Growing up in the 80’s one of the mantra’s I’ve heard most of my life is:“Don’t discuss politics and religion.” in polite company.
(As an aside I found this “starter piece” on The Etiquette of Talking Politics, I don’t agree fully but she makes some excellent points, especially for newbies)
I always wondered why that was especially since those pretty much define the belief system of every living person on this spinning planet. Even if a person is an atheist and apolitical, those beliefs still define what they do and how they engage in everyday life. So in effect, what we have done is perpetuate the ignorance of millions of Americans, justifying why they don’t need to be informed and engaged citizens, in the name of politeness or more accurately political correctness.
Politics defined is the science and art of running a government. Most
of us, however, tend to think of politics as people who are
opportunistic or scheming. It is my belief that this is why most
Folks want nothing to do with it, perhaps for fear of being tarnished. So
why bother? Especially given today’s climate of partisanship and
vitriol, who needs the additional stress?
Well, I would contend that, by default, each and every one of us is
political by our very existence. Our homes are political, our jobs,
our churches even our friendships are political.
Think not? If you are married and you want to purchase something that perhaps your spouse wouldn’t be overly elated about do you think of how to frame the item so it seems more appealing? Have ever embellished a story to impress another? Ever told a friend that you were doing something else because you didn’t want to hurt their feelings? The examples of politics in everyday life are endless.
So why is it when it comes to what affects our lives on a daily
basis - with regard to the laws that regulate our lives and those of our children - do we shy away? It’s been said that people may think they can ignore politics, but politics will not ignore you. Taxes and regulations invade our lives whether we vote or not.
The laws that govern our cities, state and nation dictate things as
simple as where we live, what and where we drive, where our
children go to school, what they learn in school. Our churches are restricted by what they can say. There are laws awaiting approval as I type this that will determine what we eat, how much gas we can use, how much rain run-off we can have and even the size of our lawn mowers and even the types of light bulbs we use.
I’ve also heard it said that no answer is an answer in itself. I guess this is the stance of those who choose not to get involved in politics.
If this is your choice, my question is why? Do you not care about the future of your children (an ADOST (attention deficit Oh Shiney Thing) moment~ little Whitney just for fun), your community your faith? As you “stand idly by” and allow laws and regulations to be passed without your input? After all, your life is being altered and you are choosing to be a victim through your chosen inaction.
So if you are a political junkie like me, a teacher in the Bronx or just ahousewife in Minnesota you are needed by your community to get informed and engaged. I’ll repeat from posts of yonder days: If not you, who? If not now, when?