Sunday, January 09, 2011

The End?

After all this time, I think I may be done with politics.

Yes, you all heard me right...I may be done with politics. For those of you who really know me, this will be either a moment of shock or a "yeah right" moment. But really, truly, I may actually be done this time. Unfortunately it took a huge tragedy to force me to this point.

It's been a while since I've been able to listen to talk radio at my desk because of my current work situation (one of my bosses actually sits beside me now & I know for a fact he's not a fan of talk radio) & I can honestly say that I haven't missed it all that much. While I miss some of the entertainment & high-brow humor that you don't find really anywhere else, I find myself a lot less pissed off. Surprisingly enough I'm still able to keep up on my current events & understand what is happening in the world. If there is one thing talk radio has taught me, it's that you take whatever they present as news, from multiple sources if possible, then come to your own informed conclusion. This vacation from talk radio had started my exit from politics, but it wasn't until the tragic events of this weekend that I made the decision to try & walk away completely.

As you all know by now, a shooting took place in Arizona that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords gravely injured and six others dead, including an innocent nine-year-old girl. Immediately upon hearing this news, I saw multiple posts about the shooting on Facebook & Twitter. I was expecting to see "prayers & thoughts" for those involved & their families, which I did see, but the majority of the posts sickened me. Here was a senseless act done by an obviously mentally deranged person & people were trying to assign logic to it by entering politics into the equation. Before anyone starts more finger-pointing here, I saw it from BOTH sides of the political aisle, not just one side.

The comments I saw included the following (& since there were many, I will paraphrase here): "I wonder what his political affiliation was", "Sarah Palin should be held accountable", "Blame Obama", "If it weren't for all the illegals...", etc... The comments went on & on & on & on & on... No one was able to look at this situation from the outside, take politics out of the equation, & see this for what it was: a horrible tragedy that should never have happened. If anyone wants to place any blame, I will tell you who to blame, though you may not want to hear it.

If you have a bathroom, here is where I will ask you to walk to it, go inside & look at the big glass thing hanging above your sink. Recognize the face? We the American people are all responsible for tragedies like this. We have placed so much weight on who wins an election & who is on the right side of what issues that we have created these monsters. Instead of having the human reaction & mourning for the losses of life, we automatically try to assign blame to political parties, ideologies, & individuals. We try to apply a twisted type of logic that should not enter into the equation. I take politics very seriously & I love engaging in conversation, but I'm not willing to kill someone whose party affiliation differs from me. That's what I'm afraid American politics is becoming.

Many of the people I consider to be political opponents as well as friends will know that I always try to look at each situation with logic and compassion, trying to see a subject from both sides. To me there is no political topic that can't be discussed or debated civilly & some kind of compromise or agreement be reached. There is always some kind of common ground where we can stand. I fear that less & less people are seeing this as common ground, but instead as a piece of ground to be won & claimed. If it can't be won by topping someone in an argument, then violence comes into play. When someone feels that by killing a nine-year-old girl they'll get their point across to me, the original point ceases to be the focus of my concern.

I implore anyone who reads this to now go from looking at themselves in the mirror, to finding that person or those people who you hold most precious & tell them you love them. All of the philosophies, ideologies, opinions, facts, issues, debates, etc... mean absolutely nothing if there is no value assigned first to human life. When we use the loss of that precious life as a gain for an agenda or cause, that cause or agenda no longer has any substance. It ceases to be relevant.

One day I hope we can return to the point where politics can be debated in a healthy manner, competitive but not to the extent of forgetting what is most important. Until that happens, I'm not really interested in continuing any further with politics. I'm trying to put an end to the politics as it exists right now by saying it's The End for me before humanity & decency comes to an end from the politics.

PS: If you're reading this, chances are I know you personally or through one of the social media I use on a regular basis. If so, know that I cherish & appreciate your love & friendship. I hope that you take my words to heart & that you will come to the same conclusion I did.

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