If you can’t say anything nice…

Way too many people in our society are not afraid to attack people for their thoughts and ideas. I’m not talking about calling a spade and spade and trying to set the record straight, I’m talking about being accusatory, inflammatory and flat-out lying. But it has been a great tool for me to learn from these last few weeks.

I have become vocal about a few local issues that are coming up for vote in June. Well, right now I’m really just focusing on one: the property tax issue. I’m not going to get into the measure here, I’ve already discussed my thoughts and have been thoroughly educated on the “flaws” of my thinking and the “empty arguments” that I have. Which is funny, considering the amount of time that I’ve spent trying to research and read and come up with an opinion that I thought was based in quite a bit of fact, and just a little good ol’-fashioned gut feeling.

No, I don’t want to discuss the measure…but I would like to discuss how we handle people. Perhaps I’m living in a fantasy world, but I wasn’t raised this way. There’s a difference between discussing a political viewpoint and attacking the person talking. And those lines are crossed way too often.

I get it, really I do…we just don’t live in that kind of society any more. Our political ads attack everything from how your parents raised you to decisions you made before you were old enough to vote. Yet, for some reason, I held out hope that our state, the friendly state of North Dakota, would hold itself to a higher standard. I don’t like being wrong about that.

If we want to have a good discussion, and have everyone with questions get a chance to have them answered (truthfully and honestly), and have a fair and open election, then why have a lawsuit trying to prevent elected officials from speaking out? Why do we tell those that would be able to answer the question, that they can’t talk? And if we silence those people, then why is it so wrong for me to speak out?

I am simply a mother of four boys, trying my hardest to do right by them. And instead of sitting back on my haunches and complaining about the lot life left me, I’m standing up, taking control of our future and speaking out when I feel I need to…it’s the reason our ancestors fought so hard for our freedoms. And it’s a right that I take very seriously.

And if that makes me a threat…well, what are you trying to hide? I enjoy a good debate, I love to learn about different aspects that I may not have thought of myself, I love to hear other viewpoints and I’m not afraid to change my mind, admit if I’m wrong or alter my opinion.

But when I give my opinion, when I write about something on here, you can bet that I’ve done my research, that I’ve tried to see things from both points of view and that I’ve put time and energy into the issue. And if that threatens you – well, maybe you should do the same.