A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Political Diversions

"A lady doesn't hate things, a lady says 'I don't care for that.'" is a quote that rings in my mind almost daily. It applies to a lot of situations, and the verbiage doesn't have to be exact. There are so many times I want to say FUCK THAT FUCKING SHIT but somehow manage to mumble a more socially acceptable "No, thank you." or possibly even a "None for me, thank you." These phrases cost me nothing, and they allow me to communicate in a civil fashion with people.

My grandmother was the stickler for that phrase. She'd drop the N word at her leisure, she'd whisper the word cancer and refer to all Catholics as "Damned Catholics". That same woman was a walking how-to manual of social graces. If she was a bad person behind closed doors, she knew how to behave as a human being and at least PRETEND to be well mannered and polite in front of others.

I'm not saying that it's great that she pretended to be a nice person. I'm pretty confident that the people who weren't in keeping with her thoughts knew she was kind of an asshole. It really wasn't a big secret.

Both of my grandparents were very politically active during my childhood. If you want to know HOW politically active, I can tell you that I didn't understand for years that all kids didn't go hand out buttons at the polls. That was a thing back then. As people walked out you handed them a button, a nail file (no really), a hand fan, some sort of geegaw with your candidates name on it. I'm guessing, in reflection, that the adults knew who to give them to because it was a small town and you knew how people had voted because no one was shy about their political affiliation.

Being a Republican or Democrat weren't fighting words. Nor were they an indictment of your character. We didn't openly insult one another, scream obscenities or malign people based on whether or not they voted this way or that. We didn't feel a need to beat our chest about it either, other than a rather copious amount of yard signs and bumper stickers which my grandmother seemed to have quite the penchant for. Surely there were disagreements in policy, spending, taxes, etc. But the truth was that back then, how you voted was like where you went to church - everyone did it and nobody felt any need to fight about it.

The neighbors next door to my grandparents were democrats. Two doors down were Republicans. Across the street were CATHOLICS (can you believe it?). On the other side of them were PRESBYTERIANS. (I know - can you believe this diversity?) My point is, however, not once did I ever hear any of those people described that way. Never (Wait maybe the Damned Catholics though). We'd have huge block parties all together, and no one fought. No one argued or called names or lost their minds because someone was different than them. They talked sports, they talked local events, they talked families and music and movies.

They were friends.

A lot of my friends aren't voting the way I am going to vote this election. I don't really care. Some people are spending a lot of time and energy blasting their points of view on Facebook and other social media. My question would be this, why? You're voting for X? Cool. You enjoy that. I'm serious. ENJOY your vote. YOU get to vote. It's America. We get to VOTE here. 21 states in the Union don't use the popular vote to guide their electors so if you live in one of those states, your vote is just a PR move anyway - sorry. But it's a right and it's important.

But when you constantly blast negative words, hateful words, based on news reports that aren't real, based on sources that aren't verified or are being misquoted, I'm quietly just questioning why your'e behaving this way. You aren't swaying anyone. The people who agree with you, like those who thought my grandmother was completely ok with dropping the N word and hating Catholics, think you're great.

The rest of us kind of think you're an asshole.

I think the world could use more social graces. Your constant blathering and frothing at the mouth about this or that candidate doesn't further your cause or make you or your party look better - NONE of them. I can understand why statements by some candidates give you pause, or even cause you to feel some really negative things because some sort of insanely negative things have been said. Hateful things have been said. I understand being upset, on lots of different sides. What I can't understand is hateful bigotry, misogyny, and blindly accepting misinformation because it fits in with your preconceptions of X.

I'd love to know what music you're listening to, what books you have read, and what's bringing you joy. What are your kids doing and are you having a good hair day? I'll take a repost of silly memes any day over the faux-informed political ranting that seems to have taken over the world.

Frankly, I don't care for that.