There are certain days in a persons life when I feel it’s imperative to say what you want- what you NEED to say despite the fact that you know everyone around you may not want to hear it. (My brother calls this “day” EVERYDAY). I call this day, today.
I’m tired of people who email me telling me I’m going to hell based on my political views. I’m tired of the notion that a mere mortal feels they hold the keys to my pass into heaven- and more specifically, feels like I would ever want to hear that they don’t think I’m getting in because we disagree on whether government should be able to tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her own body.
I’m tired of “liberal” being a dirty word. I’m tired of hate speech and terrorist innuendo. I’m tired of crowds fighting and people yelling things that make me cringe. I’m tired of the notion that if a black person- such as Colin Powell is voting for Obama, it has to be race related. Or that if someone is supporting John McCain it’s because they are racist.
I’m tired of the surrogates. Gosh, I’m tired of them. I’m tired of interviews that don’t tell me anything, speeches that leave me wanting more, commercials that do nothing to elevate the political conversation.
I’m tired of Joe the Plumber. I’m tired of the words “reformer”, “maverick”- I’m even tired of the word “change”. I’m tired of people assuming that if you like Obama then you are young and naive and that if you like McCain that you are out of touch or clueless. I’m tired of people assuming that people who support either candidate are uniformed. Sometimes people ARE informed, they just don’t feel like spouting statistics and reciting voting records. Sometimes people just want to say who they like and leave it at that. And sometimes? People don’t even want to talk about who they like. Because “The Hills” was on last night and Audrina is going through some major shit that needs to be addressed.
I’m tired of all of this. But I will keep watching, keep reading, keep learning. Because I know, that despite the divides that politics can create, despite the unrest, the strained tension that can develop, politics ultimately DO bring out the good in people if we let it. Politics allows us to put our heart on our sleeve, to illustrate what we believe matters. It allows us to talk of subjects we have views on but may not know how to bring up- topics of abortion, of gun control, of government size, of wars and the environment. It provides the perfect opportunity to believe with every ounce of yourself in something outside yourself.
Politics brings out great people- it’s given us Churchill and Trudeau, Mandela and the Kennedys. Politics has provided a platform to address social injustices- to highlight inequalities in our world and change them. It’s given voice to those who did not have one. Politics has spurred revolutions that made the world better- movements that changed the place we call home.
Politics is messy. Sometimes it all hurts my brain. Candidates promise things they will never be able to give us, yet it’s the promise we keep to each other- to keep talking about the world and the changes we want to see in it that keeps me coming back. No political party is perfect, no candidate is a Messiah and everyday I find something in the news that makes me want to drink enough gin to fill a bathtub. But I don’t. Because I remember that big changes sometimes come in tiny steps, leaders are found in the crowd, memorable words that define leadership are often found in speeches we never thought we’d want to hear- but did.
So yes, I am tired of politics- but I’ve never been more aware of how much I love it all.