politicking.

My friend, it’s election season.  It is time to wave our patriotic freak flags.  It is time to weigh in on serious debates, from the microcosmic (RE: foreign policy) to the macrocosmic (insert favorite meme here:_______).  Let’s have at it.  I see your two cents.  Very shiny.

But, wait, who are we kidding?  Here I was about to serve you my opinion, support it with incredibly inarguable facts  (supportive JPEGs affixed), and I’ve just remembered that you cannot be assuaged.  No, you are right, you are always right.  You can name at least 5 celebrities who share your exact opinion.  Your websites are more popular than mine.  Your fact-checkers have fact-checkers.  I actually feel guilty disagreeing with you.  In fact, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, I do agree with you, if that makes this any easier.  Does it?  Mhmm. Wait, does it?

It’s good to be angry.  If no one pointed out iniquity, nothing would ever be resolved.  So, you are right to be angry.  You are right to point at something with a wagging finger if it insults your moral fiber.  But what do we make of the person standing opposite you, wagging his finger just as vigorously?  Does he know no shame?  Has he even an ounce of humanity?  His voice is raising!  His eyes are crazy.  Do you know what his problem is, besides being godless, depraved, and indisputably disagreeable?  You can’t say anything without offending him.  Everything you say, he shakes to the ground to stomp the wrong out of, he so refuses reason.  Is what you say.

I will tell you a secret.  I don’t know which mayan I’m voting for, this 2012.  It would make you sick, how bipartisan I am. Considering the wide spectrum of people I’m privileged (or obliged by blood) to know, I’m exposed to such extreme differences of opinion and sensibility, it would be impossible to wear a t-shirt without provoking some sort of backlash.  So that makes me, what?  Nimbly-wimbly? Wobbledy-bobbledy?  Ouch, my friend.  That really hurts.  But no, you are right, you are always right.  I do agree with you.

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4 thoughts on “politicking.

  1. For the electorate, politics is easier with just black and white. Everyone who agrees is moral and godly, and those who disagree are heathen communists. And for the Democrats, all dissenters are Bible-thumping corporate shills who get out of bed with the sole intention of trampling on women’s rights.
    People would rather form camps and march behind their leaders than admit that the problems of the country are more complex than we can comprehend and that, beyond a point, elections are a crapshoot.
    Nice post. BTW when I clicked on your post in my wordpress reader, I was directed to some ‘page not found’ type page. Only when I clicked on your post in the top posts section did I finally get through. Get that problem fixed or you might have trouble getting traffic to this post.

    • ah, thank you bharat! i’m looking into fixing the reader business right now. and about what you said – yes, absolutely! it’s especially emotionally overwhelming when i find the culprits are people i love, people i respect for being brilliant and thoughtful and wise. i’m not blaming anyone for finding support for their beliefs, for building walls of solidarity, and camps. but why are they so surprised at the construction of opposing walls, built equally thick? why is disagreement so offensive, so threatening? it’s this war of people who aren’t listening to each other, whose opinions are impenetrable. and, the concern becomes more about protecting one’s own rightness (rather stupidly, if they’re using facebook to do it), than examining what is really happening, what always happens with crapshoot elections: all motions.

      i hope this isn’t pretentious. but there is a william blake quote i always think of in regard to these things. “The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”

  2. I’m going to comment, not to tell you *what* to think but to recommend a book that I found very helpful in thinking about *how* to think about politics. It’s by a Wheaton Professor, Amy Black, and is titled “Beyond Left and Right: Helping Christians Make Sense of American Politics” (you can preview it in Google Books here: http://books.google.com/books/about/Beyond_Left_and_Right.html?id=l4OjK-dOV0AC)

    She talks about how to get informed, but also how to avoid being manipulated by politicians since so many times Christians or “values voters” want to vote on single issues and politicians use those to build a following even if they are running for offices that have no ability to make a difference on those issues. It seems easy to look for people we like or who seem to share our values, but US Politics run through compromise and procedures, so understanding that context can make your votes much more effective.

some sugar

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