Talking About Politics

To start out, let me admit, I'm tired of talking about politics, and so naturally, I must blog a bit about it.

I'm ready to retire some phrases - "energize the base" is key among them.

I'm tired of local political campaigns in particular, as they've been extra vicious around these parts, and edited like downscale heavy metal videos. Many of them don't seem to have managed to settle on one message per commercial, and so blast you with a laundry list of alleged sins of each candidate sprinkled with refutations of whatever sins they themselves have been accused of. And I'm tired of having an elephant in the room that many people prefer to avoid.

Tonight, my parents phoned to tell me that my crazy uncle (mentioned here and here) is not only "disappointed with my politics," which he and I only spoke of once - in August - but is trying to use that to pressure my parents and younger brother into voting his way. My mother - he's her brother, after all - is particularly upset at this seeming division of family loyalty and so a considerable portion of our conversation was spent explaining my view on politics. It's a view I've tried to express to students who ask about such things, as well.

It goes something like this:
I don't care who you vote for, really, as long as you vote your conscience. I don't expect you to think like I do or to do what I do. I gave up the idea that I'm right about everything awhile back, and often don't see where I am wrong even when it's staring me in the face (or pointed out to me time and time again). Generally speaking, I think the only difference between Republicans and Democrats is what they say to justify behaving in reprehensible ways. And so, I won't tell you who I'm voting for. Unless you ask, in which case, I assume you can deal with a difference of opinion. And I won't ask who you want to vote for because I like a difference of opinion a little too much for most people.
So I'm tired of talking politics, even as I recognize this is a vitally important election (I won't go so far with the hyperbole about it being the most important one in my lifetime). I'm tired, because politics is a strange taboo, and I like poking at taboos, but I get tired of apologizing for it.

So good luck on election day. I'll pack a bag and plan on leaving a forwarding address in case of surprises, and otherwise, I'll expect that the world will march on pretty much as it does now come Wednesday morning.


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