I rarely write about politics because I think it’s a tricky subject. See, there are many involved in media jobs who have decided to break silence and voice their personnel allegiance to one party or the other. I suppose they felt some deep seeded compulsion to make known their beliefs, but despite that “avant garde” attitude, there’s really no need for it.
I adhere to that more traditional viewpoint that it doesn’t matter at all what I believe personally. You’ll never read a story pinned by me professing my love or praise for one political party over another. My personal beliefs should have no impact on what is printed on these pages. It’s simply not my job to persuade readers to agree with me. News should strictly be about reporting the facts and let readers draw their own conclusions. That can be hard to do when readers are distracted by thinking how they disagree or agree with the writer on their political idealisms.
This election cycle has been a whirlwind. I’ve seen so many friends and even family members argue, fight and bicker. It’s been bitter, and I’m fairly sure that come Christmas time, there are a couple of my cousins who will not be getting any of my grandmother’s famous Orange-Slice Cookies. I even have an uncle who will be denied her roast. To put it mildly, this is serious stuff, folks.
Why do we continue to do this? And let’s not pretend that this is a novelty or an outstanding year. Every major election cycle, we allow politics to fan the flames of dispute. We sit on top of our high-horse, point fingers and lay blame on anyone who doesn’t believe exactly like we do. Now, I’ll concede that this year has had a heightened sense of dread on both sides, but it’s hardly been a catastrophe.
Let’s take a moment, put our personal feelings aside and look at the facts for a moment. After years of lower than expected voter turnout, we turned out in numbers never seen before to cast our votes in an election that we had the freedom to make our voices heard in the first place.
It’s sort of a tradition of mine to write a column following an election with the intention of scolding people about the low voter turnout and chastise folks for not taking advantage of their right and obligation as citizens of this great country of ours. Well, I cannot express how happy it makes me to not write that column this year.
Tate County can be proud. We did our part and have nothing to hang our heads about in this election. We voted in an election which had record breaking numbers not only across the state, but across the entire nation. Our proud fellow countrymen and women marched to the polls and voted. We even had an avenue available for the most vulnerable of our citizens to make their voices heard from the safety of their homes and utilizing the U.S. Postal Service to cast their votes. There’s the beauty, Loves.
Let’s not waste time and bicker about how the votes were cast or for whom the tally was made, but instead the fact that we had right to be heard in the first place. Don’t think it’s a blessing? Take a good hard look at some other world players and their election processes.
Right now, we need to look at the silver lining. Our country had a record-breaking election. We are pretty close to being split down the middle on our political viewpoints. Now we have the choice, do we write off half the country because we think tax breaks should fall at different income levels? Is it worth losing our friends and family? Worse still, is it worth losing grandma’s cookies or roast because we think a different man in a suit that most of us have never met should be standing behind a podium?
When I became a mother, I was scared, like any young mother is at the prospect of caring for a new little life. I was frantic in the weeks leading up to my daughter’s birth. I spent my days meal planning, organizing, cleaning, packing, finishing a nursery and prepping mentally. Finally, I had her. All that prep-work went out the window. All that mattered was my baby girl. And some of the wisest words I’ve ever heard were uttered to me for the first time, “Things get real simple, don’t they?”
Well, now I am reminded of those words again. All of our prep-work is done, and we are standing before a choice. Are we willing to let political disagreements and disputes drive us away from our family and friends?
For me the answer is a real simple one.