Can we talk about the human side of this election? Yanno, the post-voting fallout?
I’m stunned by the numbers of people posting complete vitriol–from both sides. On my personal Facebook page it’s been limited, but frankly I think that has more to do with having a small circle of friends than anything else. Even within that small circle, I’ve seen plenty of people unFriending each other. Is the shrinking middle class being reflected in shrinking moderation in all areas?
If you’re new to Fringeland, let me tell you now, I’m broke and lean left. If you’re already offended, this blog isn’t for you.
I have friends on both sides, listen to opinions on both sides, see the same facts and figures get skewed by both sides. To me the choice, if not all of the issues, was clear. For all of my reading and listening, I don’t really understand how some of my friends have the beliefs they do. Some, I think I get it even if I disagree, based on clues and things I know are true in their lives.
Others, I don’t get it at all. It seems to me they’re fighting against their own interests, one foot in the same muck mine is in and the other heel grinding into the dirt to be buried alongside the first one.
But here’s the thing. I know they’re looking, listening/reading, and thinking the same about me. They believe our country, our values, and our basic rights are slipping away under Obama. And no, I’m not talking about any of the hateful, ignorant worms we’ve all seen photos of and quotes from online– you know the ones, those who proudly held up signs saying “Bring the White Back into the White House,” or any of their despicable cohorts.
I’m talking about people who aren’t in the 1%, people who are intelligent, reasonably well read, often highly educated. Maybe they have children they’d like to send to college, maybe they have children with significant chronic medical needs, maybe they work union jobs, maybe they’re on disability, or collecting unemployment benefits, maybe they’re women, maybe they’re people of color, maybe they consider themselves caring and moral people (with or without religion), maybe they’re gay, maybe they’re counting on help from FEMA, or the Federal government to rebuild the infrastructure of their community in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
In my opinion, these are all people who have the potential to benefit more from Obama than they would have under Romney. Some of them disagree. Fine. I accept that, I was raised with and am quite comfortable with our two party system. Frankly, I’d like to see some teeth from one or two of the smaller alternative parties in addition, to keep people thinking and evolving along with the world. I don’t have enough hubris to write all of these people off, blanketing myself in the assumption that they’re all either dim, heartless, or evil.
Some people ranting, roaring, and picketing is good. We need people with that level of passion to get everyone else paying attention. I admire those who fully devote themselves to the causes they believe in, and I thank them for putting their time and energy into these causes, caring enough to keep up the work and attention when elections end, and others might think there’s no more work to be done.
I rarely, rarely see honest, potentially helpful political discourse. The closest is Real Time with Bill Maher, which I’m sure will have 2 of my 3 readers screaming at the computer screen when they read this. The third will wail that I’m rolling over and giving in, not passionate enough.
But. When did it turn into everyone screaming? If everyone is screaming, no one is listening. I see rants, misleading partial quotes, and a whole lotta lalalala.
I grew up in a home where there was a lot of political arguing. My father would rant, calling my brother a fascist and my brother would bellow back, calling my father a communist. I would go hide in my room, wishing they would both shut the fuck up. The past year has felt like old home week. Except I’m not hiding in my room and don’t want everyone to shut up. I care very deeply about my life, your life, and the world my children are going to live in. Just lower your voices so I can hear your words, and the intention behind them.
I just typed a paragraph and then deleted it. You know how I feel, and where I live, and what sorts of implications that has. I find myself wanting to lump all of “them” into one ugly category and that’s not right, either. Good post.
Thank you. I completely understand the urge to lump everyone together into the most vocal, offensive examples. I just don’t think that’s everyone. Kinda like when the news here covers the Gay Pride parade. No matter how many people are walking, the clip always focuses on the one or two Dykes on Bikes who’ve removed their shirts. o.O
My dear Mrs. Fringe: I love your fire and passion! And I LOVE this post. 🙂
Thank you Diana! I appreciate the your feedback, as an intelligent independent woman, a blogger, and a Canadian. 😀
That last sentence said it all quite well.
Even though I am in Australia, I am obviously well aware of what is going on over there. I think what has shocked me most about some of the post-election posts I’ve read (not that many, but enough) is the vitriol expressed, as you point out. Obviously we get that here too in the context of politics and it sickens me – all that hatred. This is a well balanced post.
I’m sorry to hear you see it in Australia too, but it also feels important to know that the US isn’t unique in this, it’s a global issue.
Thank you 🙂
I keep thinking the sincere discussions about moving forward will start soon and the vitrol will be shelved for a year or two – but people are not letting go and moving on. I just don’t get it. I have friends with genuine fear over the election results – I’m puzzled.
This is one area where I’m not ready to give up hope, and want to think the real give and take discussions will begin to happen.
Puzzling is an excellent word for what we’re seeing and hearing. Ultimately we all want the same results. We will never see them if we don’t learn how to listen to each other and move forward.
So very true. I think that there are some on the right who seem genuinely fearful and I just can’t understand it. Learning how to listen – that’s the key. We all should have learned that in kindergarten:)
Heh. You would think. 🙂
Great post. I saw this and never got round to reading it. damn you life! lol
I agree 2 million percent. I feel like checking peoples foreheads and saying, are you sure you don’t need a little lay down?
LOL, Fay! You are so right! I was on the elevator yesterday with a man who kept rubbing the left side of his chest. I noted the extra pounds and white hair and REALLY needed to bite my tongue to stop from recommending a cardiology appointment.
But you didn’t cause he was a republican?
Harsh but dedicated 🙂