the awkward hush
April 23, 2011, 7:50 am
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: ,

a hush falls over the room. that’s what happens when politics are brought into the discussion. that awkward hush where no one is really sure how much of their views to share for fear of being rejected, ridiculed, misunderstood. the awkward hush. it’s always followed by something bigger, though. an idealist would say mutual respect and understanding. you believe what you believe and i’ll believe what i believe, and we can still be friends. but the idealist in me has long gone the way of the buffalo. and idealists are just young adults who haven’t been corrupted yet. not morally bankrupt 27 year olds like me. more often than not, the awkward hush is followed with condescension, shouting, head shaking, eye rolling, and irritable bowel syndrome. maybe that last one is just me.

it doesn’t start as shouting but it escalates. from short, measured questions. “what do you think on this issue or of this person?” after fumbling around, some brave soul steps forward and offers themselves as the sacrifice on the altar of the party line. and it all goes downhill from there. the shouting/raised voices are counter intuitive because everyone wants to have the last word. my view beats your view. and whomever shouts the loudest in politics these days seems to be the winner, or at least the one that scares the most people, which is basically the same thing.

kids are disillusioned. i talked to a young friend the other day and knowing them, i know exactly which party would make sense for them to vote for. but they are so fed up with what they see on TV and attack ads in the middle of jersey shore reruns that they just don’t give a crap anymore. they see us fighting, calling each other lesser patriots, lawn signs, billboards, door knocking, flyers, promises mostly broken. and can we blame them? really? there was a time when i thought politics was life. when george bush was bombing the world and phones were being wire tapped and the earth was collapsing on itself, it felt like everything to me. and it still does a little, but not as much. when obama brushed into power with a wave of ‘yes we can’-ism, my heart filled with hope. and it still is a little, but not as much. somewhere along the line, the passion has been killed a little bit inside of me because all i see are promises, lies, fear mongering, and that’s just before breakfast.

and i realize that my soul is being stolen from under me. or inside me. or wherever your soul resides. because politics are not everything. politicians make mistakes. and someone will always follow the awkward hush with a confident shout of defiance. usually it’s me. but when my happiness is being taken away from me because someone else sees the world differently than i do, it’s time to look in a mirror and snap out of it. it’s good to be passionate about what you believe in. it’s good and important to call politicians on their crap. it’s good to challenge people who are toeing the party line, even though this perpetuates the awkward hush/loud noises syndrome. but when it’s stealing my joy and hurting relationships…is politics really everything? no. it matters little. one party will do damage here. another party will do damage there. one party will do good here, another party good there. and the cycle will repeat itself. and i should still love my neighbor through all of that.

don’t get me wrong. i will still vote. i find it irresponsible not to vote. but i will vote with my heart. and i will stop trying to convince others i’m right. at least i’ll try. because we’re all wrong. and we’re all right. sometimes. so lets just shut up and be friends. vote with your heart. and vote with the best outcome of the people in mind. what’s most important to you and your community? is it guns? freedom of speech? social programs? the economy? trustworthiness? study the parties. meet the candidates. don’t listen to stupid sound bites on the news. don’t listen to the 30 second commercial propaganda. don’t even listen to my NDP lawn sign i’m trying to sway you with, as if a piece of cardboard will make you say, ‘hey, that makes sense.’ listen to your heart and vote. and do your best to be a good citizen. respect people who see things differently. i fail miserably at this. maybe i am a disillusioned 20 something. maybe this isn’t the best sales pitch for a new generation of voters. but something needs to change. and if it means me shutting up for once, so be it. if nothing else, lets me more self aware of our tendencies and show some respect. the politicians don’t have any respect for us, so we might as well have some for each other.

This message was sponsored by the Bloc Quebecois.

PS-when i wake up in the morning, it is very likely i will take this all back and hate everyone who thinks differently than me. better to call myself on my hypocrisy now than let you do it. beat you to the punch. at least politics taught me something.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I love you SON!

Comment by mom

‘idealists are just young adults who haven’t been corrupted yet.’ brilliant.

Comment by Nic Olson




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