Wednesday, May 11, 2016

oops I did it again

I was driving in for my shift at the food bank yesterday when I realized that I never even thought about my usual Tuesday post. I've written a few recently that were last minute or otherwise haphazard, but I can't remember the last time that I flat-out forgot about my blog. Does this have some deeper meaning, or am still recovering from the stress of the past month? Who knows.

I did have an idea over the weekend of what to write about, but maybe I will save that for next week. At the moment, all I can do is worry about our country. I was listening to a podcast not long ago and one of the speakers, a blogger, said that she has been having a hard time coming up with things to post about because she is determined to stay out of politics, and yet she's so worried about the election it's all she wants to talk about.

I'm naturally apolitical-- I've never been one to follow politics, or enjoy debates, or in any way participate in our political process other than voting (I always vote). But I get what she means. It's hard to see how this is going to end well. I suppose things are at their very worst right now, with both parties divided and angry at others in their own party, let alone the other party. Maybe it will get better once the conventions are over. But at the moment, with huge chunks of each party insisting that they will refuse to participate if this or that happens, it's hard to see how healing will occur.

As a long-time democrat, I was expecting to sit back and watch smugly as our candidate sailed to an easy convention win while the GOP fell apart under the weight of their infighting. I can't regret Bernie's presence in our political process, because clearly he is voicing something that many feel. Having a voice is what democracy is all about.

But I wish he had figured out a way to do it without splitting the party. Pragmatically speaking, I'm skeptical about the viability of Bernie's ideas if he is elected, since almost nothing he proposes is likely to pass a Republican-controlled legislature. It sounds like The Adventures of Polarized Stagnant Congress Part II, if you ask me (and of course you didn't).

The thing that worries me most is the people on either extreme who are sure that everything will be fine if only their candidate wins. And the only way things will be fine is if their candidate wins. Those of us who are moderates--either left or right-- are left staring in disbelief, and worrying. For the first time ever, I feel I have more in common with moderate Republicans than I do with the extreme members of my own party.

I am so enormously grateful at the moment that I have friends in all camps. Having people I love and/or respect who thoroughly disagree with my opinions has opened my eyes to a wide variety of ways of looking at our current scene. There are so many who either by choice or by reason of geography or whatever have come to believe that what they think is what most reasonable people think, and that people who disagree must be ignorant and uninformed. But I can't do that, because I know too many wonderful people who believe differently than I do.

I don't know what I'm saying, I'm just writing off the cuff. I probably shouldn't even post this, because after all the times I've said I'm not writing about politics, this makes twice in the past two weeks. But it's what I'm thinking about right now.


KarenB said...

I've been feeling very much like this as well and was fretting about it last night out loud, which I generally don't do since my husband and I are not entirely aligned in our political convictions. And he reminded me that our country has had this happen before - great and seemingly irreparable divisions between and among parties - and that our system of checks and balances has done its job, slowly, maybe more slowly than one would wish, and the country has healed and moved on. His reminder did make me feel less desperate and fearful for our future.

BarbN said...

That is a great reminder. I've been feeling much better about it today, partly because I've resolved to stay off social media for a few days. I wrote this post after reading a particularly nasty series of comments on a moderate article someone had posted on FB. I should know better!!