I’m really struggling with this right now. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have any friends that I’m ready to say “good-bye” to just because of political differences – but I will say that sometimes it’s hard to understand one another.
When I was younger, and I voted in my first election, I was naive. I was attending a Catholic, conservative university. I was living away from home, and I was influenced by the talk going on around me. I voted like my peers, and how I THOUGHT my parents were voting. (Turns out I was dead wrong on the latter.)
When I was nearing the end of my 4 year education, and the next election was coming up, I was more interested. I was paying more attention. I was watching speeches, debates, news. I was HAVING debates with people I knew. I was talking. I was more involved. I was more passionate. I wanted to vote the president I wanted into office. And I did. And boy, did that feel good. I felt like things were going to change for the better.
The next 8 years we had my candidate in office, but then something happened. The other guy won. And he won again. For 8 years we had “the other guy” in office. Someone I really didn’t want in office. Someone I didn’t feel was qualified. Someone I felt was leading our nation down a path of destruction and folly. Someone who was making our country less respectable in the eyes of other nations. But clearly, more than half the USA voted him in office, so other people had confidence in him. Or at least they had less confidence in my candidates.
The next time there was an election, I had had it. I was ready for some action. I put the sign in front of my house, I wore buttons, t-shirts, and even drove to another state with 2 friends and went door-to-door to campaign. When our candidate won, it felt like we were a part of it. I felt like things were good – things were turning around.
Things in our country aren’t so good right now. I don’t know whose fault it is. The fault lies with many, I think. The economy is bad ALL OVER. Greece is bankrupt, several countries in Europe are doing very poorly economically. It’s bad all over.
I know people are looking for someone to blame, and there will be debates on how to get us out of this mess. This is politics. I get that. This is fine.
What bothers me, and what has me scratching my head and really questioning my republican friends is the candidates they have chosen, and the speakers they listen to of late. The Rush Limbaughs and the Kirk Camerons, judging everyone else and not looking inward. The Newt Gingrichs, going through wives like tissues- leaving them while they’re at their most vulnerable, or Santorum, who seems to be anti gay, woman, and even college.
When I see a friend or family member who’s a republican, I usually just see the friend or family member. Until I start hearing the vitriol from the party, and then I can’t help but wonder if they truly believe what some of their party stands for and then I feel so conflicted. I try to separate the person from the politics, but it gets muddled. How can we truly separate from our fundamental beliefs?
Can you separate your friends from their politics?
How do you do it?
I’m asking on a serious level? I’d really love to know, so that I can get past this hurdle.