This is the third in a series of posts that examines some of the reasons people are fed up with politics. The first post talked about why I, and others, continue on with political writing even though we are also tired of extreme partisanship and hate-speech. The second post focused on how many people confuse the political parties with the two types of political actions that can be taken. Conservatism and progressivism exist independently from political parties and we should look at working together toward specific goals in society rather than jumping on bandwagons. Women can change the world. But there is another reason for kindness when you hear that someone has turned off from political messages.
It is difficult to accept that what you thought was true, and from from which you acted, might not have been real. It is extremely difficult to undergo the internal changes that have to be made when beliefs change. Many people in this situation choose not acknowledge that something they once thought to be true really was not true.
In politics there is so much manipulation and propaganda that many people just throw up their hands and try to ignore that part of our society. Every four years it becomes much harder to ignore. Eleven years ago when the four planes were taken over and turned into missiles to attack New York City and Washington, D.C. people who awoke from non-political lives were tossed into a political maelstrom. With no real base to support this new and massive amount of information the usually non-political folks chose to believe what they were told, by not so independent media. It was impossible to find any critical analysis news coverage in vast geographic portions of the U.S. I spent a lot of time in the heartland back then and was never able to watch MSNBC even in large mid-west cities. Most people who lived there had no way to even stumble across a viewpoint that was different from that of Dick Cheney.
Now there is some independence of thought and diversity creeping back into the common discourse and that means that confusion is a likely by-product of encountering information that contradicts former beliefs and actions. Anger and confusion walk hand in hand. There are some significant number of individuals who are turning off from politics because what they are being told to believe, and may have honestly believed is different from what they are coming to see for themselves.
No one enjoys being wrong, hearing I told you so, or realizing that a person or party you worked for does not consider your well-being, or the well-being of those you love, to be important. Even the most staunch Republicans are now admitting that devisive elements are fracturing the once resolute unity of the Republican Party. Those cracks divide the supporters, the non-wazoo regular people, along lines that may make little sense. I personally think that some kindness is probably needed by people who thought they were the essense and heart of movement but now find out they are little more than foot soldiers for heartless corporate interests.
I don't think I would want to find out I had been duped in that manner. And if I had been I would want some time and understanding. While I happen to think that the coming election is the most importnt one I have seen in my lifetime, I also believe that an awakening of sorts is happening and finding different pathways to mutual goals will also be incredibly important for dealing with societal challenges we are likely to face after the election.
Act with kindness and look for commonality.