Friday, October 17, 2008

Dissonance

I am struggling during this political season. Yesterday, I wrote a post about politics. One hour later I changed my mind and deleted the post. Why? Because I was comparing my political views to those of people I love. I felt I was being disloyal by criticizing their views.

They say "you can never go home again". I think I am experiencing this fact. I grew up in the "bible belt". I had the chance to move away and live in other places. Now that I've come back "home" I feel like an outsider. People I grew up with still believe the way they have always believed. I have changed. As a result, I often find myself at odds with those around me.

My parents watch only Fox News, while I still read the New York Times. When I visit them, there is a good chance they will be listening to Rush Limbaugh on the radio. When they speak of Sarah Palin in glowing terms, I keep my thoughts to myself. Am I being a peacemaker, or am I being a hypocrite?

It's not just family, either. I am reluctant to open up to those I meet here because I sense they will judge me, or that I will offend them. I know I am in the minority here in my political views. I miss being around people who think the way I do. It's nice to feel that you "belong".

As I write this, it occurs to me that it shouldn't be so difficult to disagree with those around you. We should all be able to accept the views of others without hard feelings. The climate we live in seems not to allow that.

6 comments:

Jenny Jill said...

This post hit home with me, Judy. We moved to give palliative care to my parents. After they died we moved into my parent's house. The neighbours enabled them to remain here longer than they should have. They are particularly old-fashioned in this community. I tried to attend their church, but I couldn't fit in. They insisted the Bible says 'brothers', and would not include women by adding 'sisters. (They set the women's movement back 40 years.)

Currently, the town is fighting a dam redevelopment , with which I agree. (There has been a dam there since the late 1880s) The dam is already there, and everyone is up in arms about it. I think it just might be progress and certainly is good for the environment. I feel pretty much alone. I am posting a My Town Monday with more info, but there is a picture bigger than our little town. I am trying to model "Even if you don't see eye to eye, you can still walk arm in arm." It is difficult.

You cannot change some minds. You can only life your life as you see fit. When there is a time to speak, you will be so moved. I just heard Maria Schriver speak about her Minerva Award.

"Every single person is capable of being an architect of change, even if it's just speaking up at your own dinner table," she says. "Even if it's speaking up for your child in school, fighting for the right education plan for your child, doing something in your community…every single person, I believe, is capable of that."

judy in ky said...

Jenny Jill, thank you for your thoughtful comments.

pierre l said...

Hello Judy. I haven't read you for a while (I subscribe to too many blogs on Google Reader, which tells me I have 32 unread items of yours). I have already had a quick scan, and will do a proper read today.
Having political discussions with your husband is fine, but you don't want to make enemies or hurt feelings, as you have said. The bad feelings would last much longer than an election campaign.

judy in ky said...

Welcome back Pierre...

Natalie said...

I am not sure many people do appreciate "discussions" about issues and candidates. Opinions seem to stick and and people are loathe to see another side. I agree with you that the climate, more than ever, is (frighteningly) intolerant, and I have been biting my tongue too, which makes me feel like a hypocrite sometimes. It gives me a deeper respect and admiration for people who have really stood against intolerance and marched for freedoms, rights and justice... what incredible sacrifice and bravery they displayed.

KARIN said...

My husband's parents are extremely conservative in their views and usually also have FOX on the television. During the last two elections, I patiently and tactfully tried to explain my point of view and why it was so important that they form their opinion from a wide variety of news sources. Deaf ears, let me tell you. They supported the Iraq war and made me feel horrible and unpatriotic. When my husband deployed, they finally began to have misgivings about the Bush administration. Too much water under the bridge for me, though, so now I just keep my distance. I am raising my children to be thinking, caring, compassionate human beings who will insist on equality and justice. Hopefully, my children will put out enough good into the universe to cancel out all the negativity of my inlaws. Hopefully.

My husband, on the other hand, struggles as you do.