“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” —Abraham Lincoln
Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the 2016 presidential primaries last week. Rather than feeling energized and excited about the promise of a woman candidate, and quite possibly even the first woman president, I felt a sense of dread — dread of the mudslinging, the reputation bashing, the posturing and, at times, the outright lying that has become American politics. I thought: There has to be a better way.
Democracy is an enlightened concept — a government by the people, for the people and of the people. And yet, politics in America is anything but enlightened. It is dark and ugly. And it will remain dark and ugly so long as we, the people, participate in the mudslinging, reputation bashing and the lies.
We complain about the corruption, yet participate in it by being so easily distracted by scandals and entertained by the candidates’ verbal jabs at one another. We participate in the corruption each time we engage in the name-calling. We participate in the corruption when we are tough on the politician rather than tough on his or her politics.
It is time for American citizens to give our political system the respect it deserves. It is time that we participate in respectful, productive dialogue that aims to deepen our understanding of the issues and promotes positive change rather than tears people apart and wounds them. It is time for Americans to utilize our democracy to create a more perfect union rather than use it as a tool of separation.
As we move into the 2016 presidential election season, let’s be the change we all want to see in this country, and let’s send a strong message to the media, and therefore the candidates, that we aren’t interested in the distractions. We are interested in building a more perfect union.
Robyn Short has ghostwritten numerous books and is the founder and publisher of GoodMedia Press. She is a student of A Course in Miracles, a self-study system of spiritual psychotherapy. Robyn is a passionate believer in peace and social justice. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Auburn University, a Masters of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Masters in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution from Southern Methodist University. She is a certified mediator and author of Prayers for Peace and the children’s book Peace People, co-authored with Nanon Williams. Robyn is available for book signings and to speak on topics of peace building and nonviolence, especially as it relates to these core issues. Contact Robyn by email.