What Are We Worth?

As the clock approaches midnight, I’m choosing to write this blog instead of crying. It remains to be seen whether it will plug up or stimulate the tear ducts. I suppose it could be considered a follow-up to the last one but I am so close to bursting into tears right now that I need to do this.

I have a bad habit of posting a political article that I find interesting and informative and then immediately regretting it or getting one upsetting comment that causes me to take it down. Either way, some people have seen it. Why should I care? We all have our opinions, right? And we are entitled to them because it is our constitutional right, right? Not quite. That piece has become so diluted that the political landscape looks like Moses parting the Red Sea.

I have heard people jokingly say that the internet is the work of the devil. I laughed, like everyone else did, but I’m beginning to wonder. Oh, it has been lots of fun, has helped businesses grow, keeps us all in touch with people from lifetimes past, and gives us all a space to brag about our families, pets, and even our gardens. Guilty on all three. All good stuff, but it is also a hotbed for criminals, pedophiles, pornography, etc.

Currently it is causing chaos and division in a way I have never seen before in my life, and I am no spring chicken. Not only do we have unsavory politicians and journalists in colors of red or blue, now we have a venue for them to spew their hate, deceit, and lies, creating chaos in people’s lives. Before the internet, people would discuss politics at the bar, at the barber shop, at family gatherings, even on street corners, and there were always debates, but as far as I know, politics did not cause the degree of hated that it now is causing. We can all still have fun and socialize on Facebook, but now there is an evil imbedded in the code that is seeping into every little space and fracturing lives and friendships, indelibly defining who we are with each stroke of our keyboards.

What makes me so sad is that, currently, we are not only defined by the things we choose to share with people, but by which politician or political party we choose to support. Even though lies and deception are rampant on both sides of the political coin, people only choose to believe what they want to believe, those on the other side be damned. There are so many nooks and crannies in the muffins we get served on a daily basis through biased media that we can’t even tell on which side the muffins are buttered. And is it real butter, or fake butter? The manufacturers have churned the products to be so smooth that you just never can tell. And that’s exactly what they want. Unfortunately, many people don’t believe that or want to believe it of their chosen leader of the free world.

I decided a long time ago that I would not be voting for “the man” but for the party that most closely aligns with my belief system. Curiously, it seems like one side will be voting for “the man” because they passionately despise the other one, and one side will be voting for the passionately despised “man” because they passionately despise the agenda of the other party, and ne’er the twain shall meet. That would be fine, in itself, except that people are tethered to one side, passionately hating the other, and there is little room for civil discourse. Passionately. Yes, I’m aware that I have overused the word, and have done so intentionally, because that is the only word that can nicely describe the emotions that have created the thick, immobile pollution of hate hanging heavily in the air we breathe, and that infiltrates the very depths of our hearts and souls. Emotions are expressed in words that jump nimbly onto our computer screens from keyboards.

What are we worth as people? We used to choose our friends because of similar interests, mutual friends, their children’s parents, etc. Our worth was measured by solid friendships, loyalty, shared backgrounds, willingness to help when in need, compassion, talents, character, and love. Those values are no longer important because now all of those things have been condensed into one angry category: who you will vote for. This measure of worth as a friend is decidedly unfair for several reasons, the most important being that we only have two choices. What if we believe half of what one side espouses and half of the other side? We have to choose one, even if we may not be happy with parts of their agenda, because we only have two choices.

Our value as friends and as people should never, ever be attached to a faction, (i.e, a party), that is divisible from the whole. Some of us are not red or blue, but varying shades of that purple I talked about in my previous post, but we don’t have purple as a choice, only dark red or dark blue. And yet, people on both sides continue to blame, chastise, name-call, and insult each other, even friends, because they are positive that they are totally right and the rest are totally wrong, and that is almost never true. Even in divorces, the scales may be tipped more to one side than the other, but because no one is perfect, the “blame” must be shared.

I’m not perfect, either. I admit to some of these bad thoughts, myself, and I know that. I continue to try to change those, but friends, it is not easy right now. I will try harder. Again. And again, until the discontent and confusion is wiped completely from my heart. (The devil loves discontent and confusion, too.) Everyone should be acknowledged and respected for their views, not called stupid or ignorant, or any of the other words I see flying around incessantly. I know a lot of very intelligent and caring people on both sides. No one corners the market on that.

Can we all please just take a few steps back and take a deep breath. Let’s get rid of the pollution and breathe fresh air into our lungs, our hearts, and our souls. Someone will win, and someone will lose. Life will go on, but if we burn bridges now with the people that matter to us, and even the ones that might matter a little less, they may impossible to reconstruct. And for what?

I Want Purple Koolaide

My heart is really heavy. It makes me so sad to see all the name-calling and denouncing of people on Facebook just because of their political leanings. Everyone is drinking the Koolaid. The people on the left are drinking blue Koolaid and the people on the right are drinking red Koolaid. What if I like purple Koolaide? We need a third party, a purple party. Right now we only have two choices: vote for the party (not the man) that most aligns with our beliefs, or don’t vote at all. I know “the man” will be the one at the top, but if we can’t believe in the other party, then what choice to we have? Frankly, not voting at all is looking more appealing to me all the time. That way I won’t have to claim responsibility for putting either one of them in office, and then I’ll let all my friends know, too, so they don’t hate me, anymore.

The danger to not voting at all is that it gives an advantage to the party (not the man) that does not align with your beliefs. Remember that the Senate and Congress are there, too, supposedly to help guide a president, executive priviledge notwithstanding. Lies and misinformation are rampant on both sides, and if anyone doesn’t believe that then they need to open up their eyes. Does what we find important to us make us bad people if it’s not what another person believes? Is all this worth losing friends over?

I feel like crying when I see all the hate directed at people, even those who used to be friends. Is it worth it? Is your party affiliation worth losing friends over? If it is, then I guess you weren’t really friends at all, because mature adults should be able to see past political affiliations to who people are inside. And don’t say that who we vote for shows who we really are because that is total BS. It’s only one part of our whole as people. People look at things differently but it doesn’t make one wrong and the other right, just different. And it doesn’t mean that someone believes in ALL of the points on a given side, it’s just that we have only two choices, and if they are both crappy, then does that mean we all have to hate each other? It’s not our fault this huge country cannot come up with better people to run for president.

I have friends that I disagree with and I still love them. Part of that is because I have always loved them and refuse to let this change that, part is because I can see their side of the arguments, too, part is because we might not discuss it, and part is because they still love me. (I hope!) I want our hearts to go back to the days before COVID 19 and this awful, awful election. I want our hearts to see what we liked about our friends before all this, and if we can’t do that, then I guess we were never friends to begin with.