I haven't really ever posted anything political on this blog. I guess expostulating on the state of world affairs isn't my strength, so I don't attempt to do it very often. However, I vote in every election and feel very strongly about doing so. I come from a line of relatives who were highly involved with various civic responsibilities, though thankfully (my opinion) none of them ever really ran for an actual political office. My parents and grandparents always seemed to be volunteering their time for the betterment of society in some way shape or form. My grandmother, especially, continued this sort of work until just before her death at age 98, earlier this year. I have yet to meet another with the same sort of "do it to improve society" determination that she had.
Growing up in this "engaged" family (ack, did I just say engaged?), I always thought it was normal for people to get involved in a cause, even if it meant working with those who held different political or religious beliefs (hell, my family had, at minimum, two very different religions within itself). Disagreement was just a part of a good conversation. Not only was it acceptable, in fact it was expected. Discussing where people differed in their views was a crucial part of my childhood education. Don't get me wrong: this wasn't always easy, and sometimes it really sucked, but this sort of thing taught me a great deal.
I realized something sort of funny a few weeks ago while hanging out with a buddy who was the best man in our wedding. If I based my friendships on agreement in political affiliation, I literally would have had NO groomsmen! These are four of my very closest friends, two from high school and two from college. I don't think it occurred to any of the five of us that our friendship was somehow impacted by my "different" political views. I guess we're all able to see a little bit of both sides of political arguments, and we don't let it get in the way. I can pick right up with any of these guys at a moment's notice, no matter the time, place or situation. In spite of their unfortunate thoughts on certain issues (and they're all WRONG! haha), I can't imagine not having these four guys as good friends.
And yet it seems this country is completely torn apart by politics. Why? Is it turning into a civil war of sorts? I'm not sure. What I do know is that I think our society needs to learn how to have a good, healthy argument without completely losing its cool. We all need to be more comfortable disagreeing with each other. Where's the joy in a good discussion unless there's disagreement leading toward growth? I don't think I'm being too idealistic when I ask this last question.
Well, the election coverage on the network television station I tend to watch started about 50 minutes ago, so I should go see what's going on. I hate this part of the night, but I'm looking forward to the end of the political advertisements and telephone calls.