Ryan and I cast our ballots early yesterday. Although it took us about 1.25 hrs to do so the time went by quickly. The experience gave me food for thought.

The fellow voters waiting in line were amicable. Pleasant conversations were had. Majority did not grumble. In the nature of the environment and the reason we were all there, at one point I made a comment that I was just happy to see so many people interested in voting. (We all know how dismal voter turn out is in the USA.)

Voting is one of our most fundamental rights and privileges that founded the basic ideology of our nation.  People have fought hard and died for the right for us to represent ourselves in government and shaping the nation. It is saddening to me that so many people throw that right away by either not voting or not being an educated voter. Two women in line said in reply to my statement that surely I only feel that way dependent on who those people are going to vote for. When I said that I didn’t agree with that statement they laughed at me and said that one of us was going to be very unhappy come Wednesday morning and implied that we were obviously voting for different candidates.

Routinely on Facebook it seems that there is a call out to not talk about politics publicly or “in polite society”. I can understand not wanting a continuation of vitriolic ranting but what about a discussion? Why do we hide politics behind closed doors? It seems that we are further encouraging conversations to only be held with like minded individuals. From where are new ideas to be born? How are we going to come about to understand or work well with others in this country that hold different beliefs? Including 2012 it seems to me that the last 4 elections have been nearly split down the middle of this country yet we like to think that who ever wins at the end of the day some how is the majority? How does that work when a man loses the popular vote but gains the electoral college? Too me the math does not add up at times. A small majority may be a “majority” but that doesn’t mean it is representative.

We need to learn to respect and play nice in the sandbox people.

It is comforting, I suppose, to keep in a bubble of sameness. We have many challenges and worries in our lives. Government is not going away, differences are not going away. If someone tells you that they have an easy solution to a big problem then they are not telling you the full story. Blanket generalizations are the wool people pull over their own eyes and that same wool they are trying to pull over yours.

I’m no saint. I’m no perfect conversationalist. I get passionate and don’t always explain myself well. It would be nice though if our next revolution was one of learning respectful dialog. To learn to converse about ideas without having to feel like you have to convert the other person to agree with you to make it a productive conversation. To not feel affronted because someone feels differently. Our country has some hard questions it needs to answer about what we are doing and no, not everyone is going to be happy with how it is resolved but it would be nice if everyone felt that at least their voice got heard and if they could hear other people’s voice.

Is anyone else tired of the rhetoric designed to make us either afraid or angry? Is that useful or misleading? How is it productive? Am I wrong to think that, similar to genetics and health, inbreeding of thought is not a good thing?

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. They say you are only supposed to say happy nice things on a blog and to avoid religion and politics. But let’s be honest, my following is fairly small on here and I’m pretty sure I know each and everyone of you. Many of you from before the time I could talk and get myself into trouble. So, let me know your thoughts. Give me something more to chew on if you don’t agree with something I’ve said.

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