Today is like or not to like day. I choose not to like. Perhaps it is because I feel really awful. A 36 hour blinding headache will do that for you. Maybe it is also because several people chose to visit my dreams last night that I am not a fan of. They caused issues in my dreams just like they do in my real life....imagine that!
So what do I not like today? I do not like politics. I especially do not like them going into a presidential election year. Politics used to be a way for two separate belief systems to express themselves and for the country to vote in the person they felt best for the job. Now a days though....politics has become a way for us to forget that regardless of our views....we are all still human beings. Democrats/liberals use politics as a way to call those who believe differently racists, religious nuts and elitists. Republicans/conservatives use politics as a way to call those who believe differently liars, unAmerican and socialists. It has become a school yard game of nastiness and hate and in it, we are teaching our young people to do the same.
When politics comes into play, it seems that we forget that people are more than there political beliefs. A friend and I were talking the other day. I told this friend that I have friends that range from the most dyed in the wool liberals to the most conservative of the conservative. When I speak to them or hang around them, my first thoughts about them are not their political affiliations. My thoughts are about who they are, how they have affected my life and how they fit into my world. The friend agreed saying that they didn't even know the political affiliation of most of their friends and didn't care. In the last decade they have been in zero political conversations with these people because they don't see friends as republicans or democrats, but as merely friends.
I make no bones about the fact that I am conservative. I am all that conservatism is about....and more. I am all for small government, lower taxes and the government not giving indefinite hand outs to those who refuse to work. I am pro-life, pro-gun and pro-God. However......I am not against gays in the military or gays marrying. I believe the war should end and our soldiers should be brought home. I believe that those in need should be helped, but should also be taught to help themselves. I believe in free enterprise and free speech. I believe our borders should be closed and illegals should be treated as criminals and not be given more benefits than even our own citizens are. I believe that animals should be protected, but not put above human life. I believe we should produce our own gas and oil and quit relying on the middle east. I believe that charity begins at home and instead of constantly giving other countries hand-outs and aide (natural disasters are not included in this) that we should be helping our own. I believe that government should slash their own paychecks and quit spending. I believe that we should be focusing on spending only that which is necessary and cutting back on or cutting out altogether that which are not an immediate need. I believe that ALL government offices should have term limits and that president should be a term of respect, not a term that we as a people are embarrassed to utter. I stand when the flag goes by, I am proud that my children not only know but still recite the Pledge of Allegiance and I firmly believe that we are all "one nation under God." So does this make me a liberal Republican, a conservative Democrat, a liberal conservative or does it simply make me a human being with my own thoughts and beliefs that yes.....they are part of who I am, but not the sum of all that I am?
I am sure my democrat/liberal friends could jump in here and tear me apart for any number of my beliefs and my republican/conservative friends could do the same. But I would hope that those of you who know me, know that while yes I do live my beliefs and am not afraid to back them up, also know that I don't disrespect those who believe differently than I do. I don't shut others down who respectfully express different opinions than I have and that I am always willing to listen and maybe even learn. That is what makes me not a political ideology......but a human being.
I have many friends with many strong political beliefs. I love you all regardless of where you fall politically. I just ask a favor of you all. This year, when you are standing on your political principals, please ask yourself when you start to throw the political mud 1) is this the time and place 2) am I helping my cause or simply making myself look narrow and ignorant 3) why do they believe the way they do? Could a little respectful education turn them around? 4) if I dive bomb them with my beliefs as if I am the only one who is right.....am I changing the world or their mind or am I just perpetuating what they already believe about me and 5) I am not talking to a lesser species.....I am talking to another human being and they deserve the same respect that I myself desire.
Life is too short to be angry and politics makes people angry. It makes people look at others negatively and tends to classify people in ways that never should be. If you speak out....speak with respect and conviction. If you are sure of where you stand and what you stand for, then you don't need to insult, belittle or bash someone else to prove your point. All you have to do is hold tight to what you know are truths. The rest will take care of itself.
So there you have it. Today's dislike. Now I think I will go back to nursing my headache. Hope you all have a pain free Thursday!