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The Forbidden Topic

There are a TON, and I mean A TON! of conversations going on on social media and just in life. Current events, sports, movies, music, etc. Most of these are the easy ones to talk about. It's fun and entertainment. We can argue and debate about if LeBron or Kobe are better than Michael Jordan. I, for one, no longer entertain this exact debate, but that's just an example. It's a heated debate, when voices can elevate and steam rises from skulls as a result of high body temperatures after practice along with the fact that your boy just said Kobe's a ball hog and that's all he was ever good for. But at the end of the day, it's still just playful banter and the next topic of choice will start in no less than 2 minutes. Like I said.. the easy ones.

It's 2019, though.

We know the deal. Sensitivity can be at an all time high and linger. Keyboard warriors twiddle their fingers across a QWERTY keyboard in hopes of triggering the next spectator. Social movements are stacking up faster than books at the Library of Congress. And speaking of Congress, politics is a bit unorthodox. Which, in my opinion, was expected. I can't really explain why I expected it, but I'm sure many can agree.

See politics pisses me off. And I don't mean the exact science of how politics is ran because: 1) I am not as seasoned as I need to be to be talking about how the government should be run and 2) that's a conversation I'm not even willing to partake in. It pisses me off in the sense that it's developed into this "forbidden subject." Things like family gatherings, cocktail parties, or just regular old chilling with friends typically have a "No Politics Allowed" unwritten rule. I'll be damned if I can't talk about the policies that are put forth that affect each of our lives with my own flesh and blood. That's just me, though.

In my brief adult life so far, I can probably count on two hands how many civilized conversations I have had about politics in general (partial exaggeration but honestly probably not by much). They're beautiful moments to be a part of. I learn at least one thing each time I am able to have a conversation about it. Again, I am not an expert and have a whole lot of learning to do about the vast stances there are. The others have provided me with other observations and these types of exchanges come in plenty.

*This observation does not group a specific group of people with the whole party. I just want to make that clear before I get a reply saying: "But I don't think this way about Republicans" or vice versa*

Democrats consider Republicans "right-winged, Confederate flag raising, racist, only-care-about-yourself" countrymen/women. And Republicans see Democrats as "millennial thinking, sensitive, social movement stacking, 'Life Should Be Free', socialist" hogs.


As you can see I see a lot of exchanges on social media by how I just described that. Now of course, you can or most likely do have your own opinion on how each party sees one another. I repeat: This is just mine. Most of what I have observed is filled with this emotion of hate and competition though.

Independent is a joke come election time which I think is unfortunate. Voting for them is basically taking away from the true battle between the donkey and elephant. "You're wasting your vote." So they say.

Alright, I'll stop rambling in circles and get to my main point.

Now what I like to do is take those radical political viewers away and insert the ones that speak with logic. Focus on those.

*gets out magnifying glass*

They're hard to come across on social media platforms and media. Agenda driven responses almost always provoke the extremists so that the logical sayers usually don't get a chance to say anything that has some sense. Or maybe they see what has already started in the comments and decide to move on to something more productive to do with their days, than start a Twitter debate about whether the tax rate should be this or that.

Look, there is nothing wrong with political parties if I'm speaking on opinions. Others may disagree. I think the thing that people have a problem with is the duopoly that has been created by the start of the two party system. The power they each have, for some, drains what they think is the true meaning of democracy. Which I think over the past few years has been confused between all members affiliated with a political party. Accusing one another of offending the democracy. Happens every day.

The power it has accumulated has caused outbursts to occur everyday between strangers. It causes fights at a Sunday dinner table. In your own house. Which again, I think is nuts that between flesh and blood, a civilized conversation about differing opinions on what our country is going through on a day to day basis simply cannot happen. Or when it does, is considered a rarity and "something to be celebrated." But it's not just within family, it's everywhere. Yes, I am aware pretty much every political stance is to be taken personal. It all affects our lives. Each in different ways, of course, but at the end of the day we all abide by the laws given (well maybe not all) and want a good life for our loved ones and friends. But if Sam can't say her peace about the education policy without David getting riled up about the fact that his father who is a teacher in the public school system and doesn't get paid what he should, there is zero progress. Nothing good comes out of it. You spend all that energy on arguing and calling each other names and blurting out offensive jokes just to be sitting in the same exact position you both started in. Neither of them learned anything about one another. Neither of them even gave the other a chance to change their mind on the matter. Or even to sit back and say, "Hey you know what? I've never looked at it from that point of view."

Which is all the arguing and pissing each other off is really all about anyways. We don't know why everyone believes in what they believe when it comes to governing issues. We can't. Each of us has our own lives with our own morals, beliefs, schedules, financial situations, and jobs. Each of us has our own life altering experiences throughout our life that either strengthen, break down, or change our way of thinking when it comes to it as well.

But none of us stop and think to even get to that part of the conversation first before calling someone racists because they voted for Trump or psycho because she thinks Bernie Sanders is sent from heaven. The least we can do is ask questions in a civilized manner and get to the bottom of why they think the way they do. Before verbally blowing shit up and causing an uncomfortable presence amongst anyone around you.

I'm not saying that just because someone has logical or personal reasons for believing in something that we have to change our minds and feel along with them out of sympathy. That would never happen nor should it. All I'm saying is the calm and collective conversations can happen. I've even been riled up before myself. Nine times out of ten I try to stay away from that emotion and justly have an exchange. And it's sad that these types of convos don't happen more often when it's literally about the one thing that controls most of what we decide to do on a day-to-day basis. What runs our country, runs us. But we can't have a conversation about it because so-and-so may get upset and leave? Because his friend called him a handful of names for being a conservative/liberal. Nah.

We can do better. We can be better. Even all while sharing opposing ideas.

Will we? I doubt it. But I know the people in my life, majority, I can honestly have a conversation about most of this with. Which I'm thankful for. All it takes is a little bit of thinking before we speak. It doesn't have to be a forbidden topic. It shouldn't be.

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10 ago 2019

Empathy is a lost art!

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