I look back on what I write from time to time and this one was so interesting how timely it is for right now. I published this in 2018 as one of my first posts. I have added and edited some of it to fit for today times. These points are still valid.
It was November 6th, 2018 and the midterm election had just wrapped up.
I find it imperative that we all vote. As cliché as it can be to say how important it is to vote, it has a deep impact. Deeper than you think. The first time I can remember an election is President George W. Bush. Laying in my grandma’s bed watching the television as she stood in front of the tv. I remember it being exciting and yet I didn’t understand any of it. Just the memory in the back of my mind that I am so grateful to have. I also remember during the election of President Barack Obama, walking to the nearest polling place from our house with my mom. She showed me how voting worked. The action of voting was exciting too but I still didn’t fully grasp at 15 years old what politics was about. All I knew is that a President is chosen to run our country and it is important to have leadership. How did it affect me and why is it so important to vote?
This blog was inspired by witnessing so many Facebook conversations turning ugly. People I considered friends bashing on their friends for what they believe. I am not a saint. I may not have taken to social media to shame anyone but I certainly did it out loud after reading comments and posts. Whoever was nearby to hear me get my thoughts off my chest (many times my cat). Whatever, it’s all the same! Negativity and hateful words breed more of it. We also have our opinions of people altered after we see such passionate differences. When they don’t listen to your opinion and only seem to want to shout theirs at you. It’s really sad. All of us are only human and its easy to say mean things from behind a screen. Or say you have been that person where you get so fired up you end up saying things that maybe weren’t thought all the way through.
The reason and purpose of this blog is to spark conversations to learn, to dive deeper, to ask questions, to seek after truth. I am hopefully conveying my words and thoughts in a way that is fruitful. I learned that healthy conflict is a thing.
I was talking with a friend the other day and they stated how interesting it is when you think about why we take politics personally. It stumped me the more and more I thought it through. Why do we get sensitive about it? Why do we judge people based off of who they voted for? We associate politics with identity. You could argue it is a part of our belief system. It is what or who a person believes in and supports. If any of that support is not in support of you then we get offended and have a different point of view of that person. I will be the first to admit how hard that is. To really sit down and hear out someone that does not have the same values while showing empathy. Those are passionate moments! Let me share an example. Its a rough topic so bear with me…
Make America Great Again. Let’s first talk about the unspoken words that creep into the minds of those that disagree with this statement. While it’s a nice day dream for some, not every person ever lived in an America that was great or even good for them. They didn’t have certain privileges that others have. Their ancestors were born into less than great without the same freedoms that our founding fathers wrote down. Still to this day there is a lack of freedoms for some with the exception for others. So when people like myself see or hear this slogan, it stings. The moment you stop seeking justice for your brothers and sisters is the moment we all fail.
Well I hate to break it to you, but we have been failing a long time as a whole. Sure, we have come a ways from many varieties of shortcomings. There is still so much work to be done. For our people of color, things have not been right for, well…ever.
So as you can see around town, in classrooms, and grocery stores Make America Great Again rings differently for people. If I were to guess, not many people who support that slogan knew that majority of colored people passing has thought about the ignorance behind the words. But I guess this is exactly our problem…we are selfish. We only care about what is good for ourselves. If you wear this proudly, you either think it’s super patriotic and doesn’t bother you that it cuts like knives to others. Or you had no idea and just think others don’t like President Trump therefore, they hate the hat or shirt. No. It’s much deeper than that. That same feeling has been shared among my community that I have asked. Like I said – this is a healthy conflict I am willing to have any time with you.
In a recent article one said, “We are also told that we “should not mix religion and politics.”…This saying has a powerful truth: that when religion is used for political purposes, it empties religion of its eternal meaning and becomes just one more cynical method of acquiring power.” I had to take a few minutes after reading this and think hard about why I bring my religion into politics.
I believe in the Holy Bible to be inspired, the only infallible and authoritative Word of God. I have a relationship with Him and live my life according to His purpose for me. Insert your religious/spiritual/etc. beliefs where I just wrote mine. Share with me how you separate your beliefs from what is affecting our nation. I really don’t think it is possible. Your beliefs should provoke the reasons why you think the way you do about political topics. I know this sounds silly but think about what YOUR higher power would choose when filling out the ballot. Not what your political party would choose or your friend or family. That’s what truly matters at the end of it all. Political parties are chosen based on the side where your beliefs lie the most. I will tell you that my beliefs do not lie on a particular side. I promise I am not just saying that for the sake of this blog. I believe this is because the Kingdom I live for is upside down from what this world looks like.
I side slightly towards individualism, meaning I more often support free market policies that create opportunity for personal liberty and success rather than collectivism. However, I believe in extreme globalism, meaning I strongly support policies that prioritize the interests of the entire world above those of individual nations. I care about people. I care about what is right and just and ethical for everyone. I don’t know what party this throws me under so I don’t focus on that. Rather, I educate myself by talking to people, reading up on politics coming from every political background. I research things I don’t understand and I ask a lot of questions. Take this tip as well…don’t spend a lot of time on it. Do not submerge yourself so much that it consumes you. It is an earthly matter. Politics were created by human beings which means there are bound to be flaws in the system hence, our imperfect nation/world.
To put it all simply, I try to walk out what God’s will is over my life. By reading His word, meditating on it and how I dissect it with discernment. Not perfect at it as non of us ever will be. I am not “good” because I live this way. I fail every day but I get back up and try again and again because of how perfectly good I see God to be in my life and the lives of others.
As you have seen for the past couple of years, politics do affect each and every one of us. You don’t have to like politics. You know that at some point these past 2 years you have had some conversation regarding the man in the White House. When you vote this year, focus on what you care about and look into who is advocating the best way. Who would you get behind based on their values, morals and character. Character does matter in politics! The person you vote for is going to be a global leader who will set the tone of our country. Character trickles down from authority to the general public.
A lot of people ask me how I consume information regarding politics. Here is what I say- Please please please do your own research. Just like you stalk your ex or friends before you knew them…take the time to stalk political talk as well. We have grown to produce tons and tons of outlets for news in media. It’s a problem. A bigger problem than you realize. There is too many articles, newspapers, tv hosts, streamers that put news out there and you and your neighbor are getting different news from different sources. So we all consume different information. Leading to the big question. What is the truth? What is the most credible source? There are a lot of lies out there but there are great resources. What I find to be the best for me is watching live television, speeches, hearings, etc. Then shutting off the tv before the analysts come on. That way you can take time to ponder on what was said. Then later look into what sources are saying so you have that knowledge as well. Take in the information and determine for yourself what you just heard and witnessed. If I miss the live speeches then I search for them. I cannot read an article quoting a president if I have not heard it for myself. You will find many times, key words, emphasis, tone is missing. How was it said? Where and when was it said? All that matters. You consume media, don’t let it consume you. So when in doubt, strive for live!
We need to vote. Yes, us young people, women, those who have NOT been going to the polls better get out there this year. This is not a game and despite what you think about conspiracies that it’s rigged. Vote. Just do it. For the sake of hoping things must change for the next generation.
P.S. Let’s not make America great ‘again’ but instead just make America awesome.