August Journaling Day 15: Politics

I hate politics. The end.

Part of me wants to just make that the entire blog post. I’m tired and have a super busy week ahead and I legitimately hate politics. Don’t like talking about them, don’t like following them. I think what I really like least about politics is how divisive they are. I won’t even say how divisive they’ve become, because I’m guessing it was always like that. Social media just obviously made the bullhorns a lot louder.

I didn’t come from a political home at all growing up. I don’t remember my parents ever talking about politics or even about politicians. I suppose I grew up as a lot of kids did, patriotic because we were told to be and supportive of the president. I remember in sixth grade we did like a mock election in class and I was in the Ross Perot group. So as you probably remember, we came in a distant third.

I saw an article a couple years ago where a woman referred to herself as “politically homeless.” That resonated with me just because I’ve truly never felt connected to either of the two major “teams” in the sport of politics. In fact I hate that there are two teams. Are there really only two ways to think about tons of super complex issues? It just all seems so ridiculous how it’s set up.

My lack of political allegiance shouldn’t be confused with me being an independent. I usually vote for one particular side like 95% of the time. But I dislike them as a group just as much as the other guys at the political level. On a personal level I have friends and family who are strong left and right people and love and respect them, even if I disagree with them on some stuff. I feel like we’re only a few paragraphs into this and I’ve already used the words hate and dislike a bunch. I think it’s just the divisive nature of politics that disturbs me. Let me be specific, not the divisive nature of the topics, the divisive nature of how we communicate and discuss them. I actually enjoy the occasional political discussion with someone who I trust and prefer when it’s someone who maybe I see things differently then just to try and see their side of things and maybe learn. But more often than not it’s crazy to watch when people discuss politics and disagree on something, the tension and air in the room change and change quickly. I remember being at a work related dinner last spring and everything was going well. Then someone brought up Joe Rogan and immediately two people began arguing about it and the entire tone of that side of the table just got really uncomfortable.

One thing I do know about myself is I’m painfully easy to manipulate. I remember different points in my young adulthood where my politics swayed from side to side based almost strictly on whatever news channel I was watching. If I watched Fox News by the end of the show I’d be like “These damned Liberals ruining everything!” I’d watch Rachel Maddow a week later and think “these elite right wing assholes have no soul!” I try and read and digest media nowadays and pay much attention to where not only the bias of the author/newscaster might be, but how my bias will interpret the information. But I know of myself that I’m not that bright of a thinker and easily swayed. I don’t like conflict and politics is almost all conflict.

I remember in grad school all my classmates were talking about going to a protest on an issue they were passionate about. I talked to the professor and said “I agree with them but I don’t want to go to a protest.” She told me “Neither am I. I try and initiate change at the micro level, not the macro level.” That resonated with me. I’ve never been comfortable speaking out that much on politics publicly and I admire people who do, because blowback is anything but comfortable. I know comfort is the enemy of change in any avenue, so maybe it’s something I need to work on. I always think it’s so strange when someone in racing speaks out on politics and someone tells them to “stick to racing.” I mean they are multi-faceted human beings capable of thoughts and opinions on topics other than racing. Plus if they agreed with the person of course they wouldn’t tell them to shut up. Silencing people cause they disagree with you, lame AF.

But I also don’t feel I have much if anything to add to political discussions other than my vote and my support. I hate this topic and I hate this blog and I’m stopping now. Have a good Monday everyone.