If you are active on social media, once you get beyond the pictures of people’s meals, kids, and vacations, the next most common topic seems to be politics. No matter what political persuasion you purport yourself to be, you can find plenty of red meat on news or social media sites--some factual information, but mostly a collection of doctored photos, manipulated “facts” or outright lies.
If you are a far-right conservative, you can find plenty of sources to fuel your beliefs that “liberal” and “progressive” are curse words and the Democrats are a collection of Christian-hating tree huggers, who want handouts from those with money, so they can live a life of luxury without having to work.
If you are a left-wing liberal, you can find different sites and outlets that will have you believe that all Republicans are racist hate mongers who hate anyone who does not look, act, and worship exactly like them.
Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that there are radical extremists on both ends of the political spectrum who believe exactly what I have described. We witness this daily on biased news outlets and on social media, and I believe this extreme, hateful, partisanship we are living in now is destructive to our state and our nation.
In my opinion, we are in a dangerous place, where politics has become a religion for many of our citizens. We are at a point in our society that being seen with, or (God-forbid) agreeing with, an idea from somebody on the “other side” will create an uproar and cause you to be labeled a traitor and not a “true” Republican or Democrat. I speak this truth from experience, as I have actually been in the arena.
The real problem in Texas is that we are a non-voting state. Less than 20% of registered voters actually vote in primaries, and that number only goes up slightly in presidential elections. So, we are essentially electing people with votes from the extreme ends of each party, while 80% of people in the middle choose to not participate. I believe their absence at the polls is why we have such a partisan and divided country.
It is vitally important that all Texans and all Americans vote based on the merits of the candidates and not just whether they have an R or a D behind their name. I would urge all of you to research the candidates using factual information, an incumbents actual voting record or record of accomplishments, and what groups support and most importantly, fund them. Follow the money. Once you do that, the choice is normally very clear on who is the best person for the job in which they seek. As for me, I will be voting for the person and not a party!