10 February 2016

Politics, World View, and Civility

I don't usually write politically-themed posts, because unless we are speaking one-on-one, and you really want to know what I think, I keep things to myself.

Don't get me wrong - I'm a very opinionated, political person.  I am not, however, a preaching type.  I find true discussions about opinions, facts, and philosophies interesting, but if someone preaches to me that a certain thing or person is the ONLY right one, I cannot wait to run away.  I love thoughtful, intelligent political discourse.

I'm not a big fan of politics, though.  Especially the kind that are related to any given presidential campaign.  And I don't know if it's because I'm getting older and grumpier, or if it actually is true, but this way too long campaign season has been one of the worst I can remember.  Not just the sniping back and forth, but the whole world view of the candidates and the lack of common every day civility.

I do believe that it's a mistake to only think about foreign policy to the detriment of thinking about the people in your own country.  Only thinking about your own country is just as bad.  The world we live in right now is truly a global community, whether or not anyone likes it.  You know the recycling mantra, "Act locally, think globally"?  Well, I think it applies to politics as well.

I am philosophically and I guess politically a democratic socialist; however, for my own person, I am actually rather conservative.  That does not mean I am automatically supportive of any candidate on either side.  I am spiritual, if not overly religious, but turned off by evangelically religious types.  I fervently believe that people should be responsible for their own actions, and their own selves.  I also fervently believe that government should help people whenever it can.

I am a one person mass of contradictions, with my own ideas and strong opinions.  I fully expect people to disagree with me, as I fully expect to disagree with them.  I am also only interested in having any conversation about it if it can be done in a civil manner.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not a huge fan of any of the presidential candidates.  I will do my research, and vote for the person who for better or worse, I think is the least of all evils.  I hope with all of my heart that whoever is elected next November will be a reasonable person who can get something done during their term.  I have to say I'm not really very optimistic about it, but you know how it is, hope springs eternal.

Sadly, I don't know the answer to how to make all of this work better.  I do wish the campaign season was not years long, but even with a shorter "official" time, I'm not convinced any of the current crop of people would be any more appealing, or civil than they are.

The other day, I read this blog post, and I think it's right on the nose about what a lot of people (including myself) want to say.  And I had to laugh at this line;

"That's just a sampling of the Democrats.  Let's not even get started on the Republicans."

Yes, I think it's funny.  But deep down, I wish it wasn't *that* funny ...


Vera said...

It's as though you took the words out of my mouth. This has to be the worst campaign season ever...and, like you, I will choose the least of all the evils. But, how sad to have to choose the least of all evils. It is pathetic and saddening.

Araignee said...

I woke up the the news from New Hampshire this morning and couldn't believe it. Wow, just wow. I am so sorry Jon Stewart retired so early. I would love to see his coverage of this election year. It's certainly entertaining but at the same time scary. Really scary.

kathy b said...

I found the link post interesting. I have had ENOUGh of the politics and I realize it is just getting started. I'm praying for our country...for Lent! Praying extra hard.

elns said...

I think your post is great Bridget. I don't think the things you discuss are as contradictory as you seem to apologize for. I think this is actually rational thinking. I as well distrust anything / anyone extreme. I also distrust anyone who says they have some sort of quick method of fixing things. I am a huge fan of civility. Though I know I often need to remind myself to be self aware and a little kinder.

The Well Fed Wheel said...

My thoughts exactly!!!

Mereknits said...

I completely agree, I am not thrilled with any candidate, and I would consider myself a democrat with some conservative views. I think we need to help people plain and simple, but I also think we should teach them how to help themselves. I am trying to stay away from most things political right now, I am frustrated and embarrassed how some of these candidates carry on.
Hugs to you Bridget,

handmade by amalia said...

Politics is a necessary evil, most decent people cannot survive it.