For as long as I can remember, my stepdad has been a politician. He’s a state legislator and that’s something I’ve always been proud of. I’ve enjoyed sitting on the House floor watching legislators share their thoughts over prospective bills that later become laws, and I’ve seen first-hand how the legislative system and other side of politics works.
In years like this one, though, where the word politics is even more so a divisive word, the excitement the legislative process usually offers seems like a distant memory.
What I personally hope others take away from this election cycle and current climate surrounding politics is this:
- The importance of voting. If you are an adult, there should be no reason why you don’t exercise your right to vote. This is the guaranteed way to make your voice heard. There are plenty of elections that come down to single-digit differences – every vote counts.
- Not everything you see on TV or in ads is true. Opponents can sometimes be cut-throat when it comes to politics. They will say or do anything to make themselves more appealing to voters. This is where research of candidates comes into play. There are online resources that can show you how an incumbent has voted in the past and how candidates will want to vote in the future.
- You are very unlikely to agree 100% with a candidate’s point-of-view on every issue. However, take into consideration the stances that are most important to you and see where they line up with your points-of-view. Prioritize issues that are most important in your opinion and choose a candidate who aligns with your opinion.
- Remember that candidates are human, too. They have families, they may have children or grandchildren. Seeing a personal attack on your family member is one of the worst things imaginable because you know who they are in “real life.” When personal attacks are issued it hurts more than the candidate’s feelings, but it feels like a personal attack on family members who care about that person, too.
As a mother, I know the importance of shielding my kids away as much as possible from the ugly side of politics. My children are young enough to just know that, “Papa helps make laws.” I know it’s important for them to also know, though, that win or lose the election, they will still have a grandfather who loves them unconditionally.
While we all have the liberty to say or do what we want when it comes to politics, try to keep in mind that the person you may not agree with has a family, too – may have a daughter, who is a mother just like you. We should put the humanity back in politics no matter what side of the aisle we’re on.