Thursday, October 23, 2008

Some Clarifications

I don't know why I'm doing this. I have no evidence people even read this blog, and I have no basis on which to suppose that anyone who cares will read this post.

However, some conversations I've had with different individuals concerned, have encouraged me to make some clarifications. I was, in fact, going to refrain from anything political until after the elections. But strangely, with the encouragement of my best friend, I feel I shouldn't have to worry about simply giving my opinion on politics.

First of all, I still have not decided for whom to vote. I got my early ballot today. I am not voting for John McCain, but I am still trying to decide if I should actually vote for Barack Obama, or for one of the third party candidates. I originally intended to go third-party no matter what, but lately I am feeling like that strategy would have little point.

That's my way of saying: understand when you read posts on this particular blog, you are reading words from a very conflicted individual. The presidential race has been going on for nearly two years, and yet I cannot make up my mind. If Ron Paul was still in the race, I would have voted for him without question.

My posts have been particularly accusatory toward McCain and Sarah Palin. I have posted many clips from The Daily Show, which is a very vulgar, and offensive show. In my mind, these actions are perfectly justified, as they help explain why I hold certain political positions.

Those who read the blog rarely, if ever, will not understand these nuances. They do not understand me, nor my points of view. Sometimes they don't understand my viewpoints, because they refuse to acknowledge that my opinions have any validity. They want to call names and point fingers, rather than discuss differences.

It should be understood that my opinions, which differ greatly from those you may have heard me state in the past, are not meant to be directed at individuals, but are a way of describing what I have come to believe, and why I think in such a manner. In my humble opinion, there are those out there who dislike my vocal nature because they do not want to deal with opinions contrary to their own. They avoid doing so because they think considering other viewpoints is somehow a repudiation, or at least a demonstration of doubt, of their deeply held views.

Then, they change the subject, saying what I say is mean-spirited, negative, or offensive. I've gone back and read many of my posts, and I have been hard pressed to find anywhere where I have crossed whatever imaginary moral line one might think exists in discussing politics.

I've thought it curious that in college, as a strong conservative, I was afraid to speak out because I thought I would be ridiculed by my more liberal professors (and sometimes I was ridiculed). Now, I have looked at some of those opposing opinions, so much so, that I have even come to agree with some of them. Now, I am afraid to speak out, because I might be ridiculed by my republican associations.

I talk way too much. There is no doubt about it. But my object in speaking my mind has been rather simple: I have come to reject some of the lessons that were taught to me as infallible in my youth. Again, if people disagree, or still believe what I am about to denounce, it is simply my opinion. But have no doubt, I am sometimes passionate about these opinions, because I feel I have been denied a full understanding of how the world works, because for quite awhile, I was given the false impression that I really only had one choice to follow in politics.

So here goes - here are some of the ideas I had years ago, that I have fully come to reject (and yes, I feel strongly about them, and others probably feel just as strongly the opposite view):

- You can't be Mormon and a democrat.

- The Republican Party is more religious, more righteous, than the Democratic Party.

- The media have a liberal bias.

- The poor (those who rely on government aid to subsist) are poor because they are lazy. Democrats are the party of the "lazy" and believe in "spreading the wealth socialism."

- I should vote for someone I don't support, just because the opposing party is more scary.

- If you feel strongly about something, there are no other points of view that are as valid as yours. It is okay to make fun of others' view points, if they oppose yours, but it is not fair for them to insult yours.

I think most of what I've been saying can be found under the umbrella of those six topics. I find some of the above ideas rather disturbing. But I understand that some people believe them firmly, and I respect them for it. I do not find the individual people themselves disturbing. Rather, I would like to be able to have a discussion with any of them, so we could come to a better understanding.

Unfortunately, today's culture is extremely enveloped in the mentality that if you disagree with someone, you can expect to be judged by your views, often before anyone on the opposing side has tried to understand them.

Since I haven't had much success in other forums discussing these viewpoints, I have chosen to post them on a blog, a blog that is rarely read by anyone, at least that I am aware.

I am not going to stop giving my opinion. I am not going to change how I feel, even if it is not acceptable to some of my associates. And I am not going to post feel-good "we went to the zoo today" entries on my blog because I just don't have any interest in doing that kind of stuff. If my significant other wants to, she can do it. If you're interested in knowing a little more about the Cherry family, they have started a blog.

And just for the future, if you plan on telling me how offensive my views are to you, I am going to ask you if you've read this 23 Oct. post, and if you've read carefully, and if you've tried to come to an understanding before you got offended. If you haven't, I am not going to take your complaint too seriously. We all need to listen to and consider other points of view. I believe it makes us better people. We can't just get offended and go off and pout. In the end, we can respect each other more, once we come to understand our disagreements. If you don't have time to gain understanding, or read carefully, then let's just leave it alone. Just walk away from the blog, and we'll discuss something else.

P.S. I've decided to stop posting clips from The Daily Show. I did so before, because Jon Stewart is one of the only people out there who actually makes excellent political points, and he does so in a hilarious way. However, I think a lot of the material is unsuitable for what I would like to consider a "safe" blog site. But I will still comment on my views, and I will bring it fiercely every day.

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