What could go wrong when talking about politics, right? We’re all adults here (I actually don’t know if you’re an adult, because internet). We can handle some friendly conversation about the future of our country!
Let me start off by saying that I was raised very, very republican. Like, held signs on street corners when I was 10 or 11 trying to get everyone in my little town to re-elect George Bush, republican. I’ve also always been very opinionated. Something that seems to get more prominent the older I get. The problem with growing up (or maybe the beauty of it) is that you just start questioning everything. You question why you believe what you believe, why others believe what they believe, why people that you’ve always looked up to believe in things that you don’t, and why you feel so differently now than you did even a year ago. It’s this weird time of deciding what you believe in apart from what everyone around you wants you to believe in. And I’ve come to the conclusion that what I believe and choose to support is just as important as what anyone else believes and supports. Just because I grew up republican doesn’t mean I have to stay republican.
One of the things I decided on recently is that I’m done voting for someone based on the party they’re associated with. To just look over the person and who they are simply because it would be a “win” for the party I identify with. Specifically in this presidential race I’ve been so disappointed in some of the people I’ve looked up to the most that have chosen to support Trump because he’s the republican candidate and we can’t let a democrat win again. People that I’ve always known as level headed, caring, smart, sweet people that are openly supporting someone that is blatantly vulgar, aggressive, uneducated and oppressive. And the reasoning behind it is always that they’re “voting for their party”. Because we can’t support abortion! And we can’t support freedom to love whoever we want! And we can’t let Hillary tax us! But what frustrates me the most about die-hard republicans is that what they’re trying to fight for is already… done. Abortion is legal and that’s not changing. Gay marriage is legal and that’s not changing. Every president raises someone’s taxes. To harp on these old issues is to take us backward and shifts the focus from the more pressing issues that aren’t done, while trying to strip Americans of basic freedoms and choices. And I have respect for republicans, I do. I get that they have this idea in their head of what the country should be like and they’re doing all that they can to get it there, just like everyone else. I just don’t agree with those ideas anymore.
Something else I’ve noticed more than ever in this election is that a lot of people (on every side) are just lazy. They believe headlines without reading stories. They look at one site instead of comparing against others. They look for articles that only say what they want it to say and disregard anything else. They just believe memes with “facts” instead of researching the facts themselves. We’ve become this society that’s quick to jump on whatever they see and support it without finding out if it’s even true. And that’s scary. And I get it – it can be really annoying trying to wade through different articles and websites trying to get to the real truth… But in my opinion it’s important. It’s important to be informed and educated, and if after you’re informed and educated you choose to have differing opinions, then by all means! I’m all about freedom. I’m a democrat. (That was a joke!)
Of course, this whole post could probably be turned around and rewritten from the viewpoint of someone that went from being a democrat to a republican. It’s all relative. All that I’m trying to get across is that regardless of what party you identify with, or even if you choose to reject the idea of parties in general, it’s so important to find what you believe and get behind it. Vote. Talk to people about what you believe and why. Educate yourself. Educate others if they’re open to it. Don’t just believe all of the negative spin without going to the source. It’s finally our turn to try our very best to shape our country into something that we can be proud of and that’s not something that any of us should take lightly.
That’s all I’m trying to say here: Don’t let your beliefs idle. Stay informed. Figure out what you believe for yourself. Get excited about it. Stay respectful, but be passionate. And please, be on the right side of history.