From the time I was a very young child, I remember hearing my parents discuss political matters. They thoroughly educated themselves on the candidates every election and made a point to always vote. They keep up with the news and what's going on in our country constantly, as most from their generation do. Our generation is not as good to do so, as we (raising my own hand here) spend more time on Instagram and Facebook than we do watching CNN.
I don't know as much as I should about the current election. I couldn't tell you much of anything about Tim Kaine or Mike Pence (I might know too much about Trump and Hillary). Zach and I have been watching the conventions and forming our opinions privately, but the two of us don't even discuss our feelings on the subject much. We typically don't see eye to eye on it and we're both pretty stubborn, so there's not much point in arguing over something we don't have to agree on. At the end of the day, we both get our own vote. Thank goodness.
Inevitably around this time every four years, I get into a few tiffs with friends over the election. That or I just stay silent and unfriend 87+ people on Facebook. This year, I'm choosing to stay silent (and possibly do the unfriending thing again). It's not that I don't appreciate those people who advocate their party of choice and speak out in order to educate others, like myself, who could stand to learn more on the matter. I respect those people. Some of my very closest friends are those people. But when arguments start to occur in a public forum such as Twitter, I draw the line. Sure, you can call that a good old fashioned debate. But I'm just not down.
We are all entitled to our own opinions, certainly. But just because you're from Texas, don't assume that everyone on your Facebook friends list is a Republican like you are. Don't bash the Democratic candidate. And certainly, certainly, don't bash the current President of the United States. Political party aside, that is never okay. On the flip side, Democrats have got to stop bashing Melania Trump for her "plagiarized" speech. I'd copy Michelle Obama too if I could, especially the woman's wardrobe.
Bottom line: Think what you want, form your own opinion. Of course! It's vital that you do. But once it's formed, make a mental note and move on. Your thoughts are crutial for your own vote, no-one elses. Please keep them to yourself, or at least off of social media. There is enough scary, serious activity going on in this world every day. Let's continue to spread the love and support of one another rather than tear each other down for our beliefs and political viewpoints. If we really want this country to stay the great nation it's always been, we've got to stand together: Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and everything in between. No matter who wins this presidential election, I am and always will be so very proud to be an American.