So much can be derived from that simple sentence fragment. Debate. Criticism. Camaraderie. Hate. Information. Misinformation. Blasphemy. Flatulence. It’s all implied.
This will be the year we see exalted scholars and sainted philosophers emerge from their secret underground laboratories (which are buried deep beneath Las Vegas, I assume) to explain to the dumber among us why all old people will die if Mitt Romney is chosen as our next president. This is the time when the illustrious academics and noble intellectuals will land their spaceships made of gold to inform us why Barack Obama will destroy all religion if he’s elected to another term.
And the saddest part about an election year is not the fabrication of scare tactics meant to panic the most idiotic of Internet readers. And it’s not the brushing aside of all news that falls outside the realm of campaigns. No, the saddest thing is that the biases end friendships.
This is especially true for those of us in Utah who fall within that political gray zone. Many of us don’t necessarily agree with one side or the other, but that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of our friends and family do.
This really hit home with me when I noticed something one of my friends posted on his Facebook feed after he read an article titled “10 things the Romney campaign doesn’t want you to know about Paul Ryan,” which was published on MoveOn.org on Aug. 13.
His status read: “If you read this entire article and the sources listed and still choose to vote for this [posterior opening], then I have nothing more to say to you. Please defriend me now. I don’t wanna be Facebook friends with anyone who agrees with his agenda. I believe that YOU are part of the problem.”
You don’t need me to tell you that one of the most precious commodities we can come by on this planet is a friend. Well, oxygen, water and food, of course, are pretty important too. Yes, and shelter and freedom as well. But none of those seem worth it if a person has nobody to share them with.
Take a quick second and imagine how your life would fare at Dixie State College if you alienated all your acquaintances simply because you didn’t see eye-to-eye on one subject or another. I’d be willing to bet all the money in my pocket plus a post-dated check in the amount of $100,000 (to be cashed in the year 2080) that there isn’t one single person on earth who holds the exact same point of view as you do on every single subject under the sun.
And if that were the case, humanity would be pretty damn bland.
You’d have a significantly lonely collegiate career for the next two to four years without a couple of buddies to chow down with in the Red Rock Café.
If you’re willing to destroy a friendship because a friend seems to agree more with the Romney side of things (or vice versa), then I’m afraid I have to award you four out of four miserable, friendless years where people don’t want to be around you for fear of their every word being scrutinized.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “I have never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friendship.”
Call me crazy, but I actually think our Founding Fathers had a little bit of sense.
Can we have healthy debate and disagree with each other? Of course we can. How else will we satisfy our constant need to prove to everyone else that we think we know what we’re talking about? But should a difference of opinion mean we should cast aside our friends? Of course not.
For the record, my Facebook buddy informed me that he, indeed, was willing to eliminate friendships on the grounds that he no longer respects anyone who would vote for Mitt Romney.
The biggest review of this article goes to those of you who have the ability to disagree with one another but still realize that some politician purchased with corporate funds is far less important than the relationships in your personal life. You, my friends, get to live your lives in happiness.
Follow me on Twitter
@TheSkewedReview for your daily dose of snark.