Politics: Bah Humbug!

Forgive me as I try something a little different, but I’m from America and we have some shit going on. I know some of my blog family are overseas, and that’s super awesome, but you might not know what’s going on over here. You see we’re in the middle of figuring out our Presidential situation…

I’m going to preface this by saying that I don’t care what your opinions on politics are: whatever they are, they’re right to you because they are your beliefs.  I’m not in the business of telling anyone that what they believe or think is the right thing is actually wrong – you won’t hear me say anything like that. But what you will hear me say is this:

Can we PLEASE stop tearing each other apart? 

Okay okay, so here’s what’s going on. Come November we will have a new president. In the meantime, it’s all about who will be elected and running against each other head to head. Politicians are campaigning left and right to get voted in and currently the Republican frontrunner is Donald Trump, and the Democratic candidates are Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

From what I gather, older democrats seem to enjoy Clinton’s views and the younger demographic like Sanders. Honestly I couldn’t even begin to tell you what Trump’s demographic is. All I know is that both sides of the parties are being incredibly narrow-minded and cruel.

So here’s what I mean about tearing each other apart:

EVERY ELECTION, not just this one, but every four-fucking-years, co-workers, friends, neighbors, people you meet in retail, the barista you like at Starbucks, the dog thats always humping other dogs at the dog park, they all have one thing in common: they totally disagree with your views on politics and therefore you’re a horrible person.

As I said before, I don’t care what you believe – everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is that. I may not agree with it, but I’ll sure as hell fight for your right to say it as long as you give me the same courtesy.

But you see that’s the thing, when election time rolls around no one wants to give others that courtesy. For example, I was talking to someone at the drug store today who was saying that Trump and his supporters have the right idea. Now I don’t know enough about politics to have an in-depth conversation about it, but I said that as a democrat (or at least someone who is liberal) I would rather Sanders be elected.

This person then proceeded to tell me just how wrong I was by listing every single state that has voted for Trump as the Republican frontrunner and telling me that obviously that means that he’s the best candidate. She said that people like me are the reason that Trump supporters are fighting so hard to get him into power. She told me that he tells it like it is and understands what the people really want. I could go on for another 5 paragraphs explaining what she said to me, but all that matters is that it was condescending and made me feel like crap.

But I left the store thinking, really? I have a different opinion than you so I’m the bad guy?????? How is this fair? I didn’t tell you that your opinions are wrong, but mine clearly are? How?

Look, this might sound bad but I don’t keep up with a lot of current events. I’ve only recently been getting into world-wide news and paying attention to the things that are happening in politics (I’m more of a People Magazine gal). But that doesn’t mean that I can’t have opinions on what’s going on. Nor does that mean that anyone else who has an opinion on what is happening in the world is wrong and can’t have that opinion.

The thing that I’ve always believed is this: Every person is different. Every body is different, every brain is different, everyone’s personalities are different. Why? To conform? To be the same? To have exactly the same ideas? HELL NAW! So that we can be different!

One of my favorite things in the world to do is to talk to someone about their views on a book or a topic and hear what their side is. I don’t want to sit here and only talk about my opinions on the use of German tanks in WWII, I want to know what you think of German tanks in WWII. And how am I going to get that information if we all have the same thoughts? That’s boring as shit.

More importantly, how am I going to get that information if the second I tell you my thoughts on them you interrupt me and tell me that my thought is wrong. I’m sorry, but I’m allowed my opinion and you are allowed yours. So, please, tell me your opinion and I will not tell you in any way, shape or form that you’re wrong. But the second you ask me for my opinion and then cut me off saying I’m wrong is the second that I will turn on my heels and walk away. G’day, sir. Good. Day.

That was a really roundabout way of saying, for real guys, just stop making people feel bad about their opinions. As I said, I don’t care what your views are, but when a group of supporters start berating and harassing people simply because they don’t have the same ideals THAT’S when I get upset.

There is nothing that should make someone be so emotionally or physically violent simply because someone has a different opinion than them. And while, yes, maybe there are exceptions (for example, if someone’s opinion is that they want to break your leg, and you think that’s not such a good idea, then yeah, maybe get the hell out of that situation), but for the most part the majority of arguments going around are with people you see all the time (I’m talking to you, lady at the drug store) and there is absolutely no reason to fight with a cashier about Donald Trump as they scan your Chapstick.

Anyway, that was a giant ramble. But please, please, please, please just be courteous and respectful when you speak to people. Especially if they have different views. I understand that it can be hard to refrain yourself when you feel so strongly about a topic, but that doesn’t give anyone reason to be hurtful or condescending.

Just think about the ramifications before you speak so heatedly to someone. Is it worth it? Is it worth it for you to force your opinions down someone else’s throat just to have them spit theirs back out to you? Is it worth it to get in a fight with your favorite barista in the middle of a Starbucks because he happens to support someone you dislike?

Just consider it. And be kind. Be so kind.

Until next time,

Rachel

e-mail: rachel@booksandcleverness.com

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