There are plenty of reasons why I don't discuss politics on here or in my everyday conversations. The biggest reason is because I don't have a lot of interest in politics in the first place. By what I've seen, heard and read for the last eight years, political debates are usually pissing contests. Judging by the views I've processed, it would be easy to think that we're all slowly going downhill either on the left, right or down the middle. Yet I don't think we're going totally downhill or totally uphill. Debating the direction we're going seems futile, especially when adults start screaming at each other like they're in grade school.
To my ears, political debates are similar to how people talk about professional sports. They think they can sway matters, but they're not in full control in deciding who goes and who stays. Wouldn't it sound silly if I got all huffy-and-puffy talking about Tom Waits not using guitarist Marc Ribot on an album and debating someone to the death about it? I think so. That's why I don't discuss matters like I'm in a political debate.
What's really difficult about discussing politics is talking about them with friends and family. When Bush was re-elected in 2004, someone very close to me threw me a mean cheapshot: "The right person won." As someone who didn't vote for Bush that year, I wasn't about to throw any cheapshots towards the people that did vote for him, so it hurt. This was a reminder that talking politics can bring out the worst in our hurtful sides. Sorry, but I'm not interested in hurting people like this.
What's even more difficult is having a view that appears to be in the minority around your circle of friends and family. I remember in fifth grade, almost everyone in my class wanted Bush to win over Dukakis. Only one guy wanted Dukakis to win (apparently because he shook his hand at a rally). The boy was teased as it seemed like Bush was the better man by a mile. Looking back, I'm glad he didn't cave in with his views.
Yesterday, a friend of mine posted a MySpace bulletin that I could relate to:
I myself did not vote. Why? I didn't educate myself enough on the issues and facts of the candidates. I just know I fucking hate Rick Perry and that he's got to go. Even then, I felt I didn't know enough. I'm not proud of this fact, and it's a shame I didn't learn more so I could vote.
Whatever you decided to do today, I hope you did what you felt needed to be done.
Reading this was a breath of fresh air, but when I heard that he got "slammed" by others for saying this, I felt bad for him. The way I see it, I have a right to vote and a right to not vote. Both have consequences, so why does one sound so much better than the other? Is voting blindly way better than not voting at all?
I'm not a lemming and I learned some lessons with the 2004 election. I choose to keep these relatively private as I'm not interested in creating an all-out-war with those around me. All I know is this, with word that the Democrats won a lot of races yesterday, a lot of my friends are happy but a lot of the members of my family aren't. I'm not going to choose sides here: they're my friends and family. We can agree to disagree but I disagree in turning political discussions into witch hunts and trials.