Sunday, October 05, 2008

Me, You, and Politics

So. As you all know, it's an election year. And lots of people have opinions. Including me.

But I'm not going to tell you today what those opinions are. In fact, I'm about to tell you exactly why I'm not going to tell you what my opinions are. (The Smart Bitches did a great post about this the other day, and that's what's inspired me to rant to you all.)

See, here's the thing. How you vote? It's none of my goddamn business. Just like how I vote is none of your goddamn business. No offense meant; I have great friendships with some of you, and I have only fond thoughts for all of you. But my vote is private. That's one of the hallmarks of our system; nobody has the right to know how you voted.

And going along with that is another, deeper truth about me. Not only is your vote none of my business, but quite frankly--and I mean this in the spirit of deepest friendship--I don't give a fuck how you vote. (You, the individual--obviously the outcome of elections is of some importance to me, but perhaps not as much as you might think.) For that matter, I honestly don't give a fuck if you vote. Do it or don't; I'm not bothered either way.

I don't care. No, really. I don't. I don't care what you think about Obama or McCain. I don't care what you think about Joe Biden or Sarah Palin. I know what I think of these people, sure. And guess what? My opinion is the only opinion I care about!

And it's not just you, whose political opinions means nothing to me. It's any actor or actress. It's any other writer. It is, in fact, anyone other than the candidates themselves. Their opinions I care about. Anyone else? No, not really. When I want Matt Damon or Cameron Diaz or Bruce Willis or Tom Selleck's advice about who to vote for, I will call them up and ask them. Until then? I don't care.

More than not caring, I am actually offended that they feel the need to educate me. Do they think I'm stupid? That I am incapable of making voting decisions without their expert help? Gee, I was going to start writing letters to the President urging him to just nuke all the other countries in the world, until Susan Sarandon told me that would be a bad thing. I sure am glad she stopped me from making that mistake, ho-ho-ho! I do NOT like being told what to do. I do NOT like being told how to think. I certainly do not need advice on what to do and how to think from people whose major accomplishment in life is they're very good at playing make-believe.

That's not a dig at actors; I'm well aware that I earn my money by also playing a sort of make-believe. But guess what? I acknowledge that freely, and because of that, I would never in my life have the arrogance to tell you I know more about how you should vote than you do. What am I, fucking Underdog? Here I come to save the daaay! You were about to make a terrible voting mistake, dumbass, let ME tell you the right thing for you! That's bullshit. Who the fuck am I to tell you how to vote? Who the fuck is Martin Sheen to tell me how to vote? (For the record, I actually have quite a bit of respect for Martin Sheen--he certainly puts his money where his mouth is, and has done some things I admire [in addition to some things I think are batshit crazy]. He was just an example.) Does Martin Sheen live my life? Does Martin Sheen have my problems? No, he doesn't, so his advice is useless to me and I don't care to hear it.

I've seen this attitude mentioned in other places as being a sort of censorship. That it's like saying actors/whomever don't have the right to talk about politics. The logical leap there astounds me. How do we get from "I don't care about your opinion" to "You don't have the right to an opinion"? Because it seems to me the two are very clearly separate. Everyone is free to discuss politics to whatever extent they desire; I consider it boorish and rude, generally (and there are exceptions) but they have a right to think and say what they want. Just as I have the right to extend my middle finger and tell them I don't care. Their opinions bore me. I am not interested in them. Just because they have a right to an opinion, and a right to express it, does not mean I'm obligated in any way, shape, or form to listen to and care about that opinion. I don't. (In fact, I grow increasingly weary of political sidcussion by and from anyone; when did that sort of joking become okay? Why, within five minutes of meeting someone, are they talking about politics? Even off-the-cuff jokes. When did that become appropriate? It's akin to meeting someone and within five minutes saying, "So, the other night my husband was taking me doggie-style, and..." No, seriously. For me, it is. Don't assume I think the way you do, and don't assume I want to hear what you think about the issues. I don't. I'm asking you where you got those shoes or if you'll bring a dish to the school fete; that's not an invitation to your thoughts on the President, or oil companies, or gay marriage, or any other issue you can think of. Honest, it's not. See the above, where I tell you I on't care, and you are a boor who obviously has nothing of interest to say and so much start spewing platitudes at me. Way to have a personality.)

