Confession: I didn’t vote for the candidate who is currently the President of the United States.
And I also didn’t vote for the candidate that won the popular vote.
(I did vote, however. I consider voting to be a privilege and why would I squander a privilege?)
I don’t care for either of them. Didn’t, and still don’t. My laundry list of the drawbacks for each is long. If I lived in a battleground state, I probably would’ve had to make that tough call as to which was the lesser of two evils, but I don’t, so I didn’t vote for either one.
I don’t know how much you’re on social media, but I can hardly bear it anymore. Everyone has a political opinion and they don’t hesitate to share it. But why they don’t hesitate is beyond my worldly comprehension… Once upon a time, before social media, and when I was much younger, politics was something you didn’t talk about, kind of like your age or how much you earned each year.
And you know what? We pretty much all got along. Or at least, we agreed to disagree so we could still all get along.
Speaking of social media, I’m an administrator for a page on Facebook, and my co-administrator is absolutely the polar opposite to me politically. I know this because I’ve seen his personal page and the things he’s posted or commented on. I’m a middle-aged, healthy-eating WASP from a southern Bible belt state, and he’s an old codger, Scotch-swilling, non-practicing Jew from the Northeast.
However, and this is a big however, we never ever, ever discuss politics.
But you know what? We get along like people who value another human being for who they are, and not what their politics are.
I think he’s a hoot. He’s savvy, kind, clear-thinking, big-hearted, and a boatload of fun. I’ve never asked him what he thinks of me, but the rapport we have while we’re busy administrating the page leads me to believe he thinks I’m A-OK too.
Part of what makes America so great is our diversity. Sadly though, it’s now more fashionable to talk about those differences than the things that unite us. Before, we used to understand that the different parts of the body all have their strengths and weaknesses, and everything can be made to function as one.
If we’re supposed to be a nation with common interests and goals, what makes my politics so much better than yours? Or yours “more right” than mine?
Like me, my administrator friend probably has settled on his politics to some degree because of geography and sociology. Of course, he might have intimate knowledge of some economic theory that in practice has been proven, but so much of what we believe has to do with the people around us and where we live. People who live in Georgia are all “rah-rah” for the University of Georgia, just like people who live in Oregon think the Ducks are all that. Georgia fans buy a lot of black and red, and Oregon fans buy a lot of green and yellow things. If Georgia plays Oregon in a football game, it’s understood that the rivalry is friendly-ish and a game is just a game. There’ll be other chances to win in other years.
Why have we forgotten that concept when it comes to politics?
The pendulum will always swing the other way at some point. It might be 2 years or 40, but nothing remains static.
That’s not to say that we can’t fight for the politics we believe in, just… we don’t need to fight each other with sticks and stones. Life is too short to alienate your sister, brother, father or best friend simply because you have differences of opinions politically.
That candidate I didn’t vote for… won’t be president in 20 years. But will my cousin still be my cousin? Yep, and I’ll be happier and more proud to have a relationship with that cousin than I will to have voted for any of the flawed candidates out there. So next time you want to disrespect the President or the popular vote winner, think about what really matters in your life.
Think about who really matters in your life. If making nasty comments about how their political views are “wrong” because they’re not the same as yours causes that person to walk out of your life… are the politics really worth it?
Somehow, in the long run, I don’t think they will be.
Politics are politics, always a shallow, slimy business.
But people… people matter. Much more than your politics… or mine.