In this highly volatile political climate, I try not to engage in political rhetoric and keep my opinions to myself. I can’t be the only one who was taught there are two things you never discuss in public: religion and politics. Easier said than done these days. So I’m sort of, kind of, possibly breaking one of those cardinal rules by sort of, maybe, touching upon one of those subjects. So, here we go.
I’m not going to tell you where I stand politically. Because this isn’t about that. Although you may be able to figure it out after you read this post.
I tend to keep my outbursts to a minimum and let loose in private by yelling back at the TV while waving my hands around. Again, I’m Italian. Hand talker. I’m expressive, what do you want from me? I’m passionate on the inside.
On those rare occasions when friends or acquaintances do try to engage with me about politics or dare to debate me, I grin, suppress the eye roll and do my damnedest to keep my thoughts from escaping out of my mouth. I have mastered restraining myself from channeling my inner Cher and slapping them silly as I yell, “snap out of it.”
I have friends who are extremely passionate about their political prowess and voice it all over social media. Don’t we all have a few of those? I am a huge proponent of freedom of speech. HUGE! Bigly HUGE! Go ahead and say or type how you feel. Share away. Be prepared for those who oppose your devout opinion, and maybe just maybe stop acting surprised when someone calls you out on the carpet. To witness it all can be entertaining, somewhat frustrating and occasionally extreme. I tend to tune it out. If you are that passionate about politics, why not do something positive about it? Volunteer, get a degree in political science, become a truth seeker, run for office, get involved, or sleep with a politician. Okay, the last suggestion was a joke, but I assume you gathered that. Simmer down inner voice.
Politics aside, I know I wasn’t the only one who was taught to respect others regardless of their beliefs, race, and differences. Was I? You can tell me. We are all friends here. Isn’t that what makes this country so great? I hope civility still has one foot out of the grave. The one thing that bothers me the most is that we are so polarized we stopped listening to both sides. Even though we fully know the opposing side, well, is always wrong. I’m kidding. Last time I checked, facts are still facts and opinions are just that, opinions. Turning a blind eye or making excuses for bad behavior is wrong and so freakin’ annoying. Right from wrong people! Deep down, I think we all know the difference.
There is so much spinning going on I’m dizzy. Blatant facts are dismissed and spun as fake news, and fake news is considered reality. What happened? It all gives me agita (Italian slang for heartburn or mental aggravation). I have enough to worry about in this life. My inner voice is begging me to come out and kick some bootie, but I’m keeping her occupied by focusing on my work and dating men who drive me crazy. Don’t even get me started on that topic because if you follow my blog, you know I have plenty to say on that matter.
I recently read an article and did some research on Ian Bremmer. If you have never heard of him, he is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, the leading global political risk research and consulting firm. A mouthful I know. He’s a brilliant guy. Reading about him and hearing him speak about diversity among college students resonated with me. It’s something that makes sense for all ages.
“Students are just not yet ready to have one perspective. You need diversity of perspectives…Students need to be exposed to the broadest breath of diverse opinions so that they have the opportunity to actually think it through and come to some meaningful conclusions over time. Safe spaces don’t allow them to do that. Academe with people who don’t have real world experiences, don’t allow them to do that. I think that is a real problem.”
On this round, yes round, planet of ours, we all share more than we know. The desire to learn, grow, provide for our families, fall in love, and relish in freedom is universal. We as citizens of the United States can express ourselves, hold true for what we believe in, educate ourselves, stand up for our fundamental human rights, love our country, and even question authority. We need to keep striving to be better. We have always been great just not perfect. Politics is one fraction of who we are as a society. I wish it didn’t divide us at such a high level. It’s as if we are split into two camps: those who love our president and feel he can do no wrong and those who despise him. Where does your allegiance fall and does it fall in the realm of the greater good or just short of your front door? Go beyond the tweets, think about what matters not just to you but to society and the world as a whole. Understand what you support and why. Don’t buy into everything you hear and read. Look at the facts. Maybe, just maybe, we can see past the politics and remember that we all aren’t so different after all.