This is a slightly edited version of piece that I originally posted to Facebook on May 24. Click here to view the original post and its comment stream.
If you I have just unfollowed another Facebook friend because of a vicious, vitriolic post attacking one of the Democratic candidates. This one was venomously anti-Sanders from someone who is vehemently pro-Clinton. But there have been just as many, if not more, from Sanders supporters. That both sets of attacks have been far more searing than anything coming from the Republicans should concern anyone who cares about the future of this country, not to mention the future of political discourse. (See "Don't Be a Hater."
Unlike those whose posts I have reluctantly chosen to mute, I see the many positive qualities in both Democratic candidates; I also see the many flaws in both. As I view it, both are qualified to be President, either would bring unique skills, passions and gifts to the Oval Office...and neither would be perfect. Whichever one would ultimately make it to the top job would alternately delight and infuriate their followers; that's the reality of politics.
It's also important to note that neither would damage this country, its citizens and its world standing and reputation the way a Trump presidency would, if Donald Trump's public rhetoric is to be believed.
One side note: Anyone who thinks you can equate a Clinton presidency with a Trump presidency has not been listening to Donald Trump and the Congressional Republicans or to their allies...like the KKK, for example, which has trumpeted its support for Trump in the hopes that he will put Jews in their place. A Republican presidency and Congressional majority would destroy American's remaining international credibility, would do its best to dismantle what little social safety net we have, including Obamacare, and would continue to strip women and minorities of their rights, making certain that those changes are upheld with Supreme Court appointments.
I understand the passionate yearning for radical change, and I share it. However, if Trump and the Republicans are elected because those who should be opposing them are instead opposing each other, we will all get radical change – just not the kind any of us desires and definitely the kind it will take generations to overturn.
I also understand that the political process is fraught with passion, and that's a good thing. Passion fuels change. But wouldn't it be better to channel our passion constructively, using it to broadcast the solid qualities of our candidate rather than misusing it in vicious attacks that are too often grounded more in rumor than truth?
If all elections are important, this one is perhaps more important than most. Let's keep the debate alive, but let's dial up the r-e-s-p-e-c-t and crank down the vitriol, which seems to grow more rabid as each day brings us closer to the Democratic Convention. This country deserves more. We deserve more.
I welcome your comments as to why your candidate is the best choice or what your experience has been with the campaign so far. Negative comments, simplistic comments or those that simply say something like "your candidate is no good" or "your candidate should drop out" will be deleted.