But here's the thing. As I said in the comments thread of that SB post, if I wanted to know about acting, I would be very interested in the input of Matt Damon or Susan Sarandon (although Cameron Diaz would still be useless in that arena, frankly.) I would be front-and-center there. And it's not because I think their jobs are simply to entertain us and shut up, like they're some sorts of puppets who should go back in their boxes when they're not filming.

It's because their political opinions are no better informed than mine, no more important or interesting or special than mine, whereas their opinions on acting are considerably better informed than mine (or yours). Acting is their business, and I would be interested in their thoughts on it. Should a bill come up in the legislature that impacts their profession, I would wonder what their thoughts might be. Other than that? I am no more interested in their thoughts on my vote than I would be about how my mailman believes I should raise my children. Someone else telling me how to vote offends me, plain and simple. I don't want to be told what to do, remember?

I don't want to be treated as if, or spoken about as if, I am some gibbering goon, either, if my opinion on a particular topic happens not to coincide with someone else's. I would like the respect I try to give everyone else, which is A)Not to go blaring my politics everywhere, as if people will be interested; and B)To assume that if they disagree with me on any particular topic, they have their own reasons, and those reasons are sound. They are not evil, they are not stupid. They are simply human beings whose experiences and beliefs do not coincide completely with mine--as no one else's in this world's do--and because of that, they see things differently than I do.

I find it incredibly depressing that, in an election in which all four candidates appear to be keeping things on a delightfully polite and even keel, the level of dscourse among the citizenry seems unable to move above playground taunting. "Republicans are mean dirty-butts who are racist and sexist and homophobic and hate everyone!" "Democrats are wimpy dirty-butts who want to steal our money and our free speech, and bend over and let Al-Quada fuck us in the ass!" "Nyah!" "Nyah!" Are we fucking adults or what? Isn't it just possible that Republicans are NOT all racist and sexist and homophobic, but instead simply disbelieve in, I don't know, quotas and infantilizing an entire segment of society or teaching them they will never have a chance to get ahead, or are uncomfortable with allowing certain things they feel are morally wrong (but still believe everyone is human and deserves respect for that) and think parents should raise their own children? Isn't it possible that Democrats are NOT trying to steal our money, but are in fact trying to make sure everyone is fed and clothed and taken care of because the US is a rich nation of plenty and it's shameful that we have hungry children and homeless people, and trying to make the world a better place where people don't feel like shit for being different or lose their rights for arbitrary reasons, and would like to try diplomacy first? Aren't those things just fucking possible? (Throwing out the crazies at the very ends of both spectrums, okay; if you think all Republicans are secret KKK sympathizers who murder gay people for fun and/or all Democrats are crazy Castro-loving Commies who want to turn all children gay I can't help you).

When did we get so fucking vicious? When did we stop seeing people who disagree with us as good people who simply disagree with us, and start seeing them as slavering man-beasts who wanted to kill us all? When did we stop seeing them as humans, as people, as people we might be able to find some common ground with? When did we close our minds? When did that shit become funny? When did it become funny to imply people with different beliefs and ideas are worthless and stupid? When did that become accepted thinking?

I apologize for this post, I really do. It bothers me to do it. Quite frankly, I avoid politics not necessarily because I'm afraid of losing readers (I might gain as many as I would lose; who knows?) but because I do not want the buying of my books to become a political act.

My blog is part of my job. My job is to entertain. That's all. I take that job very seriously; I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I'm quite proud of it, in fact. I don't mean my job is to be completely inoffensive or simply to do goofy dances for all of you; but my job is to entertain you. It is not to undertake the broadening of your political minds; quite frankly, I'd rather believe you're here because you are intelligent, and thus capable of making your own decisions.

