Brandon and I watched the documentary "Mitt" following Mitt Romney (and his family and campaign team) during the 2008 and 2012 election campaigns. Really good documentary - very humanizing of Mitt Romney without much in the way of an agenda.
I both love and hate the presidential campaigns/elections (in particular - as opposed to some of the other elections we see). I love how interesting they are and how it brings everyone out to talk about politics and things they deem important. I love that it pulls me out of my little sphere long enough to consider some of the bigger issues. However, I hate what it does to some people. I hate the constant feed of nasty political posts on facebook, particularly the negative posts.
A less noticeable but equally frustrating feature of these campaigns is that I usually come away from the debates disliking the opponent of whoever I was in favor of. This happened in the case of John McCain and again with Mitt Romney. Don't get me wrong - I never stooped to attacking either of them. I supported who I supported and left the others alone. But, in my mind and in conversation with others I was happy to discuss why I felt inclined to support who I did. And watching the debates usually helped me to feel validated in the decision I'd made. The constant barrage of negativity towards all of the candidates and the name calling and attacking that occurred - it was just awful. It was easy to find a hundred reasons why "Candidate A" wasn't a very good person and probably wouldn't make a very good president.
Both with John McCain and Mitt Romney I've had the pleasure and discomfort of having to reconfigure my perspective on them. These campaigns rarely bring out the best in people and almost always bring out the worst. Only after the fact is it easier to see these people as normal, flawed, but generally good. And I'm thankful for that reconfiguration. I know that there are plenty of bad people in the world, but it's always nice to discover that the superficial understanding you had of someone was probably wrong and that maybe they're not so bad after all.
In other news, we're going to dinner (pho!) tonight with Peter (one of those on the Vietnam trip) to collect Peter's photos from the trip. Following that we're off to do some rock climbing!