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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

If You Want To Write In The Political World

It's a national election year and we read about both parties and all the candidates on a regular basis. Often, it's many times a day between our newspapers, facebook, tv, or magazines. We all have our own opinion about the parties and the candidates. 

 Those of us who write do so because we have something to say. In an election year, we are very tempted to voice our opinion through our writing channels. That's our constitutional right and we read myriad op-ed pieces which are meant to sway us or make us feel our decision is the right one. So why not write one?

Go ahead and write about this topic but make very sure you check your facts. Far too much is spread on hearsay. Don't take everything you hear as gospel truth. Check your facts. If you don't and you're found to be lacking in the absolute truth department, consider the humiliation you might have to endure. If you write what you know to be the absolute truth, be firm and stand behind it no matter what kind of hate mail you might receive. Many of you will consider that you think the politicians say things without checking facts, so why not you, too? Some do but many end up in big trouble after doing so. 

No doubt that those who write about politics are going to get some hate mail along with the letters that praise their opinion from those who happen to agree with it. If you think rejections from editors hurt, I can only imagine how it feels to get put downs from those whose political opinion differs from yours. Most of them don't do it politely. Lots of nastiness involved. If you don't like that kind of thing, then don't write about politics. 

Weren't most of us taught that you should never argue about religion or politics? I'm not going to convince you to join my side and you're not about to convince me to join yours. When it comes to political opinions, most of us have strong ones. Even the Independents tend to lean to one party or the other. I once had someone tell me I was 'stupid' for belonging to my party. Her opinion and she has a right to say it, but I've never felt quite the same about the person knowing that was her opinion of me. 

The one thing I ask of others is to respect my opinion. No one has to agree with me but please respect my opinion. Disagreeing is fine but do it with respect. We all have reasons for choosing one candidate over another. I wonder sometimes how can people vote for this person or that person, but they will and there is little I can do other than cast my own vote. 

There's been enough hate to last a lifetime in this primary season. I shudder to think what it will be like when we have two nominees. When I was in junior high, we held class elections. The candidates gave speeches before the election. The teacher instructed the students to tell the classes why she/he would be a good choice. Do not put the other person down. Focus on the positive, not the negative. It sounded right to me and I've continued to hope for that approach through the years. But it seems to have been lost long ago. Now, it's "put the other guy down to make me look good."

So yes, go ahead and dive into the political writing tank but try to be a step above some of the people who write the nastiness. Be fair. Be respectful. Be truthful. Be careful 

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