My political views are like a bag of trail mix – there’s all kinds of shit in there. I feel passionately about them, yet I rarely discuss politics with anyone outside of close friends and family. Usually I try to stay away from political talk on my blog, and discourage others from leaving political or religious (including anti) comments. Those things simply have no place here. Yes, we sometimes talk about women’s issues and feminism, but since that’s a given considering the name of this blog, I figure anyone reading understands what they are getting themselves into.
With regards to women’s issues, most of you have a pretty good idea of where I stand. Other than that, I typically keep my political views to myself. If in conversation someone brings up an issue I happen to disagree with, I try to assess the situation and decide whether to shrug my shoulders and give a noncommittal smile, or voice my opinion as rationally as possible. Therefore, I find it annoying when people start yapping about politics (or religion) and just assume everyone agrees with them. Recently I was at my book club meeting, and right from the get go, this woman started bashing Republicans -
“Gawd, I hate them. They’re all so disgusting!”
That’s a direct quote, followed by many more details about how much she hates them, and how awful they are. All I could think was, really? You hate every single member of a political party, and they’re all disgusting? Sure, some Republicans are revolting (I’m looking at you, Rush, you misogynistic ass munch), and so are some Democrats – there are assholes in every group, it’s the way of the world.
Keep in mind this was a book club, not a political group, and none of us really know each other, so it seemed in bad taste to waltz in and declare hate for hundreds of thousands of people (I think she was just an incredibly negative person all around, she had almost nothing nice to say about anyone, including the characters in the book we were reading. Ironically, we discovered about half way through she only made it 60 pages into the 900-plus book, so I have no fucking idea why she even bothered to show up).
I run into this sort of thing more than I would like. Ultra-liberals assume just because I live in Southern California, I must agree with their views. Or people who live in Texas and think because I live in California, I’m a granola head, tree hugging liberal. And people in California that discover I’m from Texas, and then automatically assume I’m a gun-toting, evangelical, right wing nutjob.
I am none of those things. Besides, my husband doesn’t want me to own a gun, he’s afraid I’ll accidentally shoot him.
Here’s the deal, I have a lot of views that are very far to the left, and just as many that land me squarely in the conservative camp. For that reason, I find most diehards on either side don’t want me, which is totally fine. My views are my own, and I accept people think differently. I’m neither on the right or the left, because each group has core beliefs deeply at odds with some of my own (and yes, there are other political parties aside from red and blue, but none with any chance of becoming top dog…yet. With any hope, one day we’ll have other viable options, instead of it always coming down to the lesser of two evils).
I am so tired of all the hatefulness on both sides. When did we lose the ability to rationally discuss things and have an open dialogue? And more importantly, why do so many people adopt this mentality of ‘You’re either on my side or you’re evil’? Opinions, folks. We are all entitled to them, and that’s all they are. It’s fine to disagree, but no matter what ‘side’ you’re on, you really should hear the other one out. How can you know what you oppose if you won’t listen long enough to understand what the other person is saying?
I know the elections are coming up, and a lot of people have their knickers in a knot over it, but November is a long ways off, and I am already sick and tired of all the mudslinging.