Doing things differently since 1984
I must start off by apologizing for my virtual absence here lately. I could come up with all sorts of excuses, but to be honest… I just couldn’t think of anything good to write. Do you ever have weeks like that? Uninspired… unmotivated… blasé… had too many other things to worry about.
But this is all coming to an end now, as I have run into enough reasons to go into my discourse on why I’m politically agnostic.
Firstly, a refresher on the alternate definitions of “Agnostic” (these are taken from dictionary.reference.com):
2. a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.
3. a person who holds neither of two opposing positions on a topic
In summary: I don’t think anyone has all the answers.
Now, in my experience, when I present this opinion to anyone on either side of “the fence”, I get a response somewhat like these: “Oh, sure, of course, but you’ve got to choose a side.” “Of course [my party] doesn’t have ‘all’ the answers, but we’re closer to it than [other party]!” “I’m only with [my party] because of [political issue]. And I’m definitely right about [political issue].”
I don’t know if I’ve actually yet met one person who, when asked, is truly convinced that his or her political party has all the answers.
Which makes me wonder… why, then, is everyone so battle-ready when it comes to their political party or ideology? And I’m not just talking about fun little fandom debates, like rooting for your local sports team, except it’s a political team. I’m talking about families and marriages torn apart; old friendships ended; possible new friendships shattered; hatred for massive groups of people without ever actually talking or listening to them. I’m not kidding or exaggerating. It’s “us” vs “them”.
People move to certain parts of town, tune in to certain channels (radio or tv), frequent certain websites, attend certain churches, and associate with certain groups of people, all for the sake of not hearing the voices from “the other side” or associating themselves with “those people”. If they accidentally stumble into one of these places, they don a look of fear, anger, and disgust, and turn around as quickly as possible, thankful that they know better than those misled lowlifes, but wishing they’d just go away and stop destroying the country.
As it turns out, we all are actually kind of the same. We all think we’re right. And, for too many of us, we need to make our opinions heard, by as many as possible, no matter the cost. I’ve seen far too many memes, badges, bumper stickers, and t-shirts that say something to the effect of, “I’m me and these are my opinions and if you don’t agree, then screw you!” Like it makes the wearer cool or something.
To truly sum up why I am politically agnostic, I will defer to the book of Proverbs, which bears amazing real-life wisdom that proves itself useful for people of all religions:
Politics is divisive. I see both sides disproving their rightness with their blind arrogance. Sometimes you just have to keep your mouth shut, your opinions to yourself, and listen. Listen to them. Hold yourself accountable for causing unnecessary division and strife. Make your pride and “being right” less important than your relationships and love. After all, you don’t want to be a fool… because fools are never right.
DISCLAIMER: This post was not intended to be directed toward any one person, group, or ideology. The pronoun “you” is meant only to cause introspection on the part of the reader. I am not advocating the abolishment of all political parties, an abandonment of any political opinion, or voter non-participation. I am advocating that we all admit we’re not omniscient, and act like it toward our fellow human beings.