The elections are now over.
As expected, the Republicans have again swept the statewide offices in Texas.
They have also won enough seats in the U.S. Senate to become the majority.
In her concession speech Wendy Davis said that it’s OK to be disappointed but we shouldn’t be discouraged.
As a Democrat I am disappointed, but to be honest it’s difficult not to be discouraged.
My discouragement is primarily based several factors and can probably be applied to both sides.
First of all, the general political environment disturbs me.
It seems that the typical reaction to a differing opinion is name-calling, insults, and even hatred.
The analogy I’ve used several times is that ’m not a big fan of chocolate.
This doesn’t mean I hate chocolate lovers or that chocolate lovers are stupid.
We just have different tastes.
It has gotten to the point that this hateful behavior is abridging our right to free speech.
I, for example, have significantly reduced my own political postings on Facebook simply because some of the responses have upset me so much.
Secondly, much of the financing comes from the “super PACs” and their billionaire backers.
I sincerely believe the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” ruling might eventually cause the death of our democracy.
By saying that political contribution limits violated the First Amendment, they in effect said that your freedom of speech is based on your ability to pay for it.
Finally, much of the rhetoric being spouted is distorted, twisted, and spun to promote their perspective.
In some cases this rhetoric is simply not based in fact.
Let me make it clear, I am not calling these statements intentional lies.
I really think that in most cases the people making the statements actually believe they are true.
I think there are several situations that can cause someone to believe something that is not true or completely true.
- I something is heard repeatedly, most people will begin to believe it.
- When someone you trust and / or admire says something you tend to believe it.
- When someone you dislike or distrust says something you tend not to believe it.
- When you hear something that if true will benefit you, or will corroborate your believes, you tend to believe it.
- When you hear something that if true will negatively affect you, or could disprove your believes, you tend not to believe it.