I would normally no sooner blog about politics here than I would invite you all to a party in my home and then subject you to an hour-long Amway sales presentation. I believe it's rude. I believe that by using my blog (and whatever recognition or whatever I've acheived through it and/or through my books) to presume to educate you on the Big Issues, I am performing some sort of bait-and-switch with you. I am failing to give you the respect you deserve as adults, as readers, as citizens.

If living in the UK for almost three years has taught me anything--and I mean absolutely no disrespect here to England or the English, of whom I am fond--it has taught me that in my opinion the United States is the greatest country in the world, filled with what I firmly believe are, despite their foibles, great and amazing people. Intelligent people. Welcoming people. Kind people. The kind of people who stop to help each other when someone falls down, who cheer each others's triumphs and hug each other when we fail. The kind of people who pitch in and help their elderly neighbors put up shutters when a hurricane is coming and share electricity when it's over (as we used to do on our street in FL). The kind of people who still believe anything is possible, despite the best efforts of some to make us all as cynical and miserable as they are. I believe that. I believe in that dream. Hell, look at me; I have a GED, no college, and major publishing houses are paying me money for books I wrote. I dreamed, and I worked hard, and I acheived something, and nobody sneers at me or thinks I'm overstepping myself, that it's wrong to want to acheive more, to be more.

And quite frankly, I think that's all you need to know about my political views.

I debated turning comments off. I'm leaving them on, though, because I trust you.


Solidus said...

I do agree with many of the points you make here (despite being British, or perhaps because of it). You do veer dangerously close to "I don't care about any opinion but my own" - dangerous because that closes you off to learning from other people. Because we really do care about some people's opinions - or, at least, I think that we should. I care what my wife thinks, and I discuss political issues with her because I respect her knowledge, perspective, intelligence and opinions. The same is true for many of my friends and colleagues. Random celebrities and Internet folk, not so much.

But you did over-reach at one point:

"I'm asking you where you got those shoes or if you'll bring a dish to the school fete; that's not an invitation to your thoughts on the President, or oil companies, or gay marriage, or any other issue you can think of."

This is where you move from "don't force your opinions onto me" to the rather more socially problematic "don't talk to me about any subject unless I bring it up first."

Now, this is a problem (even at the school gate) because, applied reciprocally, it prevents any conversation at all! You may want to comment on my shoes or ask what I am cooking, but I may not want you to because of embarassment or something. How do you know which topics are forbidden for someone else?

Now, admittedly, we British are famous for discussing the weather in such situations - a topic usually devoid of inflammatory opinion - partly because we have so much of it. But refusing anyone the right to bring up a new topic prevents any meaningful conversation.

There is, of course, a line between friendly discussion and preaching or barratry. But refusing all conversation that involves personal opinion draws the line too far to one side, IMO. But maybe that's just me. What do you folks think? (See, that's me asking for opinions. :-) )

December/Stacia said...

But I'm not refusing any topic not my own; I'm simply requesting people follow traditional rules of etiquette and not discuss sex, politics, or religion with strangers.

Politics are not just any topic; when I ask where you got your shoes, and you tell me and then make a comment about the store, or the quality of service there, or something of that nature, we can converse and the conversation builds from there (if we both so desire.) Politics are inflammatory; your political opinions have the power to upset or hurt or enrage me, and that is why they have traditionally been a subject polite people avoid at first meetings, at dinner parties, whatever. Telling me the service at Banbury's is lackluster is one thing; telling me you'd be able to afford better shoes if not for the "motherfucking idiot in the White House" is another entirely.

It used to be people avoided such topics as a matter of course, so as not to inadvertently insult or hurt. Now it seems the opposite is true, and everyone runs pell-mell over the feelings of others like a bull through a china shop.

