Around the time a story circulated of Romney saying it was too bad you couldn’t roll down the windows on jet planes to get some fresh air, I decided to stop re-posting political memes on Facebook. I stated my reasons for stopping at the time:
"I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I have for the time being stopped re-posting political posts, no matter how much I agree with them. I am at present all snarked out, and feel that these posts don’t do anything to enlighten anyone, only affirm the already convinced of their opinions and choices, whatever those opinions and choices are. Am I already convinced? Yeah, pretty much. That comes from watching politics in this country for the last 40 years, though. At present I am overdosed on all things political – memes, ads, and news which repeats what people say in ads. For now I’m planning to stick with funny cat pictures."
I found that stepping back from the cut and thrust of political nyah-nyah-nyah-ism made a change in how I felt and how I perceived things. I still had my beliefs, but I began to feel less reactive to contrary beliefs and that felt good.
It is no secret that I was relieved and overjoyed that Obama was re-elected. I have acknowledged the sadness and anger of my friends and family who were Romney supporters. I know how I would feel if Romney had won – sad that there would be so much work that would have to be done over, and over, again. I would feel weary, and discouraged, that the country would be back on the "survival of the richest" train that brought us to the sad conditions that prevailed by the end of the last Bush administration.
Because Obama has been re-elected I have hope. Because Washington state has legalized gay marriage and marijuana, I have hope. I am proud to be a citizen of the People’s Republic of Pugetopolis. Eastern Washington is pretty fed up with being dragged along on our leftist trajectory, although I did notice the Easties voted more in favor of legalizing dope than gay marriage. This indicates to me that they have a deep conviction that they should be allowed to make their own personal choices, while at the same time being able to control other people’s personal choices.
Our last two elections have been national referendums on racism. I have hope because it seems a narrow majority of the population thinks racism is a bad idea.
Whites are no longer the majority in this country. For some of us, this change is a relief, even though pathology is truly color blind. Witness Pol Pot and Idi Amin, for starters, following in the bloody footsteps of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Skin color is no guarantee of anything, is it? Citing these famous mass murderers is the saddest testimony that we are, indeed, all the same under the skin.
Now I hear that in some states there are people so angry about the outcome of the election that they are petitioning to secede from the Union. I’ve known for a long time that the Civil War has never truly ended, and have been told by Southerners that the South is an occupied country. The move to secede raises a lot of questions, chiefly, would they find that separating from the Union might not solve their problems? Many people living in the South have acquired some uppity ideas about civil rights and such. It might not be easy, for example, to reinstate Jim Crow laws after a couple of generations of not having them. A significant portion of the resident population might object. I’m just saying.
We live in interesting times, my friends, and while I love to dive in to the political pool and splash my opinions around, eventually I have to sit back and remember I am called to love everyone. Oh, darn it.
It takes a certain surrender of righteous will to remember that truth is undermined by reactive drama. I go to God with my complaints, but by the time I get to prayer and reflection, I’ve figured out what I’m doing wrong.
Garrison Keillor remarked recently that the "most wonderful, intelligent people can believe the most preposterous things." He went on to say that we need to cut each other a lot of slack, from both sides. I agree, and have to stifle my belief that, hey, I’m still right.
In closing I say, peace be with you, my friends. Tell your loved ones, no matter how much you disagree with them or disapprove of them, that they are loved and important, more important than political opinions. That much I know is true.