Thursday, October 11, 2012
First of all: this is for absolutely anyone that plans to cast a ballot in a month. No personal attacks, and I will do my upmost to retain party neutrality throughout, but please understand that I am only human, much like the two candidates behind podiums, their running mates, their campaign teams, and Jim Lehrer. Especially Jim Lehrer, for obvious reasons. They are all. Just. People.
Next, I want to say this, and pardon my forwardness: Posting hateful, partisan, sexist, racist, false, inflated, passive aggressive, or assuming items via Facebook or Twitter does not make you informed; it makes you a coward. But I suppose that's the easy way to do it-- hiding behind a profile page that will absorb any dissenting opinion that comes your way. "Oh, I don't agree with that at all. Block! Delete! Unfriend!"
Social networking has taken selective exposure (research it yourself (I know research takes work and it's hard but I believe in you)) to an entirely new level of ignorance production. The ability people have to simple 'switch off' anything and everything that doesn't fit their current worldview (countryview).... (stateview?).... ('Merica?) is remarkable. But not in a good way at all.
Stagnation. Complacency. Narrow mindedness. Complete lack of personal/intellectual growth. This is what we're faced with. Every single day, you are faced with a choice: to look at something you don't agree with and either justify why you don't agree, or just simply, blindly change the channel; turn the page.
To those that are able to look at something and say "I understand what they're saying, but I have to respectfully disagree because of A, B, and C: I commend you. Please live forever and reproduce a lot and share your lives with the world.
And maybe if you're not quite there yet (and really take this into consideration, like probably just do it anyway. Yeah, everyone do this regardless of where you are): Open your mind. No one is forcing you to change it, but just crack your brain door for a moment and let that 'other' information pour in for a bit. Think on it. Do you love Fox News? Try switching to CNN for a night. Are you an MSNBC fan? Turn on The O'Reily Factor (he can't bite you through the television).
Look at the whole side of every issue. Yes, this means going past political Facebook battles, or youtube clips. Find context. Find how these issues affect you directly (because many of them do). Google for Christ's sake people; it's not hard.
Finally I'm begging you: Take action. You sure were pissed enough to post on Facebook, or tweet your feelings. Now what? That's right, nothing. Nothing changed. Even after 16 likes on that stupid status and you're still angry and the issue is nowhere near resolved. Get up from behind that glow of the screen and actively pursue change. Learn about your local government. Become involved in your city's party organizations. Become civically engaged. Advocate for something. Support something. DO something.
I am not perfect, and never claimed to be. I have a party I more closely affiliate with, and I know who I hope to win, but to me that's not the most important thing. To me, the most important thing in the world right now is becoming informed citizens that can respectfully disagree but move toward progress for all. We so desperately need progress. This stark partisanship we've experienced in my lifetime is grinding the gears to a halt with disastrous consequences.
Don't contribute to a problem when you could so easily be a part of a solution.
Hugs and Kisses,
P.S. If you have any questions as to why I have the right to say any of this, you can check that out here, or we can talk about it in the comment section.