Saturday, September 13, 2008

The great political divide

You'll have to forgive me while I sigh. I'm so fed up with the huge rifts created by politics. Yes, I know I have been pretty vocal in my feelings, but in general, I try to be respectful. I take a bit more liberties here than I do in mixed company, but in general, I try to stick to the issues and not get sucked into name-calling.

I recently got back in touch with a friend from high school. She was abrasive back in the day, but we had a lot of fun together and we have some great memories. Well, recently, she has taken to sending out horrible messages (sometimes racist) about Barack Obama. She just won't stop and I'm getting increasingly annoyed.

That incited a great desire to let her slip out of my life again. I'm not the type who will run away from a group because of a disagreement or who will drop friends because of a different political stance. Hell, some of my best friends have very different political views and we've always been respectful.

Then I was reminded that only two years ago, this friend's mother died from Cancer. The anniversary of her passing is fast approaching. I've written to her to let her know she's in my thoughts and prayers. That served as a reminder about the connections we share and the divisions we create.

Why in the world do we need to use politics as a wedge between us? Why can't we simply discuss the issues like rational human beings or take the issue off the table? I am very sensitive to certain political topics because they relate directly to me whereas most people just use them as talking points without fully understanding the situation. So I recognize when those topics are or are not appropriate* or I simply watch my language.

Why must we focus on the differences? Why do we try to separate from others based on politics? What in the world are we doing?

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” Audre Lorde

*Yes, I realize I'm a hypocrite because I call Bush a name in that link.

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