Freedom of Stupidity: Stirring the Political Pot

It’s late for me. I usually have hit vegetable state by now, and am in full sleep mode within the next 35-45 minutes.

To blog or not to blog. That is the question.

But I’m on a roll. Trying to form a habit. So, I’m going to blog. Definitely not going for the lengthy scripture filled devotion type blog that has been spilling forth from my fingers.

No, tonight you get rambling. Aren’t you excited?

I’ve spent a small amount of time this evening reading facebook, Twitter, and blog comments about the 2012 election. Yes, I expect it will be a topic of conversation for a while, but my newsfeeds have been a little weird to me.

Pretty common statements have been to the sound of:

“I can’t believe how many people are saying horrible things about people who voted differently than them. And how mature is it to unfriend people simply for who they voted for?”

I guess I must be very cautious about who I “friend” and “follow”. Other than the types of posts I have referenced above, I don’t have any of those mean and negative posts on my feeds.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m GLAD they aren’t on my feeds! What a bunch of poor sports and losers to react that way!

Apparently I only have friends and follow people with whom I agree. WRONG!

Everyday I read posts and tweets from friends that I am absolutely morally and spiritually opposed to. I would say I voted against approximately half of my friends. I would say if we polled my Christian friends, we too, would be split when it comes to politics.

I recently heard it said that we only speak to or read from people who agree with our position. I totally disagree with that statement.

How can I ever learn or grow if all I ever do is carry on dialogue with cookie-cutter people? People raised like me, with my beliefs, and my education…what more do they have to offer me?

I make the decision every day to stretch my mind…to learn something new…to challenge what I know. I seek out those who have a different opinion. I ask questions. Why do you feel that way? What makes you believe that instead of this?

You know those articles, books, blogs, anything put into print deemed controversial? Yeah, I’m the person who goes out and finds them to read them on purpose. What makes them so controversial? Why are people so stirred up over the content? How will this affect us ten years from now? Is this really worth the hoopla people have made it in to?

Sure, if you have to know, I’m conservative. It actually surprises me to say that. I didn’t realize it until the last couple years. I see myself as too progressive to be conservative, but when it comes to the heart of the matters, I’m conservative.

But stop judging me by that. I’m also open-minded. I’m a thinker. I’m reasonable.

I actually like to look a problem from ALL (and yes, I do mean ALL) sides. I may still choose to like the solution from the conservative side best, but I can be unbiased as I approach a problem from all sides.

I don’t want to be labeled any more than the next person. When I make the decision not to support a business that spends money on advertising campaigns that I would rather my children not see, I don’t want to be labeled a member of a hate group. Making a decision to support or not to support a corporation is a peaceful way to make a statement. It is in no way, shape, or form a hate crime.

I mean, are vegetarians members of hate groups? By refusing to buy products containing meat they are hurting American farmers, truck drivers, grocery stores, restaurants, the list goes on and on. Vegetarians (as a whole) are NOT members of hate groups any more than I am.

This morning one of my children asked me about the results from the Presidential election. The conversation got deep. Emotions were involved…who says teenagers don’t care about politics? Finally one read me a totally inappropriate comment someone had posted on facebook. I was appalled and wanted to make sure my children understood what type of repercussions could come from someone making threats like that.

“The Bill of Rights guarantees us Freedom of Speech…it does NOT guarantee us Freedom of Stupidity. What that individual said in anger is a threat to national security. We are free to say way we want. We are not protected from ourselves when we say something stupid that lands us in a heap of legal problems.”

I wonder about these individuals drawing lines in the sand with friends over one election. Their “friends” aren’t trying to take away their Freedom of Speech, but their use of a non-guaranteed freedom of stupidity is causing them to lose their friends.

I like to debate with people. I’m ok with the fact you aren’t conservative. I’d actually like to discuss that with you. If you can handle it. I won’t use derogatory words. I won’t be rude. I’ll expect the same from you. I also expect both of us to leave the conversation more informed about the other’s position. I doubt I’ll change your mind, and I’m sure you won’t change mine, but I’ll have a great time learning from you!