This is me. Stepping out of my “political walk-in closet.” I need that much room for all my questions and concerns. I got so discouraged this week after seeing personal attacks on Facebook and NextDoor from people who are supposed to be friends and neighbors! I really didn’t want to write this blog. I write about art, travel and family. I’m writing it anyway because its out of my comfort zone – and all that.
I was raised in a military family, which meant no talk of politics, religion or finances outside of the family. Behavior needed to be civil and unifying at all times. I rarely told anyone who I voted for, let alone:
- put campaign signs in my yard, bumper stickers on my car;
- judge or attack people based on their campaign signs and bumper stickers;
- actually steal/deface those signs and stickers; or
- condemn other human beings through social media.
Surely I’m not the only person who was raised that way!? That’s not to say our dinner table conversations weren’t lively. My Father had a masters in Economics, was a career naval officer and life long Republican. My Mother was a professional artist from Seattle and a life long Democrat. They were together on this earth for 60 years. I used to tease them about how they cancelled out each others votes, but growing up with them made me very open-minded – even about people who are not. It provided me a safe place for thinking about how I felt and developing my own views. It’s also not to say that I won’t point out “fake news” or inaccurate information when I see it, but I do it in a neutral way. As I was saying, I was discouraged. And then I found this:
“It’s so easy to lose faith and become lost in all the politics of the world. That’s why we need the arts. To sublimate our frustration and anger into something beautiful. Freud called sublimation a virtuous defense mechanism because it is in the arts that we can find our humanity.” Kamand Kojouri, writer and poet.
My politics are based on hopefulness. I have voted both Democrat and Republican over the years. The places I lived, the time of my life, the issues I faced and the competence of the candidates all came into play. I resent attempts to box me into one party or another. I look for qualified, fresh faces. Both parties are guilty of extremism, obstructionism, propaganda and having representatives that have been in their positions too long. But there are also people in both parties who are competent and play well with others! Look closely past the mass media hype. Researching the attributes of various political views I found this comprehensive diagram from the book, “The Visual Miscellaneum” by David McCandless of Information is Beautiful. I found myself popping up here and there throughout it. I encourage you to take a closer look at it on line, as its difficult to reproduce legibly in a blog (Link to on line diagram here.) I’m sure that it is not perfect and that some people will point that out. However, take note that the information is presented in objective terminology and that no where do the words lunatic, nazi, racist, libtard or commy/socialist appear. It describes humanity. It keeps me hopeful.
7 thoughts on “The Politics of Hopefulness”
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I too am hopeful that we all find common middle ground on which to live together peacefully. Although I am Canadian, and we have our own versions of extremism on the political spectrum, I too was raised in a military family with mother and father respectfully cancelling each other’s votes out from time to time. Thanks for the post, it is hopeful!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Maybe my folks aren’t so unique! I saw your post on Brats and ordered your book. There are, I think, a handful of books out there by other military dependents but I selected yours to start off with. I’m curious to hear your stories.
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Wow, thanks so much! I have had a number to f American brats comment about the similaries of our brat culture. I’m eager to get your take on my book!
What an interesting infographic. I am in awe of people who can distill a lot of complex data into a pictorial.
The bottom line however is that there is a fundamental difference in how the liberal vs the conservation approaches life, family, and society in general. I don’t see that gap closing – ever. What needs to change however is the antagonistic rivalry and win-at-all-costs mentality.
Thanks Joanne. I was also impressed with it, though some viewers on Facebook here did not like it…..as expected. I’m really so exhausted by politics in the US.
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I’m not sure what there is about the infographic that would make anyone not like it. I think part of the problem with today’s politics is the desire – yes, desire – to always seek offence, whether it’s intended or not. That’s what is truly exhausting. Even staying quiet and not expressing an opinion will give some people offence because ‘silence implies not caring’. Sigh.