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Hot Water

I went there.

I'm gonna vent for a sec. I'm part of a generation where we don't talk about our political beliefs, because it invariably leads to conflict and we hate conflict. Call us special snowflakes. Sure. Go ahead. Do that. Then go tear apart your other-party neighbor (who, just in case you forgot, is another child of God who He loves just as much as you...).

Not cool.

I don't avoid conflict because I'm a wimp and I can't take it. I actually enjoy healthy debates. I don't care how heated it gets, as long as both parties walk away respecting each other. But that doesn't happen anymore, does it? I avoid conflict because I respect other human beings and I don't want to hurt people. I can respectfully disagree. That's not the problem. The problem is the unbridled vitriol unleashed by people who can't. That kind of anger is destructive--yeah, sure it hurts me, but I'll get over it. The person unleashing it won't get over it. They hurt themselves by trying to hurt me, because I disagree. And they'll do it again and again. Not cool.

But, today, I am actually going to talk about my political beliefs. First of all, can I say how silly parties are? Like, seriously, watch the news or go on your Facebook feed: it's a glorified circus. Maybe that's just the nature of humans: call yourselves by a team name, pick your colours, get a mascot, hate on the opposing side. If this were football or high school I wouldn't even care, because those are the kinds of things you grow up and forget about. I don't see the appeal, so I don't get involved.

Political parties are different. They have the power to affect society.

They've affected me.

Yesterday as I walked to work, I passed an elderly man putting up banners that read "God Loves You - John 3:16". He looked up and said in his nice, southern accent, "Hi there. Do you know God loves you?"

And I was scared. Not gonna lie.

Isn't that stupid? I smiled and I talked with him for a little bit. And I'm Christian, so he was nice. What if I hadn't been? What if I'd been wearing a hijab? Would he have been nice then? The southern old white guy who uses God as a weapon. That's a thing. Was it this man's thing? I don't know. I don't know him, nor did I have time enough to stop and get to know him. As I walked away, I realized I'd developed a bias. And it was no different than the bias folks develop against "Black" or "Muslim". Biases are natural. They're human. Humans are social creatures--we depend on our society's biases to stay alive, to recognize danger. Trouble is, things like race, country, and religion are so general, they're not good markers to judge "Safe" and "Unsafe" by. Every Muslim is human. Every Christian is human. Every black guy, every white guy, every Hispanic--they're human. And humans are each unique and different. Take my family, for example. We're all white. The majority of us are female. We're all Christian. But do we reliably act the same in any given situation? No sir. Do we even watch the same movies? No. We don't like the same foods and we'd probably all respond in completely different ways were we to witness a car accident. People are different. You can't judge a "good guy" or a "bad guy" based on the label of religion, race, color, or whatever. Sure, people under those elements will have similarities, but the label is SO big that good guys and bad guys fit under the same label. It's not specific enough to know.

Same goes for political parties.

On the whole, in general, I can't take either party seriously. I think they both have good points and bad points. I don't consider myself part of either of them. I'm an unaffiliated voter, and at this rate, it looks like I'll stay that way. I vote for Democrats and Republicans. And third party representatives. And if there isn't a candidate that I can get behind, I don't vote. So sue me. There's no "lesser of the two evils" for me if I consider them equally wrong, 'kay?

I was so naive when I turned 18. I thought Republican was the way to go because they're "The Pro-Life" party, and Democrats were "The Pro-Choice" party. Factually speaking, a unique living human being is created at the moment of conception. That is what we know, for a matter of fact, and can see and measure. It's when people throw in variables like "is it old enough to feel pain? is it old enough to be self-aware?" that they start to justify killing them. Does it even freaking matter if they can feel pain or be self-aware yet?? They're a human being with complete DNA the moment they're conceived! So what if they haven't grown their fingers or toes or the big baby blue eyes that can resonate with you yet!? I was raised to believe that human beings are worthwhile and murder is wrong. ***Big FAT Disclaimer here, let me just say imo those promoting abortion and the "professionals / unprofessionals" who offer the procedure are at fault. There are so many variables attached to the actual women who undergo the procedure that I hold none of them at fault. One cannot call them murderers, the mentality between going in to get what you perceive as medical intervention and willfully and violently taking the life of another human is so completely different one can't even compare them. No woman walks into an abortion clinic thinking "Oh, I'm going to kill my child today", not without being under complete duress. Let's face it, we also live in a society where it's okay to raise and slaughter many more animals than will ever be eaten, call it "processing" to make ourselves feel better, look the other way so we don't see the violence and suffering, and think that's normal. They can't speak for themselves either, and at this point I kinda take it for granted that unless someone can loudly testify they're suffering there will be room for doubt, and if there's room for doubt or the opportunity to look the other way, humans will believe what they want. Can't judge a person's innate goodness for a choice that was made at an impossibly emotional and uncertain time in their lives while being a product of their culture.***

Back on topic. And speaking of variables. I was about 20 when I realized there's more to political parties than Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. I was heavily invested in politics at that point. And when I watched debates, the issue that was most important to me wasn't even the one being championed before the masses. It only ever came up to be wielded as an emotional weapon against the opposing side. Anyone who has read any of my blog knows I'm into behaviour, psychology, that sort of thing. And that's when it hit me: this is entertainment. It's meant to rile the emotions. It's like football. And let's look at all the other issues Republicans champion vs Democrats, shall we? I did. And it shocked me. As a person, I agree and disagree with both parties on different issues just about equally. So who do I choose?

No more parties for me. I'll vote on issues. I'll elect people whose motives are clear--because each politician is a human, and will only get the "job" for a certain period of time. What is their "main goal"? What will they accomplish in the time that they have? What have they already accomplished in their career--what are they building up towards? That's how I decide how to vote.

And now I'm gonna laugh, in that humourless, bitter way people laugh when the situation isn't funny but they've got to let tension out somehow. Don't you just love how one party points the finger at the other and cries "Nazi!" - seriously?

Dear Republicans, back in Nazi Germany, at least at the start, the Nazis were the "good guys" as far as the public at large was concerned. They were the guys who were going to restore Germany to its former glory. They were the ones who were gonna kick out the Jews "everyone" hated, who were taking the jobs nobody wanted. The "National Socialist German Worker's Party". Those good ol' middle class folks who wanted their fair share, darn it, and heck to anyone who stood in their way. Sound familiar?

Dear Democrats, the Nazi government totally knew what was better for the people than the people themselves did. They'd make their way law. They were going to fix all the problems that the people couldn't fix for themselves. They got rid of "undesirables" in a "very humane way". No, no, the voiceless didn't suffer. Autistic folk don't feel pain, don't ya know (people actually believed that--science actually believed that). It was the kind thing to do. It was for the overall good of those that remain. Are y'all really going to look me in the eye and say that was okay just as long as their parents didn't miss them?

....Dear Democrats and Republicans--does it really have to come down to concentration camps before we see the problem here?

You don't have to be a Nazi for evil to be evil. Hate is evil. Good is love. God is love. If you can't love your neighbor, whoever that neighbor happens to be, white or black, bond or free, female or male, straight or LGBTQ+, born or unborn--you have a problem and you need to reevaluate where you stand. Hate isn't of God. There's no such thing as righteous indignation if it motivates you to hurt someone else. I stand by that.

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