We need to practice more kindness and less politics

We need to practice more kindness and less politics
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I do not care about a person’s politics or their religion. I do not care about their race, or sex, or sexual preference, or national origin. It is unimportant to me if they are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, Socialist, Communist, Libertarian, or Anarchist. All I care about is whether a person has a good heart. If that is the case, then they are my friend.

I posted that on social media the other day. It was warmly received by many. The status created a large number of responses in agreement until the tenth reply or so. One long-time friend said, “Yes, but…” Another said, I agree, and Republicans do not have kind hearts. I'll show two stereotypes of how the two parties view each other through partisan goggles that clouds their views of good people.

One of the most significant divisions the parties have foisted on the public is the bigoted notion they are the party of good, and the other party is the party of evil. Political parties exist for one reason, and one reason only: to cling to power and to get voters to switch off their rational minds, and vote for their candidate no matter what.

The tools they use are bigotry and division. I do not mean prejudice in the racial sense, although racial, religious, and ethnic stereotypes are all in play. Yes, my Democratic Party joins the GOP and is guilty of it too.  A united nation is not in a political party’s best interests. They divide us with “we are good, they are evil,” messages on nearly every issue imaginable.

An incorrect view of Republicans by Democrats

One of the most egregious abuses is when the parties politicized kindness and generosity. “How can any person with an ounce of compassion be a Republican,” is a question I hear frequently. To listen to the left, one would think all Republicans are heartless monsters who love to starve children and put granny and grandpa on the ice flow. Let me tell you a story about that which happened just this week.

I run a group on Facebook for my home County in Illinois. It is Trump territory. He carried the County and by significant numbers in the last election. Blue Illinois is not so blue when you get outside of Chicago, or East St. Louis.

An African-American woman who is a single Mom turned to me for help. She has cancer and started chemotherapy last Tuesday. She must drive herself to the treatments and is so sick, and her health care has cost so much, she could not afford to pay the annual registration for her car.

I asked the group if someone could help with her car registration? In less than five minutes, someone stepped forward. In fact, half a dozen people stepped forward. For the group, the license renewal was not all they wanted to help her with during her treatments.

People are bringing her food, clothing for her and her child. One woman came forward, a student and a Mom herself to coordinate the help. She and a group are meeting with her this evening to assess her needs in the upcoming weeks. They have purchased gas cards, and have wrapped this woman in loving arms.

I know the politics of most of the people in the group of 9,000 people. At least half, if not more of those who reached out are Republicans.

They are also beautiful people.

This kind of selfless generosity is commonplace with Republicans. I was one for a long time, and I have seen many stories like this one. The GOP does not believe it is the government’s place to take care of the needy. They think an individual has an obligation to reach out to others.

An incorrect view of Democrats by Republicans 

The GOP views the social services in government as nameless, faceless people who do not care about those they are supposed to help in a meaningful way. They believe the bureaucracy exists to serve itself. As a result, it has a vested interest in the poor in their current circumstance. The War on Poverty programs started 50 years ago by President Johnson are a failure in their view. Poverty is still with us and is growing.

They are steadfast that liberals want to pawn the poor and the sick off on the government, so the liberals will not have to face up to their responsibility to care for the downtrodden.

That is the GOP view, and it is inaccurate.

When Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait, my company, Hill and Knowlton, was retained by the Kuwaiti Government to prepare the Western Nations for war. Our first step was to portray the Kuwaitis as victims of naked aggression. Our second task involved vilifying Sadam Hussein and dehumanizing the Iraqi soldiers we were going to ask Congress for the permission to kill.

I recall one strategy meeting with our senior management, all Washington seasoned political types, someone saying, “This is no different from any other political campaign. Divide and isolate our target markets. Give them our message until the repeat it as their own.”

For me, it was a moment of clarity. What we do to each other in our domestic politics is what we do to America’s enemies when it is time for war. Is that uniting the nation?

We need to stop listening to the message, “we’re good, they’re not.” It is a false message, and we embrace stereotypes of groups at our own peril.

There are good people everywhere. Some people are unkind as well. We need to judge others as individuals and not as Republicans or Democrats. When we hate because of a person’s political beliefs, we are falling into a partisan trap that is not good for our nation. It is also not good for us.

The politics of the people from my hometown who are helping the single Mom are not part of the dynamic in play that is bringing help to someone in need.

Their hearts are compassionate, and I do not care about their politics. Please give me a kind person any day over someone who hates in the name of a political party or ideology.

I do not care about religion, race, sex, sexual preference, politics or any of the other things the political class uses for control. I care about goodness and kindness, and those who are good and kind are my friends. Kindness matters and it is not driven by political beliefs.

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