Can’t We Agree To Disagree on This Election?

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This is the expression on my face when I watch other people take political discussions personally.

I have my own thoughts on the upcoming US Presidential election, and since this isn’t a political blog, I’m not going to talk about them.  What I did want to talk about was a trend that’s disturbing me among my Facebook friends.

Some people are posting support for one candidate or another in the upcoming elections, and responses to those posts have been varied.  But far more often, I’ve seen people posting opposition to one candidate or another.  Instead of saying, “I support A,” people are saying, “You shouldn’t support A.  They’re a (fill in derogatory term).”

Recently, one of my friends posted something like this, and one of the responses was that this election has been the most polarizing election they remember.  My friend, without a trace of irony, said something like, “Yeah, I’ve had to unfriend a number of people for their views.”

People… let’s agree to disagree on the candidates.  There are very few people (I’ve seen) who are offering unqualified support of either candidate.  Most people are choosing what they view as the lesser of two evils.  Why are we going to argue about that?  Supporting one candidate over another doesn’t mean you support racism, sexism, lying, conspiracy theories, or whatever it is the opposition says that candidate is all about.  Supporting one candidate over another means you have your reasons, and that’s all I need to know.

I have gotten into political debates/ discussions with some people.  But only in person, with people I feel safe voicing my opinions with.  In a public forum like Facebook, I think there’s too much room for misunderstanding and hard feelings.  It’s unlikely I’m going to change anyone’s mind about their choice, so in this particular case, I’m not going to try.

It’s easy and tempting to believe that others aren’t as informed or haven’t thought it through the way I have.  That’s probably not true though.  Others value some issues more than others, just as I do.  And we’re all different.

Let’s rise above the political candidates and stop the name calling.  Let’s stop getting angry with people because they disagree on our views.  If you must get into a political discussion, please be respectful of the other person’s views, even if you don’t agree with them.  Let’s thank others for the lively discussions that may ensue.  And above all, let’s be grateful that we live in a country where it’s okay to publicly criticize candidates, and that others can do so too.

In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury discusses how censorship started by certain interest groups demanding that things that offended them be taken out, until there was nothing left.  Let’s not encourage censorship by demeaning the opinions of others.

Let’s just agree to disagree.  And be grateful that we can.

Breaking Bad- I’m Out of Sync

imagesEveryone loves Breaking Bad, and everyone is talking about it.  The husband and I started watching it because everyone said we should.  I admit, the storytelling is good and the characters are well-drawn.

That being said, I’m almost indifferent to the show, on the point of not liking it.  However, even though I don’t like it, I feel compelled to continue watching it, and I probably will finish all of it, though at a less frenetic pace than most people seem to.  Not long ago, the TV Guy’s Stepmom blogged about it and mentioned how she went through 40 episodes in 5 weeks.  The husband went from nothing to caught up in about 2 or 3.  I’ve been watching 4-5 episodes per weekend, so I’ll catch up eventually.

It took me awhile to figure out why I’m less “into it” than everyone else seems to be.  Before I go further, let me say that I’m going to start talking about some spoilers.  I’m only into Season 2, and the spoilers I talk about will be broad concept type things.  Just FYI.

The husband watched an episode of Talking Bad with the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan, and he explained that the show isn’t about good guys and bad guys.  There’s no moral lesson.  It’s just about the de-evolution of Walter White.

And right there is the reason I don’t much like it.

Walter starts out as a nice guy.  He’s a pushover, and early on, I cheered him on as he started to gain confidence and some power.  I even cheered him on as he pushed around stoner-loser Jesse.  However, it quickly became apparent that Jesse has moral lines that he won’t cross, even when “ordered” to.  And Walter’s lines are blurring.  If they’ve blurred this much by Season 2, I can’t imagine where they’ll go by the end.

I love stories about dystopian futures, tragedies, difficult circumstances.  But what I like in a story is a redeeming main character.  Sure, we all make mistakes, and I’m fine with a human main characters who makes mistakes, has moral failings, and even acts in ways I don’t approve of.  But in the end, I want them to have grown in a positive direction.  Walter White isn’t doing that.  He’s becoming someone I don’t like, at all.  Is it a “true” story of the human condition?  Maybe.  I could see someone in that circumstance becoming like Walter, but why would I want to watch it?

For the record, I don’t like Skyler either.  Something about her just rubs me the wrong way.  I really think the people I like best are Jesse and Walt Jr.

Anyone else have thoughts on this very polarizing show?  Do you watch it?