jetsetgreen

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bygones?

One of the worst parts about election season is finding out what all your friends and family believe politically.

Isn’t it terrible?

You thought they were decent and rational beings and then they are going to vote for who? Part of you wants to go back to when you didn’t know and all was right with the world.

I’ve even been guilty of it, snooping around on blogs and coming across arguments or links that made me think, “They are out of their skulls.” Of course, I immediately laughed at myself, sure that those friends were thinking the same of me.

The truth is that both of the candidates are good people. They are both intelligent people who more or less want the best for the country; they just disagree slightly on how to get there. There are so many lies and silliness flying around right now, from arguments about how many residences one might own, to false accusations of anti-Americanism. It’s ridiculous, and I hope that none of us are pandering, believing, or spreading the spin.

OK, fine, I will draw one line: stop spreading the lies that Obama is Muslim. He’s not. And even if he were (he’s not) I would expect that those of you who KNOW what it’s like to experience religious bigotry in the public realm, quite recently, and with a beloved candidate from our own midst, ought to know better.

I’ve been thinking about this curious pre-election tension, how do we get back to being chummy friends and neighbors when things get heated? Relationships, families, and our civil society feel like they’re being rent apart during elections. I’m not going to say it’s never been this bad before, because it’s been way, way worse (even in my memory,) and every election has an element of Us v. Them. It is, however, time for the fever pitch.

So how do you put it all behind you the day after?







Remind me to tell you about the lady at the grocery store who elicited gasps from the other shoppers because that was a spectacle to unite us all. Oh, and the Filthy Padawan has struck again. Stay tuned.

37 comments:

i i eee said...

Because if all of us agreed on EVERYTHING, then every one of us would be out of our robot skulls.

I think we are able to put it behind us when we have something that draws us back together. Good things like love and charity. And good TV.

Are you watching Mad Men? I don't think I saw it on your list.

Zannah said...

I've found two things that work quite well. First, I recommend living in a foreign country, preferrably a slightly socialist one with universal health care. (My choice: France.) Who cares that your sister thinks Palin was a good choice when you paid 240 euros for an entire year of health insurance, you have a one euro co-pay, and your prescriptions cost roughly 5% of what they did in the US?

And second, liberal use of the word "huh." So you spent the months leading up to November 4th wondering how you managed to learn to think for yourself while growing up surrounded by people belonging to the Glenn Beck or Andrew Sullivan fan club? "Huh." It's all so very interesting... "huh."

Mrs. Dub said...

Word. I find it's good to respond with a compliment, like, "You make great brownies." It's a subtle way of saying, "You are clearly crazy." But instead of a fight, you sometimes get a tasty treat out of it.

p.s. They are crazy.

compulsive writer said...

I know what you mean. Someone at work completely gave me a hard time yesterday when I mentioned I was going to write in Stephen Colbert.

I'm OK with someone disagreeing with me--especially when I'm not really keen on any of the candidates. But when others make assumptions about what I believe or about my intelligence because of how I feel about certain issues (or worse--because others who might believe the same way are a little crazy over it) then it crosses the line.

I agree that it's OK to agree to disagree and that we ought to do it respectfully of one another.

(That said, please don't tell my grandmother I'm campaigning for a Democrat. I don't want to get cut out of the will.)

Fig said...

Ditto and amen and I've been thinking all the same things. So, ditto and amen.

The feistier you get during the campaigns, the crappier you're going to feel after the election . . . unless you "win", of course. I try to keep that in mind.

The Muslim thing has me so peeved I'm cross-eyed. A recent comment on Dooce said "given a choice between stupid and Muslim-supporter, I'll take stupid any day of the week and twice on Sundays" or something like that. I almost spontaneously combusted.

sue-donym said...

I'm still too upset that you gave Summer the kiss off to even comment on this topic.

Emily said...

And even if he was Muslim...
How come the good Muslim people in the world aren't revolting that Americans hate them so? That's right, I said the good Muslim people of the world. There are oodles of them. It's a religion!

Emily said...

Maybe I should rephrase that:

It wouldn't bother me AT ALL if Obama were a Muslim (he isn't).

compulsive writer said...

Not a fan of Obama (not a fan of anyone right now), but what gets me is that so many of the people going on about the Muslim thing are some of the same people who got incensed when people were going on about the Mormon thing with Mitt. Hello?!

But I'm with Sue. I'm voting still voting for the Indian summer.

La Yen said...

I am glad that you are still friends with me.

Rynell said...

I'm tired of all the ridiculous emails I get.

I'm having trouble liking either candidate.

The grocery store incident sounds like loads of fun.

lj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lj said...

i just assume anyone voting for mccain/palin is smoking crack. it works out really well for me.

wendysue said...

Seriously? He's NOT muslim? 'cuz someone (nameless) totally told me that the only reason he'll win is because of terrorist backing. . .


I'm not even kidding.


My eyes could not roll high enough.

Sue said...

See, when you refuse to discuss it, then there is no post-election awkwardness.

It's a trade-off.

Michelle said...

I think I gorge myself with food and watch ridiculously entertaining movies till I'm completely numb and even tempered. It worked in 2004!

kiki said...

