While many people feel righteous by hurling vitriolic comments and retaliatory responses to opposing political views, the fact is that in doing so, we are degrading ourselves and each other while diminishing our collective power by reinforcing distrust and division.
When we are divided - Who wins?
There is a sickening proliferation of four-letter words used to describe people on the left and right of the political discourse. Those on the Left will defend their position because they have been maligned by the Right with falsehoods and twisted facts. Those on the Right claim the same thing and can easily point to some of the most offensive words used to describe their intellectual acumen by the Left and the insulting rhetoric hurled to their most prominent political figures.
Very few of us would be able to pinpoint the exact moment the first offensive insult was hurled because this type of hateful rhetoric has been in place for far too long and passed on from parents to children without questioning.
We are inviting everyone who still has a sense of propriety, common sense and a modicum of class to join us in "starving the beast" by ignoring, blocking, or avoiding retaliating against celebrities who, rightly or wrongly, seem to be representative heads or mouth pieces of a political party.
As women we should be appalled at the names being used to describe the Alaskan celebrity. As women, we request that our cherished male friends would join us in avoiding the slurs and using her name.
If we are to have civilized discourse we must admit that this type of communication must be replaced with truth, facts and respect.
The woman that shall remain nameless from here on out, has done nothing positive to enhance our lives, our communities or our Country in the minds of many. However, she does not deserve to be used as a sick form of entertainment, nor as a repository of our frustrations or ill will. Our National discourse is not a game.
Radio and television personalities make their millions by keeping listeners engaged. Some use fear and hatred to do so, others retaliate with hate, and relentless sound bites. Both sides are engaged in a game mentality of "us" vs. "them". This is good for profits, but harmful to America, our families, and ourselves.
The line was crossed a long time ago and talk radio can no longer be considered entertainment, nor should it ever be considered news.
Both radio and television have an "off" button. We can refuse to purchase anything advertised on those show. We can get off the couch and vote. We can verify the information that we hear by using reputable sources that can show proof of their statements. We have the right to be polite, respectful and organize to demand concrete changes that benefit "We, the People" from our elected employees.
Violent rhetoric has no place in our society, a Nation of laws has civilized venues in place to effectuate changes and express our thoughts and opinions.
We have a moral right to avoid feeding the flames of hate, racism, bigotry, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Hispanic, and anti-government rhetoric. It is within our power to 'starve the beast.'
We would do well to remember that WE are the government. Hating our government is hating our laws, our Constitution and ourselves.
We may want to observe that our means of information are based on the 'news' specifically chosen by popular networks. The amount spent on news that affect our lives, our country, or the world, are relegated to sound bites that are quickly politicized.
There is no longer a separation between facts and opinions.
Major networks have flooded their newsrooms with 'experts' representing the two major political parties.
The actual 'news' are promptly lost in the shuffle of voices drowning each other in a barrage of opinionated rhetoric. Other networks invite people from opposing views to attack, interrupt and get a sense of 'home court advantage' that will make them seem as the 'winners' in this facsimile of a sport event or macabre game.
In this game, we all lose. We did not gain insight, nor learned anything factually relevant. We wasted our time and the relentless message of negativity does nothing to enhance our quality of life or solve pressing problems that never seem to be addressed.
The media feeds into a frenzy that rewards outrageous behavior, inappropriate rhetoric and shock and awe. It is up to us to 'starve the beast' and set the tone of how we should be treated.
Americans have always had HOPE, LOVE, DETERMINATION, RESILIENCE and a heart that reacts with COMPASSION and positive ACTION when their neighbors across the country/world are in need. (Arizona shooting, 9/11, Katrina, Haiti...) We are AMERICANS but we are also HUMAN BEINGS who shine like diamonds when we give in to our true nature.
Respect starts with us. Please join us in avoiding mentioning those who profit from negative rhetoric and constant media attention.
The pledge below is open to men and women who have the same desire to elevate needed and painful discussions into a realm suitable for mature adults. Adults who wish to be treated with the same respect they accord others regardless of their political affiliations or points of view.
We pledge to use respectful discourse when expressing our political opinions.
We pledge to 'starve the beast' and not use the name of those who fuel the flames of hatred and discord.
We pledge to state facts and avoid derogatory personal comments when we choose to respond.
We pledge to support our elected officials in the daunting job of representing the best interest of our country and to vote out of office those who don't.
We pledge to maintain a tone that will foster PEACE in our communities, homes and hearts.
The Hash tag #DontMentionHer is already in use on Twitter for those who are sickened by the amount of negativity and attention given to someone who brings nothing positive to our National discussions.