Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Do politics matter?

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.


  1. I think the whole un-friending un-following thing over differences is really strange. I had a "good" friend that went around antagonizing everyone about religion on FB, just poking at them until they would debate her and the second they would disagree with the over the top, offensive statements she would make she would automatically un-friend them. I simply "liked" a friend of hers feedback on her post and she un-friended me, her and a few of our other mutual friends. It's so weird to me. We were close outside of the internet world but that whole friendship was thrown away for what? I just don't get it. I think people should be able to say what they want, people shouldn't be so sensitive! Everyone has different beliefs, we should value each others differences not hold them against each other. :)

  2. It all comes down to fear and immaturity, I think. People often react/retaliate in ways like this because they feel threatened. The ability to be objective and tolerant is not innate in everyone. Plus, Facebook and Twitter make it easy for people to be so "bold" in their responses. If a level-headed, articulate person were to confront one of these wildly clicking unfrienders in person, in a verbal discussion, I would suspect the unfriender would be at a loss and shout, walk away, etc.

    If people are going to walk away from a friendship or your blog for something so ignorant, then, I don't mind letting them go.

  3. I appreciate your honesty. In this climate I also appreciate your openness. I am hoping you don't get any hateful people saying things to you. I started moderating my comments because I lean toward the conservative side, and because I am outspoken about my Christianity. Because of those two things I was receiving some very hateful, anonymous, comments.

    While I lean to the conservative side, I am not a dyed in the wool Republican. I refer to myself as a Reagan Republican, but could just as easily call myself a Reagan Democrat (he was a Dem at one time). Like you, I vote for the person I believe will do the job.

    I am sickened by the vitriol on all sides, even the Libertarians are not immune to the hatefulness being spewed. It breaks my heart to see the "rank and file" being so hateful to one another. I've come to expect it of the politico's but not from Main Street, USA. The worst part? I don't think the elections will end it. I think it will only get worse.

    God save us all!


  4. I have a feeling you'll get a bunch of comments on this one. I follow a variety of blogs, some very liberal, some pretty tea-party. I have never left a blog I was following because of political beliefs. Of course, if you read mine, you know I am a moderate conservative (hence Nixon's picture on the banner) and have no idea why anyone could look at Obama's performance (see any of my many posts about how I feel the blood of the Libyan ambassador is on his hands), but I do know that there are some out there who can have legitimate discussions on the subject.

    I also did a post not long ago about anonymous trolls. If you can't at least put your screen name to the comment, what is your opinion worth? ZERO. If an anonymous "follower" tells me they aren't going to follow me anymore, I say, "You probably weren't following me in the first place."

  5. Oh friend, I love you for being so indignant on my behalf, but the truth is - I totally rolled my eyes at that one. Every once in a while an anonymous commenter will strike a nerve with me, but most of the time - I think like the commenter above who said that if they can't stand behind what they are saying, their opinion is worth nothing. I honestly don't even know if that person was a real reader, or just a troll. I think they were likely trying to get me to have the reaction you had. People are effing crazy sometimes! I think you are fabulous though, and I totally agree - it is all about tolerance! We don't all have to agree to like each other. Or at least, I don't. If someone else does, well then, I don't really want to be associating with them anyway! ;)


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