I am not a political person. Nor am I a religious person. But I am a passionate person. And I am an intelligent person. I am an optimist. I have opinions. And I sometimes pass judgments. For the most part, I will keep my judgments to myself. And I generally will only share my opinions when asked. I mind my own business and I stay out of the business of others. I do not like confrontation. But if pushed too far, I will engage. I am soft when the situation calls for it. I am hard when I need to be. I am compassionate, empathetic, kind, and understanding. I am accepting, caring, generous, and loving. But I do get irritated sometimes. Mostly, I just ride it out, complaining only to my family and closest friends. But sometimes, I need to speak out.
Very rarely will I publicly share my thoughts about anything related to politics and religion. In the realm of politics, I am self-admittedly uneducated. In the realm of religion, I am self-admittedly quite educated. But these two topics tend to elicit so much controversy that I generally maintain my own thoughts, beliefs, and feelings inside the confines of my own brain. However, the recent Presidential election is one of those times that I am feeling the need to speak out.
First, I am a proud boycotter of voting. I don’t vote. I voted once in my life…the year I turned 18 and could register to vote. For me, it did not live up to all the hype. I voted for Bill Clinton for President. And I have to honestly say that I felt no pride nor did I feel regret for the vote that I cast in that election. I did not feel that my vote counted nor did I feel that it didn’t count. I was absolutely indifferent about the entire process. And I whole-heartedly stand by my indifference. I cannot be swayed. My friends and family have tried. They have never succeeded. And I have never since voted in any election.
Over the years, I have learned that I am simply not interested in politics. I am not interested in engaging in the shit storm of name calling, digging up past indiscretions, and dragging people and their family members through the mud. I am not interested in the public humiliation of others. I do not and will not support unkindness.
While I do not follow politics much at all, it is difficult to escape the onslaught of political rantings on social media. So while I don’t know much, I have learned that there has not been a candidate for any political office that has earned my vote in the past 24 years. As a result, I will not be forced to choose the lesser of a multitude of evils. I simply will not choose evil at all. And I completely disagree with people who preach that voting is my duty as an American citizen. Voting is NOT my duty. It is my right. But I also maintain the right to choose NOT to vote. And this decision sits well with me. I sleep at night with a completely clear conscience. And that is how it should be.
I also will not adhere to the statement that if I exercise my right to choose NOT to vote that I have given up my right to complain about our political system. Not voting does not exempt me from my freedom of speech, the freedom to speak my mind. That is the beauty of our great nation. I choose not to vote. Our political system is clearly flawed. But there are also so many great things about it, too. For example, I can publish my opinion on this topic without fear of punishment. I can say what I want, write what it want, and I am protected by my rights as an American citizen…and as an American citizen who chooses to not even vote.
Second, I have read a lot of ranting from parents who express fear for their children’s future. Regardless of whom holds the title of President of the United States, I am still going to raise my children the best way I know how. I am going to teach them kindness. I am going to show them love and fairness. I am going to discipline them. I am going to protect them from the ills of this world the best that I can. But I also am going to make sure they know that we live in a world that is not fair, that is not always kind, that is not always accepting. This is the world we live in. It is the world in which our children are growing up in. It is a world they will thrive in if we let them, if we instill our best qualities in them.
My children are 3 and 5 years old. Do I fear for them? Of course I do. I fear for them because growing up is hard and it is scary and none of us know what the future holds. My 5 year old knows who Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton are. That is all he knows about politics. He is completely unaware of the horrible things these people have said and done. He is unaware because that is what I have chosen for him. We don’t talk about it. We don’t watch it on television. He is FIVE. He does not need to be informed of this yet. I am not ready to expose to him all of the evils in our world. When he is ready and when I am ready, I will teach him to form his own opinions on these matters. But until then, I am just going to let him be five.
In the meantime, I do want to point out that progress is being made in this nation, in this world. Progress is always be made. And generations upon generations of people before us have viewed progress as bad. I remember my grandparents claiming that our society was going to hell in a hand basket just as their grandparents probably complained that society was going to hell in a hand basket. I have used those words myself. Yet here we are. In a hand basket on the way to hell? Perhaps. But still progressing and moving forward.
Donald Trump in no way has the power to revert us backwards 50 or 100 years as I have heard some claim. We have come too far already. And we the people, divided yet collectively, have voted him into office as our President. So I propose this as a first step…why not just give him a chance. Maybe he will surprise us. Maybe not. Maybe he will be a huge disappointment. But then, rather than sit around and complain about it, maybe taking action to change it would be better. For me, for now, I am going to just sit at my keyboard, hope for the best, and watch it all unfold. I am also going to continue spreading joy, love, and kindness where I can…outside of the political world. Because that is my happy place. And that is where I choose to stay.
If you have only harsh words in response to this post, please either keep them to yourself, publish them in your own space, or share them in my comment section if you feel the need. But know that it is my comment section and I reserve the right to not publish them. I also reserve the right to delete them. Also know that I guarantee that I will NOT respond to harsh and unkind words. So if you are looking for a debate or an argument, you will not be satisfied here.
Good luck to us all. May we all find our happy places…whether it is fighting changes, making changes, accepting changes, or ignoring changes. Go forth and prosper.
Speaking my mind on the edge,
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