EDITORIAL: Believe what you want, but don’t let differences affect friendships
Published: Friday, November 2, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 01:11
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell made a bold move last week: He, a Republican, endorsed Barack Obama — for the second time.
Much has been made about such an endorsement, but two things stand out. For one, a few columnists around the country have made the case Powell did so simply for race reasons. Secondly, the endorsement has already made its way through the GOP, causing a path of outrage in its wake — but we’ll get to that.
First, a brief response to those saying Powell’s endorsement is race-related: Get over yourselves.
Simply because Powell, a black man, endorses another black man for president does not mean the overriding reason for the endorsement was because they share the same skin color. To suggest so is simply asinine.
It is possible for politicians to agree with aspects of another party’s candidate’s platform. That doesn’t make him or her a bad Republican or Democrat; it shows they are willing to endorse something they believe will help the country, not just their own party. Those are the kinds of politicians we need.
That said, Sen. John McCain clearly didn’t get that memo.
Upon hearing of Powell’s endorsement of Obama, McCain — who lost to Obama in 2008, possibly due in part to Powell’s first recommendation of Obama — ripped into Powell, saying on a Fox News radio show he was “saddened” and that he “used to be a great admirer of Colin Powell.” McCain went on to say they “were” friends.
Notice how those last two quotes are past tense. McCain is clearly setting his political beliefs as a higher priority than friendship. By also saying to Powell, “you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy,” McCain is making the GOP’s image and values above one’s personal beliefs.
And this brings up a second main point: Don’t let this be you. Don’t let your political beliefs affect your friendships to the extent that you lose respect for each other and can no longer be classified as friends.
Several times in The Mirror, we have mentioned “that friend” who will argue about politics until they are blue in the face and disrespect and annoy people in the process. Do not be this person.
If politicians cannot be respectful enough to realize that not everybody will agree with them, the public must do so. Be this kind of person.
Be who you are. Believe what you want to believe. Vote for who you want to vote for.
But, by all means, don’t let any political beliefs interfere with your friendships. Life’s too short to have a fallout because of those differences.
You’re friends for a reason. Don’t let anything change that.