Friday, September 19, 2008

Is It Over Yet?

I am going to become a hermit until mid-November. Seriously. I expected the obnoxious ads on tv. I expected the obnoxious ads in the mail. I expected the nasty dirt flying in both directions on the news and in the papers. I even expected to hear opinions all over the internet. But last night was more than I ever wanted or expected.

Last night I went out to the store to buy bread and milk. As is not unusual for the store with the least expensive bread, the shelves were bare. Irritating, but when it is 1/3 the price of anywhere else (including the other brands on this store's shelves) I have come to expect it. Up on the top shelf were 3 slightly smashed loaves of wheat bread. As I was debating whether my boys' complaining about "dirty" bread was worth trying to scale the shelves to grab 2 of them down, another family came by, also looking for some cheap bread. We stood and talked about how this store often runs out of bread, and how it is so much less expensive here than anywhere else, even at the same chain's other locations. Out of the blue, the dad says "I can't wait for next February!" I was quite confused. What was going to be happening in the bread world in February? He looked at me as if I were an imbecile. "The Election!" "Oh," I said, "I don't think anything is going to change overnight just because someone new is President." In my head, I'm thinking, Please God, this man can't really think the price of bread, and gas, and milk will all magically drop overnight just because the "right" person is president now! And of course he is assuming who will win. I didn't ask who he is voting for, because I didn't want to be going there in the first place. I was shopping, not looking for political discussions. Scornfully (not towards me, at least I hope) he said, "I can't wait to see George Bush leaving the White House." Um, ok. At that point his wife and kids started pushing the cart down the aisle, so blessedly the conversation was over. But wow, that is not the way I like to end a trip to the store. I like to mind my own business, thank you very much.

I am coming to think that political discussion is an oxymoron. The two words can't exist together. Political mud-slinging, insulting, yelling, yes. When people talk politics, very rarely is the one side actually listening to the other side. They are really talking to themselves, trying out the sound of their arguments on their own ears. Or worse, repeating what they heard on tv or read in the paper or on the internet, because it sounded clever to them. People are mad, and want someone to blame. Fine, very understandable. But to promote this election as if casting your vote is like waving a magic wand is just beyond ignorant.

In November, we will vote. Someone will win. Then what? We as a country will have to learn to live together again. Will we really be able to get along? Will we be able to work together? I think the number of people who actually think the country is doing great right now is pretty small. We all know there is a lot to improve, a lot to fix. And who you blame is your own business. But I think the most blame lies in the huge divide, the unwillingness of one side to listen to the other, the whole fact that there are "sides."

Personally, I can't wait for December, when people will keep their "side" to themselves.


haffnewie said...

Oh girlfriend... I couldn't agree more. I am hopeful that all will work out. And I believe that no matter who wins... God has a plan! It will all work according to His plan... so I don't need to stress about it! But I do hate to get an earful of nasty from the other side! Or any side for that matter. I guess we are all capable of talking down on the other side and need to watch what we say.

Michelle said...

A benevolent and loving God would not subject us to nor endorse any of the activities which involve the political process. It is all man made and you must participate (how little or much you choose) in order to have a voice.

Yes, I don't want to hear someone's views in the grocery either, but I certainly want some information. If you are an educated person, use your brain, do research and make a choice. Don't let family history or tradition color what you choose to do either.

Oh - and just because it's on the internet doesn't make it true. Make sure anything you choose to believe is vetted and sourced. Bias is inevitable, so choose many different sources for information and vote according to your brain not your heart.

Do not under any circumstances let the mudslinging etc...keep you away from the polls on Election Day. It is your duty to vote, and unless you are truly truly unable, there is no reason not to go.

Aimee said...

I am totally with you on this, as you know. I avoid all conversations (sometimes even with you, lol!) as much as I can; people probably see me as wishy-washy and opinion-less, just b/c I weasel out of the topic. But believe me, I have very strong opinions! I just realize it's pointless to try to discuss them, as you so eloquently said.

Also, I assume that if you don't want to be lectured at the store, you probably don't want a lecture here, either, right? That's the WHOLE point, lol!!!

Michelle said...

Comment was directed at haffnewie.

Gretchen said...

Haffnewie, thanks for your comment. I agree with you, God is bigger than politics, so we don't need to stress about it. Thanks for your understanding!

soleil said...

I agree. Very well said.

soleil said...

Coming back to add that I couldn't agree more with Haffnewie. God is in control. We don't need to stress out about what is in His plan.

Lisa said...

Amen sistah! I am sick to death of politics.