Once upon a time, a long time ago, about last Friday, when Ken Ulman was County Executive, Martin O'Malley was Governor, and Democrats hadn't yet lost their sense of self esteem, I used to be amazed and annoyed by Republican trolls who'd jump on the politicians' social media accounts to say dirty, nasty, filthy things.
Everyone has a right to their opinions, of course. Certainly the party that is not in power has strong feelings and frustrations. I get that. But it doesn't mean that ongoing nastiness is the right way to go in community discourse. Why not celebrate what you love instead of bashing what you hate?
Now the tables are turned. And I am worried that I am seeing Democrats that I like and respect beginning to show some signs of regressing into those angry trolls of yesterday. Not a lot. Just a bit. But it worries me. Again, they have a right to opinions, feelings, frustration. Yet something valuable is lost is our focus becomes attacking our opponents.
I can't speak for Republicans, of course. But as a Democrat, I say--Come on, folks. This is not who we are. Don't get caught in that trap.
Marcia White and Abby Hendrix of the Howard County Democratic Club have been making short videos of members entitled "Why I am a Democrat." I like that. It's an opportunity to bear witness to the good. While I am not a dues paying member of the HCDC, I thought I'd I try my hand at crafting a statement.
Why I am a Democrat.
My name is Julia McCready and I'm a Democrat because I believe in "We, the People." I believe that "we, the people" means that we share our good fortune and our successes with our friends, neighbors, and communities, and that we also share and help to bear the burdens, sorrows, and injustices of our friends, neighbors, and communities. This country which grants us such precious freedoms also calls us to be the change that makes our country better.
I am a Democrat because I believe that "We the People" is more than "I get mine." Being a Democrat is about reaching out, lifting up, making community-minded choices and not selfish ones. It's about our responsibility as citizens to participate in good government for all. It's about promoting what we love, not bashing what we hate.
And that's why I am a Democrat. But, no matter what your political leanings, I think that showing people what's good, honorable, and trustworthy about your cause lays a much better foundation than slinging mud.