And I am perfectly capable of caring about and learning about other people without hearing their political thoughts. I've been best friends with my BFF Cori for almost nine years. Until I moved the to the UK I talked to Cori every single day. Sometimes for hours. In that time, politics came up a few times, sure; but I don't know what Cori thinks of every political issue out there. I know HER. I know about her childhood; I know how she got the scar on her arm. I know who her friends were growing up and who her parents's friends were. I know what she wanted to be when she was a little girl; I know about her relationships with her parents, with her husband, with her ex-husband. I know about the pets she had and the things she did for fun and who her friends were. I am, in fact, an expert in the subject of Cori. But I don't know or need to know who she'll be voting for come November. I can make an educated guess, the way she can with me; we both admire both candidates for different reasons (we've discussed them exactly once, for about ten minutes.) She is my best friend in the world and I would do anything for her, and funnily enough, I think there's a lot more to her as a person than her vote. In fact, to claim the only thing of importance about anyone is their vote--which you in effect kind of imply by saying I'm refusing to learn about people by refusing to listen to their opinions about politics--is facile and unfair. I know that's not what you meant and I'm not trying to be insulting, but the fact remains there are lots of things to learn about people and lots of subjects on which to express opinions which do not have anything to do with who's in the White House (or 10 Downing Street.)

Solidus said...

First off, I need to apologise that I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I wasn't at all trying to say that you refuse to listen or don't respect your friends. Rather, I was saying that some of what you wrote could be taken as supporting such a position - and hence that I believed that you had perhaps misspoken yourself to that extent. And I hope that I haven't abused the trust you mentioned by taking advantage of the fact that you left commenting open.

"I'm simply requesting people follow traditional rules of etiquette and not discuss sex, politics, or religion with strangers"

As I said, I agree with you thus far. But the hyperbole did veer somewhat towards wanting not to hear any opinions from other people, or opinions on politics from anyone. I know that you weren't actually saying "I don't care about any opinion but my own." I was saying that you veered close to this position with some of what you wrote. It's part of the nature of such posts and I didn't mean to be overly critical.

"In fact, to claim the only thing of importance about anyone is their vote--which you in effect kind of imply by saying I'm refusing to learn about people by refusing to listen to their opinions about politics--is facile and unfair."

Sorry, I was obviously unclear again - I certainly didn't mean that you actually were refusing to learn from your friends. My point wasn't that knowing someone involves knowing how they vote - you're quite right that that's not necessary or even important. Rather, I was trying to say that, if we know and respect someone, it may be right and proper to seek their opinions on certain matters, even of politics, and to discuss with them (what you wrote implied the opposite, to me). If there are issues we feel strongly about, surely we talk about them with our friends? And it sounds like this is precisely what you express about your friend Cori.

But, as you said, not with strangers.

My guess is that (part of) the reason that politics has become everyday conversation is that politicians have (for whatever reason) decided to become celebrities. And our culture does love its celebrities.

December/Stacia said...

Rather, I was trying to say that, if we know and respect someone, it may be right and proper to seek their opinions on certain matters, even of politics, and to discuss with them (what you wrote implied the opposite, to me).

And I did intend to suggest the opposite, a little bit--for entertainment purposes, I am sometimes more radical/hyperbolic/what-have-you, because I'm trying to be amusing.

But I absolutely agree 100% with the meat of your statement above. I do value the opinions of friends and family. I just prefer to get to know people--and let them get to know me--before getting into the heavy discussions. :-)

We're all good here. I hope so, anyway. No need to apologize for anything.

BernardL said...

I commented on another blog how none of the four candidates involved in running are stupid, racist, traitorous, or any other of the labels floating around out there. Two simply share more of my beliefs than the other two. I don’t know when it began; but somewhere along the line, people decided disagreeing with a political candidate’s beliefs was not enough. Their intelligence, religion, and personal lives now have to be ridiculed. I’ve read this has been going on since the beginning of our country, and only the 24/7 coverage of every single word spoken makes our times different. I agree with you, D. It's bad business to destroy one's livelihood over a political campaign. I am certain Hollywood Agents would prefer clients, they represent to the public, keep their opinions private.

laughingwolf said...

exactly so, dee!

blessings for putting it so succinctly!

now: get EVERYONE you know to put an end to the ill-formed 'orphan works bill' [promoted by google, btw] in front of your lawmakers right now... or EVERY creator of ANY piece of art will 'get it up their collective ASS' about who owns YOUR copyrighted works GRRRRR

i fear it'll soon be the same in canada, and the rest of the world, unless WE ALL put a stop to it!

