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Day 6: Why am I so quiet?

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Politics. Normally, I choose to keep my mouth shut.  Except for today.

Yes, it’s an important day. Yes, everyone has their own opinion about the candidates, about their views, about their lives, preferences, ears, names, religions, and practically everything else down to the most agonizingly minute detail. But the maddening oxymoron of November 6 is that we all run around naked, screaming about our god-given voting rights as American citizens, praising the military fallen or deployed or retired, shoving our governmental opinions down one another’s throats whilst loudly condemning anyone else that dares do the same TO US. It’s a damn mess. So I made the conscious choice to stay the fuck out of it.

Whoa, the snark came out.  See, this is why I NEVER TALK ABOUT IT. It pisses me off.

Peach + Politics + Social Media? No, thank you. I have stayed away from posting anything political on Facebook or Twitter AT ALL.  Like, ever.  I hold my political beliefs close to my chest, like a woobie. They are mine and no one else can tell me they are awful or stupid or wrong.  Instead, I would rather stand back and laugh my ass off and/or scratch my butt in the direction of those that try to force-feed their opinions to the masses.  The more they throw their uninformed tantrums, the worse they make themselves look.  If someone behaves badly enough, I unfollow or hide them from my feed.  Today is the only exception to my self-imposed closed-mouth rule, and all I said publicly was that I voted and everyone should do the same, because it matters.  And to not fuck it up.

Peach + Politics + Family? DISASTER!!!!  My father served in the military for 26 years. He was deployed in everything from Vietnam to Desert Storm, and his serving his country has left him with staunch beliefs that cannot be swayed by anyone or any valid, fact-checked statement.  He will not budge from his loyalty. Not after spending from the age of 18 to 44 giving his life to his beliefs.  And I respect that.

Many years ago, after Dad retired and my brother and I were college-educated and solidly rooted in our own beliefs, what started as a mild political discussion amongst us all turned into a heated argument. Parents vs. brother vs. me. It got ugly. After the tempers were calmed and the feathers were smoothed back down, we made a unanimous agreement that politics were best left out of our family discussion topics.  We’ve held true to that, other than the occasional crack from my brother calling me a liberal weiner and me calling him a right wing nutjob.  (remember this JibJab video???) It’s just better this way. No one dies.

Peach + Politics + Friends? Sometimes. I have a few select friends with whom I feel comfortable discussing politics. If the person I am speaking with demonstrates a willingness to listen to someone else’s viewpoint without a. automatically going on the defensive b. going into attack mode or c. both a and b, we’re good.  If you show signs of doing any or all of those in a discussion with me, I will leave the conversation immediately. Ignorance does not receive my attention or emotion. Bullying me will quickly earn you a vehement and flashy double-bird. Adult conversations involving mutual courtesy, intelligent stances and lively debate? I’m all for it.

Peach + Politics + Dating? Kinda. If I do touch on the topic of politics in dating, it’s only on the surface to see if the guy is anywhere close to my way of thinking. Political party stance is not a dealbreaker, but I think there is something to the belief that having similar viewpoints on the “big” issues DOES matter in a relationship. I tweeted a question this morning to married folks, asking if they discuss their voting choices with their spouse or choose to keep it private. And you know what? Everyone who replied said that they talk with their person about it! Most said that they and their persons usually agree on the voting choice, but sometimes disagree on certain issues. The feedback showed that they enjoy being educated and challenged by one another, but all enforced the importance of solid communication.  There was however, one tweet saying that she and her husband of 18 years have once again canceled out each other’s vote. To that , I say more power to ya, and bravo!

So there you go. I’ve broken my silence about why I (mostly) keep my damn mouth shut about politics. It’s an important topic and I do understand and respect that not everyone takes my gentler approach on the matter. If you shout your beliefs loud and proud today, good for you!  Just be sure you do so with respect to your fellow humans. I mean it. Be nice, y’all.

Because not everyone is as kind as me when dealing with asshats.


18 responses »

  1. It’s a tough line to hold to, particularly if you feel passionate about your beliefs, and take seriously your hand (among 300 million others) on the steering wheel.

    I salute your resolution to think of the bigger picture and focus on people getting along.

