This has been bugging me lately
Americans fight tooth and nail over our country’s politics.
Most notably, the Presidents.
On Election Day, we have just 2 candidates to choose from (realistically anyway).
It’s impossible for any individual candidate to encapsulate everything each of us is about.
Most of us either vote for a Republican candidate or a Democratic one.
And even if your candidate wins, they’re likely to do something that pisses you off throughout their presidency. We’re never going to like everything they do. But we’ll debate, argue, and even fight about it. Defending that politician as if they were your own family. (I’m guilty of this in the past too… which is why it now bugs the fuck outta me.)
We both love and hate our Presidents and other elected leaders FAR too much. And we will keep defending them until we’re in our graves. These are just people. Humans beings with their own personal values, beliefs, and opinions. They’re never going to be perfect. None of us will be.
But today, in 2021, we’d rather keep our mouths shut instead of speaking out against our politicians when they do one thing and say another. Democrats who vote Democrat will almost never call out their elected officials because, if they do, they fear they might be considered a Republican. This isn’t meant to be a blanket statement. We’re not all like this. But a lot of Americans are. It feels way too close to tribalism.
The days are gone where folks will cross party lines when they feel that candidate better represents their values. It just doesn’t happen anymore like it used to.
I voted for Gretchen Whitmer in the Michigan gubernatorial election. I don’t exactly enjoy some of the choices she’s made since being elected. Those who did not vote for her take aim at folks like me as if I was the one who wronged them. Not true. Not ever true. Based on what she said she was going to do, her plans, and her entire campaign, I felt she was the better candidate.
Honestly, until I find out who’s running against her in the next election, I’d probably still cast my vote for her. (I now live in North Carolina so I won’t actually be able to even vote in the next Michigan election.)
The part that bothers me the most is when we turn on each other and cast blame. We cast blame on our friends, families, and neighbors when they vote opposite of us. We think they are the ones in the wrong. But it all comes down to perception and self-interest. Different policies and beliefs are weighted differently between each one of us. It never means we are wrong for voting for who we do (most of the time*).
*Those who vote for Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, for example, are wrong. These people are extremists who threaten our democracy. You are MORE than welcome to disagree with me on this. But I’m not the one who’s sitting back saying “voting for a Republican candidate is wrong”. It doesn’t matter what the letter is in front of their name on the ballot box. What matters is what that person is all about. And these two people act as a disease.
Again, a major word vomit here. My point is, no one likes to be wrong. So we feel that we need to defend our candidates and officials to the bitter end simply because we cast our votes for them. Casting a vote isn’t attaching yourself to that person. It’s ok to call them out for doing wrong — but remember, it does NOT make YOU wrong.