I'm so glad the election is over. Not only am I pleased, generally, with the results, I'm just happy that we're on the other side of all the ridiculous arguing back and forth with the people I'm ideologically opposed to, yet also related to; and the ads, of course. There is a weird sort of individual that actually enjoys dissecting all the political ads, but these people are extremely rare and literally make their living off of doing it. The rest of us - particularly those in the over-saturated markets - are just relieved beyond belief.
Personally, I tried to stay mostly on the sidelines this last cycle. Still voted obviously and donated what I could here and there, but didn't do a lot of writing or make any big pitches to the family. When they pitched me, I mostly went with either the smile-and-nod, or just the basic let's-agree-to-disagree tack. I only really gave in to temptation a few times and started trying to refute things being said by my real-life conservatives friends/family/acquaintances, like when one such person was going on about how Obama lies all the time. So, of course, I mentioned that Governor Romney was known for more than a few lies himself, and then I was subsequently challenged to name just one. After stopping for a second to gain my composure, because I almost lost it in a fit of hysterical laughter, I mentioned the accusation about Obama gutting the welfare reform work requirements. This completely confused the person I was speaking with, because they had never heard of it, much less that it wasn't true.
This was a clue. I was dealing with someone living inside the bubble.
Anyway, it bugs me that some of my family (in particular) just can't relate to my point of view. They've asked, practically pleaded in fact, for me to explain to them how on Earth I could be Democrat, or even worse, a liberal. As calmly as I can, I tell them I'm a Democrat because that party aligns most closely with my opinions about governmental policy. I believe in progressive tax rates, placing more of the burden of paying for government on those who can afford it the most; in providing assistance as a society to those with few to no opportunities - not, as the old saw goes, as a hand-out, but a hand up; we should be better stewards of the environment because we only have this one rock floating in space to live on and messing it up is "game over"; capitalism is a powerful economic system and until a better one comes along we should stick with it, but it cannot be an unregulated kind of capitalism - because history shows us that it can be utterly brutal without checks and balances in place; etc.
It's like speaking Latin, though. "but, but... freedom!" I know. I respect that. I like my freedom too, and the thing is I still have it. Here we are freely associating, freely speaking, free to arm ourselves, free to publish, free to go to church or not go to church, free to expect the "security of our persons" (that wretched "Patriot" Act not withstanding), free to do damn near anything you can imagine that doesn't impinge on somebody else's freedoms. Tell me just one "freedom", conservative friend, that we no longer have... "Oh, the freedom to not buy health insurance, duh." Ugh, whatever. How's the air in that bubble? Doesn't it get a little stuffy in there?
So, it gets frustrating sometimes. And sad. Sad that people seem closed off and unwilling toaccept things as they are. I try not to lose sight of my humanity... and theirs. (and, I might add, I always try to question my own opinions and seek out the opinions of others, otherwise it might just as well be me in the bubble). We're all brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, every one of us on this crazy planet, all related, so I try hard to love, even when it's difficult. With that in mind, I posted this on my facebook, explicitly for my conservative friends Wednesday morning after the election. I didn't want to rub it in, but rather provide a soundtrack to what they were feeling, and maybe some hope for the future through the words. I doubt any of them clicked on it...
Desiderata - Max Ehrmann
Another inspirational poem set to music ;) if you like this check out my other vids, feel free to comment.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.