Friday, September 14, 2012

Caring About Politics

I've spent the week sick in my house (so grateful to my thoughtful children who so readily share their back-to-school germs with me) and I've been watching the news with growing dread and frustration. I couldn't help but feel indignation as our embassies and diplomats are attacked. And then the other day a friend posted a thoughtful opinion about politics on Facebook and immediately one of her other friends whom I do not know, posted a comment with the iconic frown face :( and a plea to keep politics off Facebook. The original Facebook status was not insulting to anyone. She did not include any of those horribly inappropriate and offensive comments such as "All liberals are baby killers and should die." or "All conservatives are gay bashers and should die." These types of comments have no place in political discussion or any discussion and if we want to have any friends at all they should be avoided. Though saying something against one candidate or another does not fall into this category, unless one crosses the line and says they should die. In this case, my friend posted her opinion--her well thought out, honest opinion.

We've heard the maxim our entire lives, avoid discussions of politics and religion in social situations. We wouldn't want to get heated. We don't want to offend. We want to be friends with everyone. Facebook, the popular "Friend" place where the people from high school that wouldn't even acknowledge my existence then  now want to be my "friend", is the place we gather and share the information from our lives. It's the ultimate social situation these days. So, obviously we should avoid discussions of politics and religion. Right?

At the risk of offending someone, I beg to differ. Why not share the most important thoughts on Facebook? Why can't we step it up a level and have better discussions? The internet and social sites like Facebook and Twitter now let everyone share their opinions. If we do share, with respect to one another, can't we help shape thought and political dialogue for the entire country? Don't you care at all?

Personally, I don't get offended by someone else's political opinion. I don't really care if you're right or left or centrist (OK, let's not go too far, I genuinely hope most people are closer to my own opinion--don't we all). I care that you care. It's a big election year. It's important. There are very different choices that may impact our country that we love and our freedoms. And wishing it will just go away so that you can go back to posting about football rivalries and your latest hair cut on Facebook, is not going to change the fact that  in two months you will get the blessed opportunity to vote for the candidate of your choice. Please educate yourself. Make a good choice. Care. Just a little. Please.

My niece posted this graphic on Facebook just this morning and it so perfectly summed up my thoughts that I nearly didn't write this post at all.


Rheanna said...

Fabulous post! There are many days when I feel like you should write a book :o) You always say things in that perfect way!

Diana Alm said...

Glad you posted this. Glad you gave me the encouragement and validation too! Geez...I didn't even write anything specific. Imagine that. OH and I was DEfriended. Its ok though. We hadn't spoke in the "real world" for like 8 years. Ha!

Mom of 12 said...

I'm with you! I posted something sort of like that yesterday on my blog. I don't care how people vote, but educate yourselves and then get out there and do it! People have given their lives for that right. The least we can do is take 20 minutes out of our busy days once or twice a year and head to the voting booth.