by Carol Sokolsky
What is the deal with the primaries this year? The political atmosphere has been polarizing for the last few years, but in the midst of the election season, it seems to be more heated ever: liberal vs. conservative; Democrat vs. Republican.
If you know me well, you see my posts on Facebook almost everyday, and on Instagram quite frequently. I shy away from posting anything relating to the political ping-pong game and the mud slinging that is occurring almost every day. I’m following all the primaries; I want to be as educated as possible. I believe it’s our duty before we vote for the most powerful position in our country to be immersed in a fair understanding of each candidate. Do I favor one party? In the past I did because I felt one party was more what I believe and hold dear than the other. However, this year it appears both parties are experimenting with a new kind of normal, and it’s quite interesting—to say the least—to watch the dynamics change on a daily basis, on both sides.
As the delegate counts rise on both sides, the posts on Facebook get more personal, about the candidates and about each other.
That concerns me because most of us don’t know the candidates personally, yet so many on social media are slinging cruel and unbelievable names—on both sides of the aisle. What has happened that has created such anger? That is something I don’t understand. We are all human. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses. Is one person a better candidate because of the color or their skin or their gender? Why do we have to divide each other by taking polls based on race, gender, age, etc.? That makes no sense to me, because we certainly cannot do that when we hire for a job, can we? No one can exclude a candidate because of gender, race, or religion. Yet, we are adamant about all of these things as we select political candidates. We are swayed by outside forces—by the media, by each other, and by anger, and I’m not sure why.
This week I had my feelings crushed, which is the premise for the words you are reading. A few years ago, I met a unique and talented person who quickly became my friend. She challenged me on many levels. Our pack of friends went out to eat together. I’ve been to her home for dinner, and we’ve stayed friends on Facebook as well. Yet, this past week, I was purposely unfriended, not just on Facebook, but in life. And all over a candidate I may or may not vote for in November. I am trying to understand why someone would tell me that based on whom I may vote for, we have no more basis for friendship. I was told there is no space in her world if I am even thinking of voting for a particular candidate. I explained that regardless of how she feels, I respect her opinion. And, whether or not I agree with her, she has the right to say what she wants, vote as she wishes—but I also have the same right. She doesn’t see it that way and she is adamant that anyone who does not feel as she does has no place in her circle of friends. I struggled to put my head around her statement, but in the end, she unfriended me on Facebook, and I’m sure I won’t be hearing from her anytime soon.
My feelings were hurt, seriously hurt. I truly enjoyed time with my friend. We had different views on many issues. It never made a difference to me. I know Jesus loves each of us as we are, and I am no more worthy of God’s love than she is. I have many friends who are “different” than me. They look different, they think differently; some believe in Jesus and some don’t. I don’t think that makes me the decision maker on how I treat them. Jesus told me to love my neighbor as myself. I try to take pretty good care of me. Therefore, I try to love my neighbor in the same way. So, regardless of how quickly I was tossed to the curb this week, I still love her, and I pray she knows she is loved, not just by me, but by Jesus. At the end of the day, it’s all about what we do with Jesus anyhow.
I fear for my country, I do.
But my hope is built on Jesus, not on what happens in politics.
My future is secure. So bring on the election! And please, regardless of what other people think, go vote this year. We are blessed beyond measure to have this opportunity. But realize not everyone thinks as you do, and that is ok. Know that Jesus loves them regardless. And this year, as emotions spike more than ever before, please exercise your right and vote with your heart. After all, it’s your vote.
Carol Sokolsky is a relative newcomer to Tulsa. She relocated from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October, 2014 after retiring from FedEx Services, Global Account Management. She spent most of her 33 FedEx years as a road warrior, leading a large global management team and serving one global customer for over 20 years. Her passion for blogging began in 2010 as she launched a two-year blog that chronicled the journey of her husband’s valiant fight with cancer and ultimately the end of his journey. Her blog became a book, “Sid’s Journey”. She continues to journal daily on just about everything!
You can also read about Carol’s experience at Cain’s Ballroom, her Journey Through Grief, having a life coach, why Tulsa is such a great place to live, kneel, her journey through losing a son, or her journey through a family member’s addiction, Antediluvian, and Yellow Roses.