December/Stacia said...

Exactly, Bernard. I actually quite like both Barack Obama and John McCain. One may be more "my type", if you know what I mean, but I honestly believe they're both good, intelligent men who will do their best for the American people. Perhaps that's why I find the hyperbole particularly upsetting this time around? I just wish we could say "I don't agree with so-and-so; in fact, I think s/he's dead wrong. But I appreciate that they really believe this is for the best, and they're not bad people just because they disagree with me." You know?

Oh, YES, Laughingwolf. Now THAT is an issue people should hear about. Like I said, if an issue comes up that affects actors, I am interested in what they have to say about it (in other than the this-affects-us-all sort of way.) It's like how I have a link to PROTECT; I believe in what they're doing. But that's not a "political" issue, if you know what I mean.

Appreciate the reminder though. :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Pretty much my thoughts exactly. I either get irriated or just laugh, depending on my mood, when some celebrity comes on and tells me how to vote, or how to raise my kids, or how to this or that. Their opinions are less than nothing to me. Sure, I might like them as an actor but what does that have to do with anything about politics?

BernardL said...

If you’re easily entertained, there’s humor in the exchanges going on these days. Person A states they disagree with XYZ’s stand on an issue, because Person A doesn’t like that form of whatever. Person B, who can’t think of an answer to refute Person A’s stand, comes up with a reply like, ‘yea, well you’re a fat idiot’, as if the phrase works as a debating point.

As Margaret Thatcher said, “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” :)

kirsten saell said...

Part of me even hates hearing what my family thinks, not because they're not entitled to their opinions, but because they sometimes simply buy the soundbite or read the headline, without bothering to read the article or even think about it. I'm good with people having opinions that differ from mine, but it's exasperating when those opinions are ill-informed or based on falsehoods.

And I think it's getting a lot harder for the average joe to get through the bullshit and down to the nitty gritty, because it seems every media outlet has one agenda or another, even in Canada.

Case in point: Last election the headlines proclaimed Prime Minister Stephen Harper soulless and a bad father because he shook his 10 y/o son's hand *gasp!* on the first day of school. Um, think about it, people. What 10 y/o boy wants to be hugged by his dad in front of all his school friends and the freaking national news media? And *shock to end all shocks* the news media never mentions he's there at his kid's hockey games, lacing his skates for him and cheering him on--something I know because his kid's team regularly plays against my nephew's team.

It's just so hard to get unbiased information these days, I'd rather not know anyone's opinion about politics.

Robyn said...

And this is why I love you. There's been a lot of heat, but not much light. And I want to go hide somewhere until it's over, I do.

But I'm exercising my right to tell entertainers I don't give a crap what they think. Especially when they are shocked to realize there are both black people and crackheads in Alaska.

Seeley deBorn said...

Canadian media outlets with agendas?? No! KIS, say it ain't so!

Me, I think people take politics a bit too personally. Just because I think something about Jack Layton is a bit shifty doesn't mean I think my MIL is. And since I tend to take things a little less than seriously, I find it best that I not mention politics to most.

kirsten saell said...

Jack Layton? Shifty or not, the man has the front teeth of a little fluffy rabbit. Just sayin'.

pacatrue said...

I used to have a very similar take, but it's been modified recently. At some point, exactly because of some of the demonization involved in politics, I decided maybe I should make my opinions known a bit more. The turning point for me was the series of state amendments barring same sex marriage in the U.S. I kept getting the feeling that people who opposed same sex marriage too easily thought of those who supported it as immoral, untraditional, or some other huge negative. And so I decided maybe I should periodically mention that I think same sex marriage is a good idea and say why. I try not to say "this is what you should think or you are evil", but I don't know if I succeed.

