Discussions here revolving around politics have become less than fruitful and most involve accusations and insinuations. Much of that is because of the atmosphere in which the discussions take place. We read the stereotypes of liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats on to those with whom we are discussing and ascribe motivations and assume the worst on many occasions.
It does absolutely no good to attempt to determine the origin of the toxic political atmosphere because either side will, no doubt, blame the other.
With all of the negatives swirling around political blogging, you may ask, "Then why do you engage in it?" I must confess that in a large part, it is due to laziness of some sort of another.
Political writing basically writes itself and brings in readers, or at least consistent readers and engagers. I know I can go to my favorite news and political blogs, find a story about Obama, write it fairly easily and then watch the passionate sparks fly.
Now, my objective is not to rile up liberals or annoy them, but that seems to be the result more often than not. No movement ever really occurs. Each of us look at the same set of facts and come to completely opposite conclusions, stunned that the other side could be so stupid as to miss what we see.
I’ve been challenged to write more things that are critical of those that I agree with and which praise the opposition. However, if you go back and look at those posts hardly anyone comments. No one really pays attention. Controversy is what drives readership and comments.
But honestly, I’m not comfortable being part of one of those blogs or being one of those bloggers. I don’t want controversy and shock value to be the driving force behind people reading what we have to say.
My desire is for people to come here, see something with which they may disagree, but feel that they will be heard and respected even if they hold a contrary opinion. My hope is that politics will cease to be the defining category of this blog.
Again, I write about politics because it’s easy. I doesn’t take much thinking time for me to spill out my opinion on some political matter and with it being an election year there are dozens of interesting political stories every day. I have an endless supply of material, which allows me to blog while still having time to devote to all the important things in my life during this transition period I’m in.
But because I value our community here and I’ve seen the inability to have beneficial political discussions, I’m going to cut down as much as possible my political blogging. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about politics or don’t feel it is important, both of those couldn’t be further from the truth. However, I care about other topics more and feel they are much more important.
In an election year with a controversial campaign, it will be difficult for me to completely do away with political blogger. As I said, I’m passionate about politics and do have strong opinions about the policies of the day. However, because I value the people here much more than their (or my) political opinion, I feel it’s time for a little break or at the very least a slow down.
I’m sure as I’m writing this, the next big political story is breaking and I will be dying to say something. But hopefully, I can focus more on quality of work than quantity and bring stories to you that can stir discussions without stirring anger. Writing that illustrates our commonality despite our vast differences. But more than anything else, writing that helps us to think about the things, the issues, the people in life that really matter.
It’s a lofty goal and I’m sure I will fail at it on numerous occasions, but my calling here on Earth is not to convert someone to conservatism or have them vote Republican in the next election. It’s much higher and much more important than that. It’s time I concentrate more on it.