Thursday, September 04, 2008

Politics! and then...


...REAL politics.

I'm excited about politics out there in the world beyond my office. There's a bit of zest these days,with either our first person of color or our first woman breaching the good ol' boy network in the Executive branch of our federal government. This is a great thing--infinitely preferable than the status quo--no matter HOW it shakes out! After all, at last the so-called minorities of the US are going to have a voice in the highest office of the land. We will have an advocate, a representative and all that entails. Just please, puh-LEEZE--

--let's not fuck all that up with trying to see which party is being more racist or more sexist, shall we?

This is politics, people, not a tea party. Neither party is discriminatory. Get over it.

So why not enjoy the run? Chuck the hysterical vitriol to the wayside and let BOTH voices be heard. What the hell? It could be fun in the long run.

Which brings me to REAL politics.

Real politics happen every day--interpersonally, if you will. We are, all of us, doing political work for ourselves every single day of our lives. Ever suck up to a boss? Politics. Ever finagle your way into a position that you weren't quite ready for? Politics.

Exactly.

Now then, I've let it be known fairly regularly that I am not a political person. (Main reason why that Pol Sci knowledge sits on the shelf a lot of the time too.) I'm too outspoken; I call things as I see them. Unfortunately, nine times out of ten, that doesn't go over too well. It's much better for me to sit at my desk in my home day after day than to venture out to inflict my ideology upon others.

Occasionally, my online rambles interfere with that most noble intention. As a matter of fact, I realized today that I have never...not once...discussed politics on this blog. And, save for the plea above I never will. But I will discuss interpersonal politics for a moment if I may and then we can move on to something more important in the next blog post.

Interpersonal relationships are difficult to build on the web. As many cruisers have discovered to their chagrin, it's only too easy to 'fall in love' with someone's words online only to find that other person has the most heinous halitosis or the most hideous body odor they've ever encountered. The same goes for message boards or public forums. You may think that you're completely free to exress your opinion and find you're not, or vice versa for that matter. You can couch your words in such a way that people see right past your message, or they can just choose to overlook it. And in either case, it's hard to call--because you DON'T know why someone would be offended or because you went out of your way to avoid being offensive or whatever justifications you make to yourself.

But here's the ultimate test: go back the day after and read what YOU wrote. Ignore the vitrolic responses of other people--don't even read them. Just read YOUR words. Then ask yourself if they say precisely what you mean for them to say.

If, at the end of the day, you can stand behind your words then you expressed exactly what you meant to. If you find that your words, thoughts, sentiments, or feelings were not adequately conveyed you might owe some other folks out there in cyberland a few apologies. Now, I've been know to eat humble pie with salt and apologize for my words many times in the past. For one thing, as a writer I consider it my responsibility to take charge of my words and own the consequences that arise from them. *shrug* Only fair--my bad, right? So if I go out on a tangent and hurt people's feelings, I will always apologize if I am in the wrong--and even, sometimes when I wasn't the original cause but was partially responsible for a conflagration.

But I'm not always wrong. If I'm concerned enough to stick up for something, I'll damn well stick up for it. One thing I will NOT do is back down on it. I may give up the dissenters as a lost cause and move on, but I will not back down from my original conviction.

So, no. I won't back down this time either. I may consider the situation there a lost cause. But, sorry--not backing down. Nice try though.

The last time I checked, everyone's opinion counted for something--whether it's the hotbed of partisan politics in the States or how, on a non-partisan forum people should have equal and fair treatment regardless of what their voice is. But then again, I could be wrong. I've been known to be wrong before.

Stubborn, too.

1 comment:

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

Great post! It is unfortunate that the art of debate has been left for dead in the media and everything has become a personal attack. "You are either with us or you are against us," has become the mindset and it is difficult to be a moderate and have anyone take you seriously...but I'm still trying! The founding fathers believed that independent thought was the most important thing in a democracy. I think that too many people line up with a party and stop thinking. There are things in both parties that I like and things I abhor. I suppose that is why I'm an independent - and proud of it.