If people think I'm not a total idiot, then they might be more inclined to remember that supporters are not all evil: Maybe if Paca thinks it's okay, then I at least can consider the arguments again and decide for myself. Nope, still think he's wrong.

When we have no idea who believes what, it's really easy to make up the people we disagree with to be what we want them to be -- usually someone very very bad.

However, I try to keep such thoughts only to certain situations. I will mention them on my blog and on a political blog I frequent. I do it on my blog because I view that as a place designed for me to share what's on my mind. So I do. But after that I keep it nice and quiet. I really try to avoid political topics in any situation with friends and family, especially family.

I do think your and my view of politics as a particularly private matter, almost like religion or sex, is something of an American point of view. At least my mother in law who is French, basically, often comments how Americans hate any conversation around politics, where in France it might be a relatively appropriate and polite conversation topic.

December/Stacia said...

Oh, kis, I so know what you mean. Sometimes when people make comments I can't help thinking, do you really feel that way, or did you hear a soundbite and decide that sounded good? Have you really put a lot of thought into that?

And as far as the handshake...all these years later I am still stunned about a letter they printed in People after Princess Diana died. The writer was furious that the day after their mother died, Prince Charles had the gall to drag those boys to church. How dare he! What a sleaze. My mouth literally fell open when I read it. Um...a lot of people I know consider it not only appropriate but good and comforting to go to church after a death. It's not like he took them to a garden party; it was church, ffs. Amazing the things people will gripe about.

Don't know much about Canadian politics, though; they report on it here even less than the US press did.

Lol Robyn! I remember hearing Julia Roberts refer to Charlotte's Web as a "lost classic". Um...duh?

Yes, people do take it too personally, Seeley, absolutely. Very upsetting.

See, I totally get what you're saying, Paca, and for the record I think there's a big difference between saying "I'm for gay marriage" and saying "Anybody who isn't for gay marriage is a homphobic piece of shit", you know? I'm also for gay marriage; I believe I went on record with that here on the blog a while back (and even if I wasn't for gay marriage I would be for gay marriage because I am for marriage in general; it would be hypocritical of me not to be for gay marriage too). And I think it's fine to say things like that. I'm not averse to hearing opinions so much as I am averse to the tone that so often seems to be used, you know? And there are issues like that, that I think are good to get out there and discuss in a non-threatening and non-vicous/hyperbolic way. It's the blame stuff I dislike, the casual jokes and comments that are just rude and insensitive.

And yes, I think it is a particularly American POV. But I'm an American, so... :-)

December/Stacia said...

Right, Charles. Just because I think you do a good job on screen doesn't mean I admire you in any other way or value your opinion. I don't know you, or anything about you, so why should I care?

And yep, Bernard. It feels like they're not actually forming opinions, just repeating what they've been told by some pundit. I knew a girl once who blamed George Bush for the fact she couldn't get a job repairing guitars. She'd gone to a school to learn to build guitars; the school offered no job placement and flat-out told students "Unless you have real connections you're going to have a hard time." But according to her, when Clinton was Pres she had a job, so obviously it was all GWB's fault. Um...when Clinton was in office she was a phone psychic. Those jobs are still out there. It's not like guitar repair was a huge growth industry under Clinton. But she was dead serious. Amazing.

Michele Lee said...

*tear* You had me at "none of your fucking business". Don't get me wrong I love intelligent discourse, even political because socioeconomical issues often are very closely tied to politics. But I have yet to see an intelligent discourse out there. All I see is "I'm voting for so and so and you're a fucking idiot and voting for the end of the world if you don't".

I don't like Palin's politics, but I REALLY don't like people referring to her as a devil or the Antichrist. Give me a break. All the pressure to vote and to vote for certain people, makes me want to just turn the world off and not vote at all. You aren't going to convince me with songs and celebrities. You're going to prove that I'm nothing but a number and make me want to flip the whole system off.

