Monday, November 5, 2012

Don't make me run for office!

The video of the four-year old crying conveyed how I feel.  “I’m tired of all the fighting between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney,” the precious girl stated on CNN.  The tears forced many to ask why a four-year old would be so emotional about an election.
It’s enough to make all of us cry.  This election has unveiled a pitiful display of conduct that forfeits the things we try to teach our children.  We forget the babies are watching.  Young folks have sense enough to know when we’re not practicing what we preach.
Civility has been thrown out the window.  Forget about being honest.  In the game of politics we are teaching our children lessons that contradict everything we claim as central in defining strong character.  We are teaching them how important it is to win.  We are teaching them to win at all cost, and that lesson will come back and bite us in the rear end.
Children are listening as their parents relate their hate for a candidate.  Yes, they are listening to racist garbage related to immigration, stereotypes involving people who receive food stamps, and assumptions regarding women who need an abortion.  Our children sit in church as ministers spew homophobic hate. Yes, the babies are listening.
They watch attack ads aimed at convincing voters the opposition has an evil agenda.  We teach our children to honor sportsmanship, to respect others and to do onto others as you would have others do onto you.  What happened to all that teaching? 
What are we teaching our children?  Does anyone care?  Is the war more important than the children God has given us to teach? 
Where are the politicians who care about the children?  Is it more important to prove you are right by revealing the wrong in others?  Where is the compromise?  Where is the respect for alternative views?  Where are the people who care more about what we leave behind than their getting elected to office?
This is not a boxing match.  So, I’m calling for a cease fire among those running for local office.  This war has to stop.  The children are watching.  Your behavior is juvenile. Stop it NOW!
Are you listening?
For those who missed it, the Herald-Sun reported that officials from the County Board of Elections were forced to call a meeting to warn local political leaders to put a stop to recent instances of disorder among campaign workers at Durham early voting cites.
Carol Anderson, board chairwoman, was forced to tell those present to “remember the golden rule and remember what your mother taught you.”  Help me understand why voters should trust this group of politicians to do the right thing when they can’t abide by the lessons they should have learned before they entered the first grade.
The fighting is reflected in the back and forth bickering that shows up in the newspaper almost every day.  These tattle tales have spent too much time consumed with their competitions campaign spending and who gets paid to work the polls.  I’m tired of the fighting.  It says something about the character of those running when they are overly consumed with things other than the strategy of their enemy. 
According to the report in the Herald-Sun, competing campaigners got into a fight that required police intervention.  Another incident was reported regarding the harassment of patrons of a county library by poll workers in the parking lot.
Those called in for the meeting included the heads of the county Democratic and Republican parties, Milo Pyne and Tom Miller of The People’s Alliance and Keith Bishop of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.  Omar Beasley, Brenda Howerton, Wendy Jacobs and Ellen Reckhow – County Commissioners contenders – attended the meeting.  State Rep. Larry Hall, County Library board Chairman Allan Lang, Jacobs campaign manager Jackie Brown, T.E. Austin and Lorisa Seibel also attended the meeting.
Most troubling is what is fueling the fight.  It isn’t the clash between Obama and Romney that has campaign workers going after one another and those who vote for someone else.  The fight is over the Board of County Commissioners.  This election has exposed what we can look forward to after all the smoke settles.  We can expect a fight, and Durham deserve much better than this!
So, this I my warning to all of you – Reckow, Page, Howerton, Jacobs, Foster and Beasley –stop fighting and start serving.  Get it together fast.
Don’t make the Rev-elution mad! If you do, I may trade my pen for my name on a campaign sign. God knows I’m trying to find a home in another state, but I love Durham too much to watch people fight like children on a playground.
Voters deserve better than your childish ways.
Fix it!

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