Lets talk about politics...


I don't know that many people who enjoy politics or the election season. It's pretty obvious that there are a lot of agendas and corruption in our political system. Some people believe in our system and some see it as utterly broken. I feel that it's flawed. But men are flawed so inevitably any system of government is going to be flawed.

There is a difference between having a rationale and being rational.

I really don't enjoy discussing politics. I am suspicious that the average person has done very little, if any, research (or even critical thought) before opening their mouths. We feel entitled to our opinions (hey, free speech) even if we have little to nothing to back them up or what we use to back them up is completely skewed. Both major parties have a tendency to be very ambiguous with their 'facts', bash their counterpart, and participate in furthering biased propaganda. People on both sides believe in flat out lies because they sound right to them.

It seems like people tend towards the emotional, not the rational. Passionate, with a rationale, but completely unable to consider counter arguments. 

Thoughts on How to Talk about Politics

In my opinion, you should always be your own fact checker. Everything you hear should be taken and skeptically examined. The source should be considered...what are their biases? agendas? where does the information come from? When someone makes a broad statement, I feel they ought to be able to back it up. If they can't, it's not a fact. I don't think its wise to trust any source as gospel when it comes to politics.

Especially when on Facebook you read things that claim the exact opposite of each other and wonder which is true...

And even more importantly, you should be self-skeptical. What are your own biases? Does your background or experiences shape your opinions? Do your emotions dictate your opinions? Are you giving other people the same open-mindedness that you demand for yourself? Do you ever challenge yourself? Not a lot of people are self-aware, and it's hard to examine yourself and admit that your opinions are sometimes based more on your feelings than actual facts.

I also feel you should be respectful of people who disagree with you. I imagine that God is saddened and disappointed to look down and see us being destructive with our words. Making fun of those we disagree with, bashing our leaders and opposing parties because we have a difference of opinion---there's no integrity in that. I don't think think God is proud of smug self-righteousness. It's not compromising your beliefs to show others respect. It's acknowledging that intelligent people may come to different conclusions than you do. Have some humility. I'm tired of seeing Facebook memes and posts that make broad statements, poke fun at other parties, or worse yet---claim that you'd have to be an idiot to believe differently.

Along the same lines, as a Christian, I'm tired of seeing Christians from both parties claim that you can't be a Christian and vote for...whoever. There are Christians on the left, Christians on the right, and I imagine Christians everywhere in between. It's just not okay to claim your party or your candidate is the "Christian choice." Again, it lacks humility. It lacks respect for others ability to reason. And frankly, it's extremely arrogant.

I avoid political conversations. I purposely attempt to avoid sharing my opinion on social media (which is why you won't be reading about who I'm voting for or not voting for on my blog or anywhere else). It's not that I haven't thought about it. It's not that I don't have an opinion. It's just that these conversations are rarely productive and rarely does either party come out of them having changed their stance. We all have our minds made up...for the most part. So all of our commentary is really just to emotional responses and self-righteous indignation. I don't have the energy to be apart of it.

It's not apathy. I just don't see any logical reason to participate in these frustrating forms of "engagement." If we are going to talk about politics...we have to do it with open mindedness and respect. On those terms, I will share thoughts with you over a cup of coffee anytime.


  1. I loved this post! Your writing is always so thoughtful. This election season is driving me so crazy, so it's nice to read something sensible about the election. I especially liked the part about Christians being on both sides. On twitter last night I was following Eugene Cho's commentary. He said, "Jesus loved, died & extended grace for the Left, the Right, and everyone in between. So, let's stop vilifying those who disagree with you." No matter what the outcome God still reigns. I think I'm going to participate in Carlos Whittakers Praying Backwards (http://www.ragamuffinsoul.com/2012/10/prayingbackwards2012/) on Monday...not that I know who I'm voting for yet. I definitely need to educate myself more. So thanks for the reminder! :)

  2. Well spoken! (via Twitter)