Sunday, August 31, 2008

Politics

Uh-Oh. This will probably end up messy.

Unsurprisingly, I've been hearing a lot recently about the candidates and their running mates, Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin. Of course the political atmosphere here in Boston is much different than it is in my sleepy town of Pearland, Texas; but as a college voter, disillusioned from media coverage and political speeches (no matter how nice they sound), this post is less about my support for one candidate over the other, and more about my interest in people's response to the political process.

I grew up, like most school kids, being taught to respect other people even when you disagree with them. And as universally as most people agree that "everyone has their own opinion" and "respect" and all this, the second the issue becomes political, tolerance and understanding are tossed out the window. Issues have no perspective, they become either my way, or you're inbred-idiotic-communistic-death-of-america-brainwashed view. What the heck? Why?

In any other context, most people don't feel the need to heave their beliefs on another person: "I'm a vegetarian" "I like Cauliflower" "I'm buddhist". If any of those statements were followed with "You're wrong because--" then most everyone would agree that that person is a jerk, insensitive and narrow minded. But if it becomes "I like McCain's stance on foreign policy" "I am for abortion" "Obama lacks experience" it's no longer an opinion, it's a personal attack on your values, and whoever illustrates the counterpoint is judged in favor of the majority of conversation.

I know it's a bit ramblish (rambly? consisting of large amounts of ramblitude?) but the political system bothers me. Anything more than a vaguery can't possibly be supported by the entire country, or even the entire political party. McCain-Palin is a War Hero and Soccer Mom to some; and a Degenerate and a Greenhorn to others. The point of all this I suppose is that next time you get into a political discussion with someone, keep in mind that they don't believe what they believe solely to destroy america and piss you off. They have honest and, dare I say, VALID reasons for their beliefs, and they are just as personal to them as yours are to you. There are good arguments for both sides of every major issue, that's what makes them issues. The real way to bring about a major change in our country is to quit being so divisive, and maybe work together, novel idea eh?

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Well said. I encountered a similar experience the other day. A friend of mine was telling a personal story about why she feared Israeli soldiers, and thought that Palestine should gain it's own definitive state/country territory, and she was completely torn apart and disrespected for sharing her views. While many people here are respectful and open minded, there are just as many who just feel that they have to be right, and prove all others wrong. It's sad, to be quite honest, but you'll find it anywhere.