I recently posted a comment on my Facebook wall about how I have friends who like Bernie
Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio Donald Trump, Ted Cruz… basically, I have friends who like all of the candidates. If you know anything about me, you should know that I do not have any kind of ideological requirement for my friends.
My point of the post — other than to say I am supporting Hillary Clinton — was to ask people to start treating each other better. I mean, I am going to vote for whichever Democrat gets the nomination but we should be at least civil to each other during the primary process.
One friend, whom I like and respect a lot, answered that they do not think Bernie Sanders is at all qualified. Sanders is “un-American” and it would be dangerous to elect him to be president. While, I think my friend has a right to any opinion they want, the choice of the word, “un-American” strikes me as unfortunate. I know I can be naive but I do believe that anyone who seeks to run for any office is a patriot. I may not agree with them on anything but I take them at their word that they run to make the country a better place.
When I say that, I do not just mean Democrats and progressives run for the right reasons but everyone who runs for any position in the United States. Now, they may prove me wrong later on but I do think these men and women want to make the country a better place for all of us. That means, Donald Tump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Ellis Bush (you know him as Jeb!), et al are all running because they think they can help improve the nation.
I should admit that I think we have very different ideas about what that means. I think of this way. We all want to get to the grocery store but I want to take one road and they want to take another. Even Paul Ryan wants to help the country be a better place.
Running for office is not easy. The winners do not make the millions of dollars other jobs bring and the jobs themselves are thankless. If you run for Congress and win, you become part of an institution that is less popular than roaches. No one does this for personal glory or to become rich. I am not saying we don’t pay our electeds enough, we do, but to think they do it for that reason just misses the point.
We do ourselves and our causes no favors by resorting to hyperbole or by demonizing the people with whom we disagree.
Thank you for listening,