24.10.05

A blog change

(sort of like a sea change)

I forget why, but the other day I was looking at the earlier posts in this blog. They were more thoughtful, and a lot more political. I started to ponder why this change had occurred, but got interrupted by lunch with some old friends of my father.

It was at this lunch that the reason hit me: politics today is ugly. This man, who didn't know me or my views, who had just met me, started making comments about people that didn't agree with him politically. Apparently, we're all stupid and evil and in need of converting. The thing is, it's not just one-sided. Both sides feel the same about the other. "How can any right-minded person vote/believe/think that way?" becomes "I must save this person from the error of their ways" or "This is such an evil person I can't be around them" - neither particularly constructive ways of thinking.

There are people on both sides I disagree with. There are people on both sides that I think have ill-informed opinions. And there are people on both sides that I think are only listening to selected news and commentary that only agrees with, and reinforces, their previously held beliefs. Until we're able to have a conversation - not an argument - about things, I want no part of it. I'd rather avoid those people (on both sides) than feel as though my rather centrist beliefs are somehow wrong and therefore I'm stupid and need to be saved.

The worst thing? Because I'm not a knee-jerk, always-vote/tout-the-party-line person, I must belong to The Evil Side. Where is it written that that's the case? I prefer to think of myself as a judge, taking each issue and deciding - based on the merits - what I believe and how I'll vote. It'd be nice if I knew more people that did the same.

6 comments:

Aravis said...

I believe, too, we were in the midst of campaigns and elections when you started this blog, so there was more of a flurry surrounding politics. I know I discuss it less now than before. It's just too disheartening.

As far as voting according to what I believe, I do that as well. I'll have no trouble voting for our Republican governor, Jodi Rell, in the next elections. She had to take over during the corruption scandal surrounding Governor Rowland, and she did a wonderful job regaining the trust of the citizens. Generally speaking the Democrats fall more in line with my thinking, but I'll vote for others if they stand for the same things I stand for. That's why I'm unaffiliated.

Anonymous said...

I have to totally agree. It's come to a point where if you're not a total believer for either side you're considered either stupid or evil. It's sad to say but it appears that only a total calamity ie. Katrina, terorist attack, is when these "true" believers put their ideology aside.
Have a very bad feeling about the next presidential election as unless the middle rises up we're in for four more years of heavy partizan politics which will accomplish nothing except helping the zealots.
Recently met someone who won't travel to Florida because of its election results. I'm sure he's responsible for Wilma hitting it to make them pay for the error of their ways.

Lazygal said...

Anon, don't you mean that God (who must be a liberal Democrat created Wilma to teach them the error of their ways? OTOH, having "faith" is now a no-no, so perhaps not...

Aravis said...

Actually, what I hear most is that God is punishing the liberal Dems and gays with these hurricanes. Gay pride events were to take place in various towns hit by Katrina and the Florida Keys. I've heard more than once that the hurricanes were God's judgment on them.

Personally I don't think anyone, liberals or conservatives, should really be declaring anything God's judgment. It's especially obnoxious when it's for political gain.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately God has been used for political/social gain for centuries and doubt if it'll ever stop.
I also stand corrected as I remember that there were to be gay parades and keep forgetting that He/She is really a conservative. One question though....if Katrina was for the decadent ways of New Orleans isn't He/She a bit behind in the retribution thing?
Just a thought....

Aravis said...

Just to be clear, I do not believe the hurricanes- or any other natural disaster- are God's judgment for anything. That sort of (non)reasoning really drives me insane. And of course God has been used for political/ideological gain for centuries. That doesn't make it valid.