Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This is not a post about politics, it's a post about political posts

It seems the politics are never ending on Facebook and other social media. While I've always had friends who always had more political posts or not, and while politics has always been dirty, it seems to be getting worse.
Maybe it's just because it's a presidential election year.

Now, I understand that many of us have strong political views. (Some don't, and that's fine, too). I actually have a lot of strong political opinions, on a variety of issues. I just choose to limit how much I post about them. A friend once accused that if I "don't stand for anything I'll fall for anything". I don't think that's true; I do know where I stand, and that stance informs my votes. If any of my friends wants to know where I stand on a certain issue or how I voted , I'm happy to share that. I limit the unsolicited political announcements for a couple of important reasons.

First and foremeost, I'm pretty sure my post- especially if it's an angry post- is not going to change the way you vote. A reasoned discussion between us might change how either of us votes, but I can count on one hand  the times I've seen THAT happen on Facebook.  Let's face it- they pretty much all go the same way:

"I am SO ANGRY about what this person said or did! You should all be outraged!"
(People with same viewpoint) "YES WE ARE!! ANYONE WHO ISN'T IS AN IDIOT!"
(People with another viewpoint) "I'll just be over here, perhaps quietly unfriending this person who thinks I'm an idiot".

Related to above, I don't want to be part of the hate that seems so endemic. I don't see nearly enough of people posting what they stand FOR, as I see them ranting against what they are AGAINST.  Politics nowadays seems to be less about voting for someone you truly believe in and more about making sure the other guy doesn't get into office. If you want to be a political advocate that I will listen to, tell me something positive. Tell me you're voting for a candidate because he or she has such a great record on issues that matter to you. Much of what I see people posting doesn't stand up to scrutiny.  Most importantly, if I disagree with you on an issue, don't consider me an idiot, ill informed, or some kind of traitor to your cause. Recognise that people of good conscience can read, research, think and come to very different views on a subject.

Perhaps most importantly, your friendship is more important to me than political advocacy. I won't change the way I vote to please someone, but I am friends with people all over the political spectrum and I like it that it. It makes me keep thinking. I've seen friends unfriended by others over their political viewpoints; I've seen people hide their family's posts until after the election, and I've seen friends take a break from social media because of all the politics. I have at times been saddened by finding out some of my friend's viewpoints; it's led me to both hide my ticker and install socialfixer , and pretty give up on a few blogs for the nonce. Even when I mostly agree with people. I'm pretty sure some of my comments and likes have hurt friends and if they have,I apologize.

In closing: I don't want to use this post to talk about my own politics, but I will say a little. I don't vote based on party, and while many issues are important to me, when it comes down to a deciding issue I will ALWAYS go with environment. I think all those others issues are less important if we don't have a nice place to live.
A closing word on partisan politics: I must say to all the angry people that you aren't just losing the undecided voters, you're losing a lot of people who used to vote with you. The angry, that hate, the misinformation, and massive amounts of money that both the major parties are spending on their smear ads are a huge turn off.

What matters to you? Will you ever convince people to your viewpoint if you alienate everyone who doesn't agree with you?


At 6:04 AM, Blogger misa101 said...

I vote on environemnt and social groth.


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