7 Habits of Highly Divisive Presidential Hopefuls


I’ve been having a reoccurring dream where I’m seated in a large auditorium facing a stage. The room is dark, and the only illumination dawns on a podium with a single microphone. I hear chattering, but cannot see the speaker’s face or make out what they say. All I see is a suit. Quite often there’s cheering and clapping. Then there’s crying. Then audible sounds to indicate that the audience is displeased. When I look around no one is there…only me. I’m an audience of one but do not feel alone. It’s strange.

I realize with the Republican primaries underway the media is saturated with sound bites and speeches. But for those of us who are actually listening and paying attention to what’s being said, the outlook (at least in my estimation) is bleak. What I have noticed is a pattern of behaviors – habits even—that have appeared over the past several weeks. For example:

  1. Starting an explanation with sweeping generalizations, “What Blacks needs to do…” or “What Hispanics needs to do…” or “What women can’t do…”
  2. Claiming that the designation of “hard working Americans” only belong to one race of people.
  3. Sad attempts to use the Jedi Mind Trick — using stall tactics when questions or requests for information from the public are perfectly clear.
  4. Use fear or people’s insecurities and lack of understanding of immigration, gay/lesbian issues, women’s rights and race to perpetuate old school ideologies; love is contagious but hate breeds like roaches.
  5. Failing (miserably) to recognize that all people of color are not poor, not uneducated, and are not on some kind of public assistance.
  6. Can’t seem to remember that we live in the United States of America – operative word being “united” – there are those of us outside the mainstream that eat apple pie, served our country willingly and would gladly die defending the flag too.
  7. Believes that Christianity is the only religion with conservative values (I’m Christian but I respect other people’s belief systems).

There are more habits — I’m sure– but frequently these seem to be the greatest offenders. If this is the tenor for which the primaries are based, we are in for a long ride through the 1960s.  I understand the need to galvanize people on one’s behalf, but seem to me that it would be easier to rally folks around the good and not the ill-conceived agendas from back in the day. I’d vote for new habits and it wouldn’t matter the candidate’s political affiliation.

Sound off – tell me what you think.

7 thoughts on “7 Habits of Highly Divisive Presidential Hopefuls

  1. You know, I was a political science major until the 2008 primaries. I became so disgusted with even the Democratic candidates and their tricks, and their sexist comments, and the way no majority held them accountable. I became wary of how the wronged politicians themselves smoothed things over to keep the peace.

    I used to read the news religiously, could tell you what bills were coming up for vote in the House and Senate committees, and discuss with you at length the most important issues that were up for discussion.

    I haven’t followed what’s been going on in the government since 3 and a half years ago. I couldn’t tell you a single damn thing that is controversial (except Sopa and Pipa) and even that I didnt’ hear about until a week or two ago. I’m just another apathetic voter and I don’t know how to get to a place where I care anymore. To get to a place where I feel that my vote counts. Or to get to a place where I think ANY of these politicians have a backbone, aren’t primarily considering themselves and reelection , or any of this business that is supposed to matter. It all seems so futile.

    I know, I know…how can we make a difference if we don’t know what’s going on? Or if we don’t vote?

    I guess it comes down to the fact that I don’t believe we CAN make a difference. Not in the long run.

    • It’s tough to stay engaged with all of the mudslinging. I think what’s been sobering is the level of blame and contempt that’s plagued the airwaves over the past 4 years. Our nation’s problems weren’t created overnight and they certainly won’t be fixed that way. So where does this leave us? – well, I think if we make small changes (on our own) and empower ourselves, there would be less reliance upon others to fix anything. I’m just saying…

  2. Dorthula Green

    You just crystalized the tension in my head and chest! A friend sent me a supposedly conservative commentary about the unfairness of taking from the rich and giving to the poor along with a litany of cloaked prejudicial statements. I grow weary of the mean spiritedness. Your blog clearly removes the cloak. Republicans talk about “taking our country back”. They are certainly trying to take it BACKWARDS!

  3. It is de-evolved into just a contest to win the nomination with anything fair game including mis-truths, half-truths and bad generalizations — most not accidently, but calculated at getting support at the polls.

    Thanks for the post!

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