I was reading the comments in a blog I regularly follow the other day from a post where this blogger lightly touched on politics but basically said that she agrees to disagrees and really tries to stay out of all of the anger and over-passion behind politics. It was a neutral post for most purposes. She did mention in the post that she identified herself as a liberal. But one of the comments was one of those anonymous ones where the reader stated that she always loved to read her blog but she was so dismayed to learn that the blogger was liberal. And she ended with a statement that she wasn't sure she could continue reading the blog because of the blogger's political beliefs. And, I believe, she stated something to the effect of "I always viewed you as so self-reliant, I just assumed you were conservative."
I don't always get so irritated with comments like these. I realize there are trolls out there. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I felt so indignant for this blogger. One of the reasons I love her blog is how independent and strong she is, how she has overcome so much in her life with a medical diagnosis that would bring down most people. But her ability to be self-reliant? What do politics have to do with that?
I identify myself as a liberal, a Catholic, an attorney. These three traits often bring out some sharp criticism from others. But I also identify myself as a wife, a mother, a sister, an aunt, a friend. I write on my blog about my life, my beliefs, etc. However, I make it a point to not push any agenda. Yes, I'm Catholic, and I will not hide that fact because it makes up everything of who I am. But I respect all beliefs. I am not about to say "if you aren't Catholic, then what you believe is wrong." I am liberal. I mostly vote Democrat, though I believe the smartest way to vote is based on the tenants that candidate embodies, not just on party lines. But I respect all other political beliefs. Who am I to push my beliefs on others?
Would I ever stop reading someone's blog because they, one time, mention they believe in something I don't? If I discovered that someone believed in a different God than I do, believed in a different political parties platform than I did, I wouldn't stop reading that person's blog. I read blogs because I like the writer, I like who they are, as a person, not as a label.
Granted, no, if someone was just writing blatant "I hate Catholics, Catholics are bad" statements in their blog, I wouldn't stick around. I mean, that's just intolerance. If someone is saying "all liberals are stupid," yeah...no, I'm not reading that. But if someone mentions "hey, I'm a libertarian," I'm not going to say "oh heck no! I'm not reading this conservative propaganda anymore!" Especially when that person isn't pushing any kind of agenda at all. Or if, in that same blog, they are writing about how their beliefs and I choose to not read that post because of it, do I leave a comment saying "I loved your blog until I found out you didn't believe the same thing I did." What's the point of that? Just stop reading. And move on.
I have friends, in real life, blogging, etc., who will "like" a candidate I don't on Facebook all the time. But I don't unfriend that person because I suddenly realized they don't believe what I believe. If they are a good person, and I like the person they are, why would that even matter to me?
It just frustrates me. And this is what frustrates me about politics in our country. Tolerance, why can we practice this more often? Why can't we see past the labels and see the person?
And for the record, I consider myself to be a pretty self-reliant person. But my being a liberal doesn't play a part in that.
Tolerance, people, tolerance.
And that's all I'm going to say about that.