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I, as many of you, i'm sure, have recently started to see attack ads about candidates running for office. Like the first cannons of long forgotten battles shattering the peace of nations, as the populace prepares for political war. Harbingers of broken promises and misinformation as candidates vie for the hearts and minds of their constituents.
In today’s society the messages of doom and gloom are everywhere. Words crafted into weapons that are flung at the opponents, hoping to draw blood. Creating a frenzy of fear in the populace, and using that fear to force us to choose based on what might happen, instead of what should happen. The focus of today’s democracy has become a popularity campaign fueled by propaganda to determine who is right for office. What democracy is meant to be is not about who is right, but what is right.
Sadly, it appears that society lets the political engine churn without heart or a soul. Candidates are picked apart, not for their platform, not to improve it, or educate the people, but instead to diminish them.
I understand that some will argue that they need to know the person, and what they have done or said in the past to judge their future. Using those past occurrences to glimpse the future, but it’s not as simple as that. People change, you are not who you were seven years ago, and neither am I. Your very cells, down to the last are replaced every seven years, and over the course of that change your thoughts, feelings, and opinions evolve as society evolves.
To know your past is important, for if you know not where you have been you cannot understand where you are going. However, that being said, you cannot allow yourself to be trapped by the past, or allow it to shape your future. Evolution is about understanding the past, and building upon it to reach greater heights.
The focus should not be just on the person, but on what they hope to achieve during their time in office. We need a clearer vision of their goals, unclouded by past actions or the perception of their characters.
While it’s important to know the candidates, they are people too, they are not perfect. When they are forced to hide their passions out of fear of losing the popular vote, we are all diminished for it. As long as the behaviour isn’t entrenched, they deserve the chance to be judged on who they are today, and not who they were yesterday.
When politics stops hiding behind fear and propaganda, we can start to create a more clear and progressive system. We need to focus more on what the next few years will become, and not lower ourselves to name calling or personal attacks.
If you do not agree with your current political leader then use open and free dialogue to help evolve the conversation to determine what is wrong. Instead of posting cruel memes about what they did or didn’t do. Instead try to understand why, and work towards fixing it. Support your country and future, even if you do not support your leader, but never by using hate as a weapon.
We cannot devolve into violence or fear for it damages the very foundations of our democracy. Everyone wants a better country, and a better world, and instead of fighting each other, work with each other to strengthen your country. It’s not an easy thing to do; to temper your passions for peace. If however you can calmly both learn and teach, then you create a system where everyone on any side can be heard, and evolution can occur for the betterment of all.
We as a society need to become far more invested in the political landscape, and not just during the elections. We need to not only support our leaders, but also hold them accountable for broken promises. If the system prohibits progressive change for the betterment of all, then we must help evolve the system.
People always think they are helpless, but we are all members of our countries. We have elected our leaders to serve us, we are the stakeholders in our countries, and we need to help chart the course collectively together. If we can stop looking at the each other as you and me, and come together as we, I promise you, your country will be better for it, and so will the world.
“You either create a world for everyone or else you will end up in a world fit for no one.”
John Ames Birch