Can I Get an "Amen, Sister!"?

I don't really like discussing politics. I don't like being asked "Are you a Republican or a Democrat?" because I have leanings toward issues on both sides of the aisle. I'm excited about this year's presidential election, mainly because regardless of which party takes office, the results will be historic. We'll either have a woman as VP or a Black man as president.

I don't stick my head in the sand on the issues, but as a general rule, I'd rather focus on our commonalities. I think the mudslinging that goes on between candidates during elections STINKS. I don't think it speaks well for either party. It's one thing to say that you are "pro life", but just because the other party is "pro choice" does not mean s/he supports murdering babies. It's one thing to say that you are against the war, but just because the other party supports it does not mean that s/he is in support of our troops dying.

And while we're on the topic, as a friend of mine once said, it must be nice to be able to base your vote entirely on one issue.

If you've been around here for awhile, you know that I love Jen Lancaster. She's a funny, snarky author who tells it like it is. Her post today ("A Cup of Civility") addresses just how I feel about politics, and is worth reading in its entirety, but I have to put an excerpt of it here in case you don't care to click the link. It's THAT important.

"Whatever team you're on, I bet if you check, you'll find that your dog's feet do smell like Fritos. I bet you love your husband. I bet you have a great group of girlfriends. I bet you've all cursed your neighbors when they leave their garbage cans in your driveway. I bet you've had at least one disastrous haircut in your life. I bet you own a certain pair of shoes that you'd have cut a bitch to possess.

I bet if you think about it, you'll find we all have a million samenesses and just a few differences.

But those differences don't have to prevent us from enjoying each other's company provided we have a modicum of respect for each other.

Not long ago I went to a friend of a friend's house to watch Project Runway. There was a group of us there and we were having a fabulous time until I was outed for having voted for the Bush administration. Even though I'd been laughing and talking with everyone for a few hours - they LIKED me - the mood in the room changed instantly. Suddenly, I was the enemy without ever having opened my mouth about politics. After my outing, one of the people there literally stopped talking to me for the rest of the night. Seriously, he would not even acknowledge my presence. And that was bullshit.

I'm deeply weary of what I'm seeing on the Internet right now, too. I'm tired of reading blogs by members of BOTH parties saying that if you don't agree with me, if you don't see the world exactly as I do, then you're either stupid, uninformed, or just quoting sound-bites. I'm repulsed by the notion that if your ideas don't mirror mine, then you are WRONG WRONG WRONG and now I shall sic my comments section on you so they can reiterate how wrong you are because you couldn't possibly have drawn conclusions based on your own research, on your own experiences, on your own historical filter.

Again? That's bullshit. We should be grilling our leaders, not grilling each other.

When did we stop having rational discourse? And why is there suddenly such a lack of common courtesy out there? I understand everyone's passionate about what they believe, hence so many fiery posts. But I don't think we're accomplishing anything with all polarizing, screamingly dogmatic blog posts. How can anyone be expected to listen or get a better perspective on other people's filters when there's so much yelling going on?

Regardless, this website is my living room on the Internet. You all are my guests. So I'm not bringing politics on this site during election season because I WILL NOT allow anyone to make you feel unwelcome or uncomfortable here in my home.

And if you need to use the bathroom, it's upstairs and to the right."

You can use mine too. Just be sure to put the seat down when you're done. 'Cause honestly, it's those kind of issues that I deal with on a day-to-day basis. Not really concerned about Bristol Palin's love life.

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