It’s not hard, even if you don’t follow the news, to find examples of people behaving horribly this election season:
- A political headquarters was firebombed.
- A newspaper received threats after endorsing a candidate.
- People were selling tshirts featuring a target over a certain quarterback’s face outside a stadium.
- A person who had a candidate’s sign in her yard found a hate letter in her mailbox.
- Some people’s yards signs have been stolen.
And that doesn’t include the vitriol that’s been plastered all over social media.
It makes good people despair. And it makes not-so-good people like me want to lob a few verbal assaults of our own. But then I remember that saying from George Bernard Shaw that Southerners seem to have made their own: Don’t wrestle with a pig. You’ll only get dirty, and the pig likes it.
Just because the horrible train seems especially crowded this election season, we don’t have to jump on it. We can certainly debate the issues and remain civil. (As I was walking to the library, I heard two students doing just that. I was proud of one who happened to remember that Congress had something to do with passing laws. And I was also proud that when the discussion was over, they walked together to class.)
We need to remember that just because the haters get the space and the publicity, they are not the only people out there. In fact, I think they are the minority, just a vocal one. So when the horrible train passes by, remember it’s not the only mode of transportation this election season. Let it continue on its way without you.