    PS How does one scratch their butt AT someone? I probably missed this being done to me a few times.

    • What do I call you? ODIBTG? DSLikesIt? Hey, you? Inquiring minds want to know.

      Hm, anyway, yes it is difficult to stay quiet when my gut instinct is wanting to yell and scream right back at the person of ignorance… but I promise that my beliefs and political role are just as serious as the screamers, even if I choose not to engage them.

      “in your general direction” goes a long way… butt scratching, nose thumbing, blowing raspberries at… it’s a Peach-ism, if you will. 😉

  2. I also choose to keep my political rants off of the blog, it is just much easier this way, as for discussing it in the home my wife and have always talked, sometimes we have different opinions and are adult enough to disagree and vote the way we feel without making it a tug of war so to say.

    The social media is full of people shouting their beliefs and if you don’t agree then it becomes a battle if you will play along, I choose to not play 🙂

    • Glad I’m not alone in choosing not to play, Jimmy. Thanks for weighing in. I appreciate the fact that you and your wife communicate and agree/disagree with civility. Nice work.

      • I’m not playing either! Party on the sidelines! Your post reminds me of something my (failed) marriage has taught me to look for in a relationship: the ability to resolve conflict with respect. And your post taught me something my marriage did not, which is that I need to start scratching my butt in people’s direction.

  3. You are so rad, Peach. I agree with you on the sharing, wholeheartedly. I’ve (mostly) zipped my lip on social media about my preferences, and haven’t done any other-team bashing. BUT, on the issue of marriage equality in our state, I am a dog with a bone and cannot be told to sit or stay. Not on that one.

    • Nothing wrong with standing firm for a cause you truly believe in, Melisa! I think I know you well enough to say with confidence that I doubt you are ever malicious or oppressive in stating your belief. Those kinds of people are what I can’t wrap my brain around.

  4. I’m with you…I don’t speak about politics too much. I’m the only ‘liberal’ amongst my very conservative family, and I just don’t see the point of talking about it with them. They will not be swayed by my views and I sure as heck will never be swayed by theirs! But I love ’em anyway 🙂

  5. I thought when you said you were staying out of it I was going to read on and find YOU DIDN’T VOTE.

    Thank sod. I was gonna scratch my butt at you.

  6. Ha! Oh you have a wickedly funny way with words!
    I am also with you when it comes to talking about politics.

    As a side note it looks like you may have created a whole wave of “butt scratcher att-ers”.Good for you. 😉

    • Trend-setting? Me? Sweet! I view butt scratching as the ultimate gesture of indifference. … I’ll just stand here … scratching my butt…. you go ahead and throw a hissy fit. 🙂

  7. What’s a woobie? I applaud your self-control. I have very little – and in part that may be because I come from a long, long line of relatives who share political views – some waaaay left, some mildly left – so it makes it easy for us to snark and talk and compare statistics, without worrying that we’re going to start a feud. But I agree with you whole-heartedly that the level of discourse in the country itself is farcically bad; I wish that grownups in the US would start talking like grownups. Or else they all deserve us scratching our collective asses in their collective faces.

  8. So… I typed up a whole long comment, but then realized that was probably doing exactly what you don’t want. So instead I’ll just try to be brief, and you can ignore me if you like. Yes, I agree that not saying anything at all is much better than yelling or bitter fighting. But I don’t like silence as an end goal, especially within our families.

    That’s just me, though. If I didn’t believe in the goal of talking between entrenched sides, I wouldn’t have instigated and be leading this workshop this weekend intended to bridge the gap in my church between pacifists and military people. I believe fervently that there’s hope in dialogue. But maybe I’m wrong.

    My husband, for what it’s worth, thinks I’m silly. He thinks it better for everyone to mind their own business. It’s one issue we discuss but disagree on. 🙂

  9. hi, you! Of course I value your feedback and I’m glad you spoke up.

    ” But I don’t like silence as an end goal, especially within our families. ” <– I hope you believe me when I say that I don't like it either. That's why I value so much the friends that I have who provide me a safe, compassionate, respectful environment in which to discuss my opinions.

    Just seeing the negativity today from friends on Facebook, some of which shocked the hell out of me, only enforces my resolve to remain the person who will not engage the close-minded.


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