I've been working like a mule to keep my blog and my Facebook away from politics. The election is still many months away, and I am already weary of the slings and arrows being hurled about in the names of politicians who, really, don't care a bit about us after they get our votes. Just the thought that someone who has spent a lifetime building things - be they casino hotels or grassroots support - can promise honestly to move into the White House and keep all the promises made to all the people is ludicrous.
It reminds me of car salespeople who will tell you that Toyota is the best and safest car to buy, until the other car dealer hires him to sell Fords. Then, it's all about how great the Explorer is.
Plus, did you ever change your mind about any philosophy or politician or duck hunter based on someone's post? Of course not.
I love people and I love the stories they tell and the photos they share of the babies they have and the people they love and the places they visit. That's what Facebook is great at. I see people I have known since Eisenhower was president, and it's great to see them thriving and showing their progeny, their new home, their progress in physical therapy...
Facebook and other sites of the sort (I abhor the term "social media" when so many of its users are so ardently antisocial) are also good for sharing good news and balming the soul when the news is bad.
For instance, the other day when two Harford County Sheriff's Deputies were gunned down, people were able to express their condolences and words of support and encouragement, in one of the darkest hours that county has ever known.
That was for the good. What was for the bad was when the conversation devolved into denunciations of people who were not responsible for the whole awful event, nasty bickering between the two sides of the gun control debate, and (of course, as always) a chance for racebaiters to turn it into a racial argument, although it was hard for that to gain traction in a situation where one Caucasian male killed two Caucasian males.
I keep thinking about the pax Americana that we felt in September, 2001, where, in the face of unspeakable enormity we responded by letting people go ahead of us in traffic, holding doors for others, and greeting strangers with a kind hello. It didn't last long; we were flipping each other off again by the new year, but it felt good for a while, and I wish we could try it again.