Ugh, I hate politics.

December/Stacia said...

Exactly, Michele. I don't agree with everything ANY politician says, to be honest; they're politicians. But I'm tired of them being vilified. It's unimaginative and alarmist. And it only makes the people doing the vilifying look kind of silly.

The hubs and I are recording and watching the debates; I though Biden and Palin both aquitted themselves well, personally. I found them both intelligent and personable; they both each said things I liked and agreed with (as well as things I did not like and did not agree with). I haven't watched last night's debate yet (and we missed the first one) but from what I've seen the same is true of both Presidential candidates. Can't we just be proud of that, and focus on the political arguments and facts, instead of namecalling?

It reminds me of the uproar in some pagan circles when Benedict was named Pope, do you remember? There were groups insisting he was the Antichrist and would bring about the end of the world, and it's like, dude, how much power do you think these people actually have?


Anna J. Evans said...

Living in an area where I've heard the phrase, "who wants an 'n-word' for president" tossed around with alarming frequency (often by sweet stay at home mommies and little old ladies who look like they've spent their lives taking care of other people), I've felt driven to state my own political views. Not to argue with these people, not to get on my high horse and call them racist asshats or fools, but simply to stand up for what I believe in.

I could choose to say nothing and I'm sure that would make everyone, including me, more comfortable. But I think that just that one small voice, saying "I'm not on that bandwagon, sister" might make a difference to someone. It might make them think. Not because I"m so smart, but because I am a person they know. Who loves her children, who is honorable and honest, who makes contributions to the community...but who's not going to be voting they way they vote or believing what they believe.

Because, not everyone is as intelligent as you are, December. Some people are indoctrinated from the time they are tiny and reach middle age without ever questioning what their southern upbringing in a very isolate and homogenous (sp?) community has taught them. If I can give them even a second's pause by sharing my view when political issues arise in conversation, then I feel it's worth the awkwardness.

And I think a lot of people have become more vehement in recent years because so much is at stake. I honestly feel despair when I think about more of the same when it comes to our country's leadership and the effects a completely conservative Supreme Court (which would likely be the result of a McCain presidency) would be upon my and my children's future. I think a lot of the rights my mother and her generation fought for would be lost, and that scares me enough to speak up, and to put little icons on my blog that people can choose to click on or not to click on.

I believe in conducting myself with grace and class, but there comes a time, in my opinion, when manners can become a luxury I can't afford. Of course, I was raised in a culture that told women to stay quiet and pretty, so perhaps I'm just reacting against that. I want to be pretty and classy, but sometimes, damn it, I don't want to be quiet. And if someone doesn't want to hear what I have to say, they can always walk away. I certainly won't chase them I am far to fat and pregnant to run that fast.

Anna J. Evans

December/Stacia said...

Anna, there's a huge difference between responding to the disgusting comments of others, and injecting your political views into conversations that have absolutely nothing to do with politics--or any issues at all, for that matter. Someone who makes a racist comment about Obama has in effect introduced the topic; by all means respond. I'm just saying it I prefer people not bring up the topic at all.

You are of course free to say and do and link to whatever you like. I'm simply explaining why I choose not to (PROTECT is a non-partisan advocacy group.)

writtenwyrdd said...

I don't care what your opinion is, either! (We have so much in common, lol.) But sometimes we all vent or share unwisely, whether on the blogosphere, at work or in our personal lives. Discussion about big issues is one thing, but I also find it incredibly boring and stupid to have discussions about political candidates. Because no matter what anyone else has to say, I'm going to form my opinion without their assistance, and I don't care what they think either. Not really.

I'm obviously rather liberal according to my blog; and I don't care who knows it. But I try not to go all whoop-ass political there. It put me off Orson Scott Card somewhat to hear his opinions when I disagreed with them so much. I take that as a word of caution for my own self.