We just emerged from the end of another vitriolic election season, and in what seems to be one of the only constants these days, well, it’s election time again. The radio and television ads finally died down last November, and they’re about to fully ramp up once more. Prepare yourselves.
The first Democratic debate on Wednesday (and Thursday, considering a million people are running) officially kicks off the formal run up to the 2020 Election, meaning we’re going to be fully inundated with politics until next November. It’s a pivotal part of our democracy, but it honestly feels like it never stops.
There’s no respite from the talking points and narratives and spin and outrage.
Election time always brings about strong opinions, but the temperature has been especially high since before the 2016 election—and it never really tapered off. Frenetic debates among neighbors, conversations that devolve into shouting matches, bitter back-and-forths on social media; these are unfortunate features of election time, and with the debates starting tomorrow, there’s a strong chance that emotions will be running hot.
Or you can choose civility.
Politics are always accompanied by closely held beliefs, and while those beliefs will inevitably clash with those of others, there’s no reason for a conversation about the upcoming election to deteriorate to the point of anger and fractured relationships. Respectful discussion over differing viewpoints is perfectly fine—it’s the backbone of our government—but it shouldn’t turn into shouting matches and spoiled Thanksgivings.
So prepare yourself for the onslaught of political ads on every respective medium, but also make a conscious effort to engage civilly as we head toward 2020. Many norms have been shattered in recent years, but if we can bring back respectful discourse this election cycle it would do worlds to inch us back toward normalcy.