I never write about politics. I’m not qualified to do so, and few things frustrate me more than talking heads (or in this case, writing fingers) prattling on about an issue without all the facts or context. But (and you knew that was coming, right?) I am so overwhelmed and depressed and disappointed and shocked by the political goings on these days. No matter how much I want to shove my fingers in my ears and hum loudly to myself, I can’t ignore what I read. And I can’t stop reading it, either.
It surprises me how ill-equipped I am to deal with all the hate in the world. When did I become so naive? I used to be able to debate with the best of them, confident that I could make you see my perspective if not change your mind. Goodness knows my mind wasn’t going to change, of course. I thought I was a bleeding heart liberal long before I really understood what that meant.
But I’ve mellowed. Not necessarily in belief, but absolutely in my need to share it with you. And what seems to have replaced the furvor folly of my youth is resignation, exhaustion and deep, deep sadness.
My friend Laura says, “Be Kind. No Exceptions.” It’s a simple mantra that has garnered a lot of attention lately. I’m just not convinced that the right people are getting the message. Every time I read the news it’s another example of hateful vitriol and inexcusable behavior coming from individuals in prominent leadership positions at all levels. There’s no such thing as “agree to disagree” anymore; just “you’re wrong, and I hate you for it.”
It’s unbearable. And disrespectful. If our leaders can’t treat one another with common decency, how can we believe they have any respect for their constituents?
So I’m considering enforcing a personal moratorium on news updates until after the mid-term elections. I’ll do my research now so I can be an informed voter, but then I’ll stop reading. I’ll go straight to the dream real estate section of the New York Times. I’ll skip the political articles in The New Yorker. I’ll avoid Wait, Wait like the plague. I’ll remove all other news sources from my various feeds.
Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just keep reading and hoping someone up there gets the message. Soon.