What does President’s Day have to do with love? Well, not much that I can come up with. So today I’m going to talk about politics. My apologies in advance. 🙂
As an author, I’ve often wondered how much to share on social networking and blogs about my feelings on politics. I’m not one to wax on about current events, mostly because when I attempt to be serious about anything I get all shivery and emotional. Really- I tear up and stutter. It’s not pretty.
Still, I know my party affiliations slip out. And for a time I wondered if that was OK.
No author wants to alienate readers. More even than that, I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. I’m as left-wing as they come, but had a very close friend for years who was Republican. (Yes, yes, I know. My “token” Republican friend. I recognize the irony. But bear with me.)
I used to worry my husband would say something disparaging about my friend’s bumper stickers, but otherwise we got along great. Though our ideas differed on a range of hot button topics, to see us in our day-to-day lives you wouldn’t be able to tell us apart.
We both had gay friends, we both knew several people who’d had abortions. Neither one of us was anti-contraception. She was more in favor of corporal punishment and being “tough” on kids, as opposed to my Free-To-Be-You-And-Me ideology. But if you actually saw us with our flesh and blood children? We could have been the same person.
We were both short, blonde, loudmouths, and I’m sure we’d still be hanging out if she hadn’t moved to the suburbs. In fact, her daughter was my little girl’s first best friend.
So I guess my point is this: Be who you are. If you’re a commie pinko like me, let your freak flag fly. If you’re a right-wing Palin enthusiast, plaster your Dodge Ram with NRA bumper stickers.
Just don’t forget that at the end of the day, the person who’s ideas seem so horrid, so reprehensible, so very different from your own may in fact be just like you.
Drat! I forgot to talk about sex! That’ll be next week…
LOL last week when you posted that How Progressive Are You? quiz on Facebook, I took the test knowing how it would come out. You see, I’m a conservative, but I wouldn’t classify myself as wholly conservative. And I found it funny that you and “click” so well as critique partners when we have such different views.
I do agree with you though. I don’t think people should hate on each other for any reason, especially politics. Politics is like religion: you can’t convert someone else to your point of view by force, so why bother? It’s a personal decision and everyone should respect that even if you don’t agree.
You’re exactly right- you can’t convert someone to your POV, so why bother? I totally agree! In general, I don’t like to dwell on politics. It’s not my fault, my husband keeps changing the rap stations in my car to NPR!
It’s hard for my on social networking though. If I wasn’t on FB and Twitter I wouldn’t even know about a lot of political issues. In my opinion, ignorance can be bliss. There’s nothing I can do about a lot of debates anyway- so why get into arguments?
Anyway, Happy Presidents Day! Hope you enjoy you’re day off work. Personally, I wish my kids had school so I could write, but we’ll just have to agree to disagree. 🙂
Daisy, I agree that people can focus on the things we have in common … and there are usually many of those.
I’ve known folks who prefer to highlight divisive issues and built walls. I’d rather dwell elsewhere … and build bridges.
Also: some people thrive on bitter debate. I knew a guy in college like that … and he admitted he loved to argue. Not me. I am capable of debating issues, but don’t care to waste the energy. No one who feels strongly about certain key issues will ever be swayed by my opinions on that same subject … no matter how persuasive I could be. So why bother? Live and let live.
I so agree with you about debates. I hate debating issues- as you and Danica point out, you’re not going to convince anyone, so why bother?
Being as far left as I am, I know way too many people who like to argue. I agree with you- No matter who I talk to, I try to find common ground and a reason to get along. Opinions are just that. When it comes down to it, two Americas are going to be a lot more alike than, say, an American and South Korean, or an American and a Chilean.
So yes. You are right. Live and let live!
I’m all about “live and let live” and the corresponding axiom- “let’s agree to disagree” – Sometimes that’s what it takes- you guys are right, you can’t change someone’s mind- so let them have their opinions.
I also don’t understand fanaticism in any form.
Yeah, fanatics are weird. That’s why I can so often be found making fun of hippies and vegetarians even though by most objective measures I’m a little of both. 🙂
Well … there are exceptions, Jillian.
For example, being fanatical about chocolate is perfectly all right no matter who I have to debate to get it.