The Post Wherein I Talk About Getting The Opposing Side

For a few days now I’ve edited and re-edited how exactly I want to, or if I really even want to, write about politics.  I’d like to talk about politics without it coming forth like an all out assault on my fellow friends, like I’ve seen so much of lately.   So just bear with me till the end where I talk about coming to the conclusion that the other side isn’t what I thought is was at all.  Mostly I want to talk about compassion and understanding of the opponent and also throw in there the importance of voting.  Actually I’m going to post about the importance of voting tomorrow, but it doesn’t hurt to reiterate.

I try not to be too pushy politically, ’cause I know that it’s pretty annoying and really everybody has their own beliefs.  Who am I to ‘educate’ (force) others  to believe exactly what I do.  But, really, sometimes I can’t help it.

I’m not saying I didn’t post the Romney’s serving Big Bird for thanksgiving dinner on my Facebook wall, because that was just too funny to pass over.  I’m not saying I didn’t rant about the legitimate rape thing on twitter, because some issues like that I just can’t shut my mouth about.  I like being outspoken to a certain extent, but I also try to not over-do it.  Okay, never mind, I did post a lot in support of Gay Marriage and did anger a few friends over the issue.  Okay, fine, I’m a flaming liberal, and the second paragraph of this post may be completely untrue.  But whatever, I did say try.  Things like women’s issues, gay rights, government sponsored programs are very important to me, but really, the part that is true is that it’s not my job to force you to agree with my issues or hold them to the utmost importance.  And I do try not to go too far, especially more so lately, because I understand I have friends and family that think differently.

I think a part of me assumed that anyone that isn’t with us (the Democrats) was obviously against us, and frankly those very issues.  I saw the other side as, ya know, the gun-toting, religious, women-hating Republican stereotype.  That’s sorta what I saw.  Sorry, I know, perceptions aren’t always right, so just keep reading.  Sometimes being open-minded is the new closed-mindedness.  If that makes sense.  So ‘open’ to my issues, I closed my mind to other people’s issues.  Big duh move.

Also on a side note: there is a difference between posting political points and waging an all out attack on your friends & followers.  Sorry, but I highly doubt you’ll be able to shame and guilt anybody to hop jump and skip over to your political party by posting how horrible they are on Facebook.  I really have been wowed, especially over the past few days from some political posts on Facebook, so I finally get why people swear off all politics online.  If you really wanted to convince people of your superior political party, state facts and let the issues speak for themselves.  No matter how many memes you post, you probably won’t joke your ‘opponents’ over to your side of the political spectrum.  Just a hunch I have.  This goes for both parties.

So back to my ah-ha moment.  Im not really a Romney gal at all.  Every time I saw those so-and-so ‘liked’ Romney on Facebook and you should too posts, I mostly rolled my eyes till they were sore.

But then this happened.

Someone very close to me explained why they were voting for Romney and a light-bulb went off.  And when I say light-bulb, I mean first shock, confusion, then later understanding.  At first I was shocked- I mean how could a loved one, that I thought I knew, be that different from me?  Maybe i was caught off guard.  The thing was, they didn’t hate women or gays or poor people.  He’s not a gun-toting anti-abortion activist.  They certainly weren’t stupid, or isolated, or racist, and certainly weren’t just voting that way because they were being partisan for a certain party.  I’m pretty sure they’re mostly democrat leaning actually.

Just a typical hardworking family man concerned about the state of the economy.  He doesn’t think they (his family) can afford four more years of how things are going.  Scary thoughts indeed when you’re teetering on the edge of middle class and you’re scared of losing a lifetime of what you’ve worked for.  Never-mind the social issues, which are surely scary enough, it’s scary times trying to make ends meet for a whole lot of folks in this economy.

As far as the issues that were near and dear to MY heart, those things just weren’t on his radar.  Let me clarify before you say, oh jeez, how ignorant.  A fifty-some year old married man, way past the age of thinking about marriage and child rearing, that works long hard hours everyday.  Head of a traditional nuclear family.  It’s not that he doesn’t care about those issues, but they just aren’t placed on a platter in front of him like most of us social media junkies.  They just aren’t on his radar.  And why would they be?  It’s not ignorance, it’s not hate, it’s not sexism and living with blinders on.  It’s a focus-on-his-family kind of mentality.  He thinks about work, family, health care, his honey-do list, yard work, his 401-k, and probably football on Sundays.  That’s not being bigoted, that’s just what matters in his life.

I don’t believe that Romney would be any better of a choice to steer this economy into tip-top shape, in-fact I think just the opposite.  But that’s not really my point here.  It just opened my eyes on who Romney supporters could be.  We all have different reasons for our votes.  Different issues in the forefront.  As with anything, pre-judging and pre-conceived notions aren’t always correct.  I’m sorta on this ‘try on someone else’s shoes’ kick right now, so that’s where this post is going.   Lately it seems like we want to bunch people or even entire  states (red or blue) up into neat little boxes and say, “all these type of folks are this type of person.”  But really, it’s just not true.  I’ve been finding myself defending those I oppose because the upcoming election has brought many blinded generalizing attacks that in my opinion have skewed the honest facts.  Before you take away my feminist card, I am not saying don’t fight for your cause, don’t not support your party from the rooftops.  I am saying be open to not jumping to judge a book person by who they vote for.  We all have different reasons as to why we cling to one party or another or even different issues that become our deal-breaker voting catalyst.


2 responses to “The Post Wherein I Talk About Getting The Opposing Side

  1. Bravo for taking on this important issue. When the cards fall Tuesday, or months from Tuesday, due to voting issues in some states, I wonder what will be left when it comes to personal relationships. I lost a long time friend over politics. The importance of being who we are, tempered with respect for others being who they are should be talked about more. I appreciate you doing it.

    • thanks for the comment- I really just have been wowed lately by the name-calling, finger-pointing and bigoted generalizations going back and forth.. it’s like somewhere in there we forget to talk about any of the real issues, it’s all jokes and name-calling and mud-slinging till we scream. no wonder people can’t wait to just get tuesday over with.

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