A lot of my friends on Facebook say that they are going to “stop talking about politics,” meaning they are going to stop talking about who to vote for and about what our betters have in store for us. Too much nastiness; too many hurt feelings, they say.
I must be getting old in the world of online opining—I’ve been blogging since 2003. Since that time, I’ve been called all manner of nasty things related to my race, religion, heritage, politics and whatnot. I’ve been called a whore for the white man and an African snob by black people. I’ve been called a Low Information Voter, an apologist for Islam(!) and a probable welfare queen by white people—the presumption was that I voted for the present POTUS. In 2008, I was even called “delusional” by an alleged conservative. My crime? Asserting that Barack Obama is a Marxist/socialist/progressive/communist. (Who’s the LIV now?)
As a result, insults pretty much roll off my back. In addition, I rather enjoy answering back like a civilized human while, sometimes slipping the verbal shiv in without the insulter knowing it…until they see their blood on the floor.
My point is that my skin may be thicker than that of some you who only recently began offering your opinions to the public and that, if you change your mind about discussing politics, you skin will grow thicker also.
My other point is that politics is life and vice versa. Here in America, politics deals with those to whom we give permission to run our lives—at least for now it does.
Now, you can abdicate talking about politics, but it will still be present, still there in the midst of what you call your personal life.
Don’t think so? I can cite many examples which affirm my assertion, but let’s go with the latest one: the 2016 Omnibus Bill. Look at the shizam that this thing funds.
- Syrian Refugee Insertion
- Expansion of the H-2 Visa Program
- Sanctuary Cities
- Illegal Alien Resettlement
This is by no means a complete list. All of these issues affect the personal lives of American citizens and at least one is a moral issue. This bill is a legislated means of putting the government’s hands in the pockets of American citizens and taking away the few pennies left therein in order to screw over these same Americans. To refuse to engage on these topics is to agree to your own legal plundering…by Republicans, I might add.
Yes, when you argue about this stuff—politics—you will get push-back, often from those who have not thought scenarios through to their logical end points and/or who are fact-deficient. Or, perhaps, it’s you who has not thought scenarios through or are fact-deficient. This is what arguing does: exposes flaws in thinking and refines it, or at least it is supposed to do that. (That other thing which we called argument—composed primarily of insult—is, in fact, not argument. It’s poo-flinging. Modern terminology: trolling.)
I urge those interested in true argument to stay with the public discussion of ,politics–of life–in spite of the poo-flingers. I would even say that the abdication of reasonable men and women in political discussions is what has caused poo-flingers to flourish. Nature abhors a vacuum.
Keep talking as if your life depends on it, because, in fact it does. And don’t worry. At some point the time for talk will be over.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.
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