I don't get as worked up about politics as other people do, mostly because I'm not very eloquent when it comes to that topic. So I just don't talk about it. I know what I want and don't want. I never listen to political commentary because it's stupid. I just want to read the news. I don't care about what's happening in their personal lives. I just want to know what they are going to do for the country. I don't care where they came from. I just want my Vice President to know more than I can learn in the news and to be able to string together words that form a coherent sentence that is a response to the question asked.

citymama1 said...

namaste: the light in me, sees the light in you. And all that hokey stuff.

It helps me. We each have light and importance, even if we disagree.

April said...

Whomever talks loudest wins, right? ;)

I try to only talk about it with the people I know are mostly in agreement with me. That way our fervor doesn't scare anyone else.

Amy said...

Oh wow. Try working for a company that has come out against Proposition 8 while belonging to a church that has spent $$$ advocating it. We love California and Google and the Church. Blast.

Stephanie said...

hahahaa to the person who said anyone voting for the mccainster/tinafey is smoking crack.

i don't talk about politics with my extended family. they are not going to change their minds, i am not going to change mine.

plus, i leave within walking distance of most of them, so i can just egg their political signs at my leisure.

TX Girl said...

I just deleted a friend's blog off my list. I would become physically ill every time I read her blog and the ridiculous nonsense she would write about. I decided in order to maintain our friendship I had to pretend like her blog no longer existed.

Mind you, it isn't because I don't think she should have her own opinion. It has more to do with her methods and delivery.

Azúcar said...

It's a rough time of year for getting along.

fijiangirl said...

No kidding azucar!... honestly I don't have faith in either candidate so I have just focused on issues in my state that I personally feel are important.

Kalli Ko said...

vote for nader!!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

My family...oh, my family. Daily I get the "Obama is a Muslim! Run for your lives!" e-mails from someone in the fam. (Still trying not to judge them for their intense ignorance and stupidity.) When it's the fam, I can't put it behind me. When it's intelligent individuals, I am happy that we all have brains and can think for ourselves.

(This is why I am an Independent.)

Geo said...

Kum bah yah, my Lord, kum bah yah . . .

Fig said...

So, since I just encountered a blog with ludicrous, misinformed, UNinformed, and just plain stupid reasons for voting McCain . . .

What do you do when someone's reasoning is moronic? I mean, it's one thing when someone is educated on the issues and has a fairly lucid stance, and they're voting the opposite of you. I can handle that and hold my tongue just fine. But when you see people who are simply idiots . . . do you still hold your tongue?

Azúcar said...

I do a little mental calculation:
How tired am I?

How crazy is the other person?

Do I have even a snowball's chance of actually opening their mind?

Even if I make the most even-handed arguments would they respond irrationally?

Is their intent to inflame and incite instead of explore and dialogue?

Can I express myself in a way that doesn't feed the fire?

Will I get too emotional for my own well-being?

After I've answered those questions, I know if it's worth responding.

La Yen said...

My grandma just told me not to vote for Obama because:

1. His middle name is Hassan (not true. It is Hussein.)

2. He is a Muslim. And we don't want one of THEM in the White House. I told her that, just like everyone, there are good and bad Muslims. She told me "Well, then they can be good or bad somewhere else--I want to be FREE. And you know how they hate freedom!"

She is almost eighty. So she gets a pass. I changed the subject to Uncle Mitt.

morganmoore said...

Um...I have a confession.

I don't give a flying rat's ..... about politics. Can't I just go and sew something and call it a day? Or make something chocolately? Because that makes me happy.

Can we still be friends?

fijiangirl said...

what do you think about people who are voting for Obama just because he is black? I actually know some.

Rory said...

Ummm... pretty much the same way I feel about someone who would vote for Sarah Palin just because she's a woman...I really liked the comment from someone above that said the candidate needs to know more than I can lean from the newspaper. That sums it up for me (although it has opened up interesting new career possibilities for us all...)

Rachel said...

so true. so true. so true. but shucks, golly gee whilackers, and okey dokey----we gotta pick a candidate who loves america like . . . argh...

Lucky Red Hen said...

I don't believe in politics and I don't know WHAT I believe these days (can't seem to be pushed far enough in either direction to take a stand, it seems). That's how I reason ;)

Em said...

Hi Azucar,
I found your blog through cjane's and I LOVE this post.

I've wanted to do a political post of this kind, but have been too scared of the backlash I would get, so I thank you for yours.

Recently I sent my uber-conservative fam a diplomatic email requesting that they stop sending vile anti-Obama emails that don't include his own sources as well. (Those are the only ones I get--no anti-mccain stuff flowin' my way.) I got a scathing reply from an uncle-in-law accusing me of supporting a baby-killer. I ignored it, but people are wacked when it comes to politics, esp. in such a tight race.

Thanks again for this post!

bethanne said...

I am a registered "non-partisan" in California. I find politics so exasperating. I agree with you heartily that both candidates are decent men who have good intentions. I have to admit that Sarah Palin makes my skin crawl and I am reminded that although we share motherhood and some form of Christianity in common, I am no hunting hocky mom and my husband (an avid republican) is no "six -pack joe". I don't like to "argue" over politics but I believe that dialogue is very important. I also don't trust or take the opinion of anyone seriously is they believe every democrat or every republican is evil. Too narrow minded for my taste. Thanks for your post. I think more people feel this way than wil readily admit.