Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Politics One

I avoid talking about politics a lot of the time. Not because I don't care, not because I'm not interested or invested, but because I don't like confrontation. Also because deep down I don't believe that anyone can ever really change anyone's mind about things. I'm not in the business of persuasion. I myself am not a politician and have no desire to be. Sure debate and robust argument can be exhilarating, but for the most part, for me, it's too difficult to avoid the personal.

Especially in this election year where anger and ugliness increase by the day, I don't want to go there. We're all jaded and fed up and resort to hiding certain people's facebook feeds just because we want to keep liking them as people and it's hard when there are such heartfelt fundamental differences. I am not exempt, I'm sure I've pissed people off without even realizing it, and yeah, I want things to be pleasant all the time. But I am a political person, and I want my boy to grow up in a world where it's OK to feel things deeply and passionately and express them. Not in anger, not with stubborn certainly, just with pride and conviction.

I am an idealist, which is why I'm a registered independent. But, living in the world and not fantasy land (Massachusetts is pretty close, though), I'm also a realist. I have to vote for someone, and, if you know me at all, my voting record is not a huge shocker. I have always identified as a liberal with no shame. And I am a woman and a mother and a wife and a daughter and sister and friend. I don't think any of this makes me special or unique or deserving of elevated status. I just believe I should be the one in charge of me.

When it comes down to it, that is what being liberal means to me. I just don't care about what other people do (insofar as they are not hurting other people). I don't care who you love, or who you marry, only that your right to do so is protected. I can't see myself ever having an abortion, but I don't care if you have one for any reason. I do care about protecting its legality and the right to have one in a safe environment, and of course to prevent pregnancy in the first place. All babies should be wanted, period. I emphatically believe that you should be able to practice your religion, any religion, I just believe the bible should have nothing to do with governance outside of the church or temple or mosque or individual homes. I am staunchly in favor of reason and intellectualism and science, those things are important to me.

Of course I care about the economy and jobs and taxes and foreign policy, just as I care about health care and education. And I do not believe that one person can save us all. The thing is, at the very center of  it, though I do obviously lean a certain way, I don't care who you vote for. It's not my business. I do admit to caring that people DO vote - only because what's the point of being proud of America and its freedoms and democratic society if you do not participate in democracy? I know the two party system is extremely flawed, and it's hard to get behind anyone when everything's so corrupt, and it feels like your vote doesn't count. But if every person thought that way, where would we be? That bothers me a lot, but again, it's not my business. It's your right to not participate.

I acknowledge that what I've written here is deeply polarizing and that people I love very much will not agree to my stances but just as I care for them and respect their views, I hope that they will do the same for me. I can't say I won't have outbursts here and there either in this blog or other outlets, but it felt good to say my peace in a calm and rational manner.

Tomorrow, back to my usual frippery. Probably.

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