(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.