something, middle-class people who are cringing at the political and media circus which plays out in news outlets and across the socials 24/7. I hear you.
1. The 2020 State of the Union Address — We strive to teach our children to be respectful. We teach them to say — please and thank you, and to politely listen while someone else is speaking. We aim to teach our kids to respect people and society, as a whole. So, to watch a State of the Union Address where the Speaker of the House was eye-rolling and grimacing like a middle-schooler behind her parent’s backs, and then taking out her frustrations on a speech that did its best to remain respectful and inclusive of a wide range of political issues, made me physically cringe. We, as a nation, have become detrimentally adversarial. We are all on the same team, people. This is OUR country, collectively.
2. Disrespect for the President of the United States of America — I don’t know, call me old school, but that hefty title, The President, should garner its weight in respect– no matter who is in office. I mean, that person was elected by the actual people of the United States of America. While we don’t have to agree with the people’s choice for who holds office, or their political platforms, we certainly should respect the position and the title. Kind of like how we’re taught to respect our parents or our elders, even though we may not always agree with them. Across our political system, disrespect runs rampant on both sides of the fence, which I find embarrassing for us as a nation.
3. Our Kids are Watching — Hey, Politicians, Hey, Media — you know our kids are watching, right? Those same kids we want to share on play-dates. The ones we want to respect their friends, even when they have opposing viewpoints. Those kids we want to grow into adults who can respectfully debate a hot topic without attacking the person who holds the opposing viewpoint…