Something has been happening in my feed this election season. It's been tickling in the back of my brain and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I tend to get closer to clarity by asking questions and engaging in discussion. So yesterday, I posited the following on my Facebook page:
It isn't about the actual candidates, it's about the way in which so many people are framing the discussion. And I think that I see/feel that because I am very personally invested in whether or not we are having the right discussion.
If one person is talking actual policy and another person is talking about how all [people of a certain type] are [horrible thing], newsflash: they are not having the same conversation. This is dangerous because one of those conversations (policy debate) is familiar, well worn, habitual and while tense, comfortable. Talking about hate, racism, otherism and ethnic targeting: not comfortable.
If we don't call out what is actually happening, we run the risk of not actually dealing with what happened.
If we end up with a certain winner, it's not because of how the political machine works. It's because we have enough people walking among us who think Olympic bullying is ok to choose that winner.
Targeting entire groups of people based on their [insert characteristic here] is not the same as disagreeing with policy decisions and being put off by the predictable trappings that come with participating in our political system.
Not the same thing.
And if we can't properly diagnose that problem, we're doomed. I would possibly go as far to say that our inability to see the difference in these conversations is actually more dangerous than the potential outcome of our current media circus.
And so I've been wrestling with this the past 24 hours. And in the shower this morning, the following articulation came to me:
And so, for those who asked what I was trying to say, and in closure to the wrestling in my brain, I give you the above.
Because I've got work to do.