Here I sit, the winner of my own private civil war, and what have I gained?

Bombs were thrown and insults were lobbed back and forth.  “Liberal Demoshit.”  This was a fight in the family, so relatives jumped in.  “Well, you’re a right wing piece of shit.”  The battle had to end with the final shot–the unfriending.

Granted, the guy in question is an asshole.  He has a virulent hatred of the President and the First Lady.  And he doesn’t do a very good job of hiding the fact that his hatred has a lot to do with their skin color.

It should be easy to crow over how stupid he is.  But there is no feeling of triumph after a debate with a Trump supporter.  There’s no satisfaction in having to cut off a part of my family.  There’s only an empty sensation.  I hate conflict.  I hate fighting and mudslinging.  My “uncle” hit me with a low blow, but I allowed myself to get dragged down there with him, and became just as much of an idiot as he was.

And it’s a bad sign of what’s been happening, more and more, to all of us.  We can’t be friends if we’re on the opposite sides of the political party divide.  And now it’s even difficult for members of the same party.  I bite my tongue and stay quiet about the worries I have about a potential Bernie presidency, because I don’t want more unfriendings in my life.

I get the premonition that someday we’ll be standing there, looking at the charred, smoking remnants of our homes, our family relationships, our country.  We’ll shake our heads sadly and say:  “Yeah, it all started with an online argument….”

 

Advertisements

Really?  Do even the holidays have to turn into a war?  And I don’t mean in a “War On Christmas” sense of the word.

All this week, the airwaves have been filled with advice for the holiday season, and it hasn’t been advice on how to make the season more charitable or more caring.  “How to browbeat your conservative relative at the holiday dinner.”  “How to annoy the liberals in your family.”

Seriously?  I say this as someone who’s got very strong opinions–I don’t get it.  It’s the holidays.  This is the time to enjoy the company of your family and excessive amounts of food.  Are we really not able to lay down our respective ideologies for a few hours in order to do that?  So there are going to be people at your table who have different political and religious views from you–so what?  We can agree to disagree.  Not everything in life has to be part of some great battle, and if you believe it is, then I feel sad for you.  It means you’ve got issues, and your need to inject drama into every situation probably comes from a psychological source that goes way deeper than politics. 

And even if you believe that the holiday dinner is just another skirmish in the eternal war between good and evil–with all the relatives who disagree with you representing “evil”, naturally!–it is still an age-old military tradition to have a Christmas ceasefire.  I, for one, intend to lay down my weapons while at the family feast, and I wish all of us luck with doing the same.

Well, one of my New Year’s resolutions (besides flossing more often) was not to argue politics as much.  We’ll see how long that one lasts.  I have a feeling it will go the way of that other resolution to spend a half hour on my elliptical every day.  Obviously, when I break my resolution (when, not if) I will do it here.

Still, I’ve bought myself several nice boxes of art supplies and am going to attempt to make this year more about creativity and less about debating.  And it’s not just because it will keep my blood pressure low and help me live longer.  It’s because the political debates I’m seeing out there are scaring me.  The discussion has gotten more polarized since the election, not less.  I would have thought the election results would have settled some things (“hey, maybe the people of this country don’t despise that Obama guy”) but the fight to prove that he is somehow illegitimate and wrong has only intensified.  There is genuine hatred in the conversations.  It really sounds like people are about to start shooting each other, or start shipping off those they disagree with to labor camps.

And like many mild-mannered individuals have done throughout history, this makes me want to drop out and tune out of the politics thing completely.  In fact, it makes me want to curl up and hide somewhere.  I thought I was tougher than this, but it doesn’t feel so great when you are classified as the evil Other to be eliminated.  (It also makes me think my boyfriend was right when he said the Interwebs are full of right-wing crazies who might be out to get me.)

So, it’s off to draw some cute woodland creatures holding hands and singing, for the sake of my own sanity.  I know perfectly well that I can’t resist a good fight–as long as it remains verbal–so I’m sure I’ll be back.  But what is happening to the political scene right now…it’s not good, it’s just not good.  I have a very bad feeling about all this.

So this is a good sign for the Obama campaign–conservatives are nervous enough that they’ve started talking to God.  A Utah woman named Mona Williams is calling for a day of fasting for Romney this Sunday.  She states that she is “frustrated” with the direction the country is heading in and asks that people fast and pray for Mitt to be “blessed in the debates”.  She’s not the only one.  I was watching Glenn Beck’s show a few days ago on his new channel, and he was exhorting his followers to fall on their knees and cry out to God about the election.

First of all, what does it say about Mitt’s skill and charisma that he needs divine intervention for the debates?  Overall, though, this is encouraging to hear.  Conservatives are starting to acknowledge that Obama could very well win re-election.  I’m no longer hearing them claim that the President is unpopular with the general public.  Now their theory seems to be that people have been deceived, and they’re praying that a miracle will turn this around.

Naturally, they’re making a huge assumption–that God is on their side.  Beyond the most basic questions–Does God exist?  Is He an automatic supporter of the Mormon Church, or any other church?–even the views within the LDS Church are divided.  Some Mormons are big believers in helping the poor and did not appreciate Mitt’s “47%” comments.  In fact, if Mitt gets elected President, he will join a ward in Washington DC in which most members are Obama supporters.

So if divine intervention does get involved, who knows which way it will go?  Personally, I believe we are the ones who are responsible for who gets elected, but if I decided to meditate to the Goddess, I know it would be for a completely different election result than Mona Williams.