Four years ago I wouldn’t have been writing this. You could find me reading news articles, engaging in debates online, spewing my opinion whether it was asked or not, and generally looking to absorb any information regarding politics I could find. I even wrote an article about my stance on a particular political topic that went viral (which I won’t link here because it got me lots of hate mail and that sometimes still keeps me up at night).
Now that is not the case. Call me a hypocrite if you wish; by definition I guess that is the correct label.
I’m a big fan of democracy. I think voting is our duty as citizens and I think it should be held in high regard. I believe we all have rights to believe what we want to believe, support things we are passionate about, and have a voice in who runs our government. It’s my personal conviction that we are subject to our government and should abide by the laws of our land; and if you don’t like the laws, then figure out a way to bring attention to the cause, educate others, get people to vote, and turn the table.
But I don’t believe that we should be unpleasant or unkind to people that don’t think the same way we do. Opinions aren’t facts. When did we all start treating them as such? When did politics make us all so ugly?
I’m tired of the nastiness that we have named politics and how it has infiltrated our communities, families, and homes. I’m sad that people are boxing everyone into a political party and leaving them there. That’s not fair. It’s not right. I’m not going to blame the current state of our country on any one person or one political party because I don’t think it can be found there. The political climate is a culmination of millions of people’s opinions, votes, and decisions, and that will be the case for hundreds of years to come. Nothing has ever been perfect and nothing ever will be. No one is 100% right and no one is 100% wrong.
But where has our decency gone?
Politics have made us all say things we regret in the heat of the moment. We have all spewed thoughts on the internet and in person (here are a few — how ironic), formed opinions based on other’s opinions, glued our eyes to our favorite news station and counted that as fact, and cast our votes all in the name of the political game.
We shouldn’t view someone as less than if they think differently than we do. I’ve done it and I’m not proud of it. I’ve learned from my mistakes four-ish years ago and I hope I haven’t been making the same ones this election. Instead of tossing my opinion around like a weighted sack and knocking people over in the process, I’m learning to step back and to try to understand where someone else is coming from. Their thoughts and feelings don’t make mine matter any less. That’s important.
I want to do better. I want better for my children. So, I’m going to start with me.
If you clicked on this post looking for answers, I’m afraid I don’t have them. And if you clicked because you want to debate about politics, then I kindly ask you, please, take that elsewhere.
We can each only be held accountable for our own actions. I’m responsible for mine, just as you are responsible for yours. I hope to stop viewing everything through politically-toned rose colored glasses, stand firm in my personal convictions, hold close what matters most to me, vote because I have been afforded the privilege, and become a better person through the process.