This will probably meander a bit, so I apologize in advance.
I used to be pretty active in political/social causes. In college I was part of a group called the Coalition for Social Change. We were anti-war, pro-troops, pro environment, pro gay marriage, pro womens rights, pro responsible food providers, pro DIY movement, etc etc. We held marches and rallies, plastered posters everywhere, arranged speakers and events – all the normal trappings of political youth groups who feel like their passion can actually make changes. Eventually, of course, that kind of thing burns you out, when you pour in so much effort and rarely see any solid changes as a result. That’s exactly what happened to me. And many other members of the group, too.
I still have my beliefs and causes, I just don’t think the everyday person can really do much to affect the decisions of the people in power. I also don’t bother arguing politics with people because no one ever changes their mind. Maybe this is pessimistic of me. I still vote (futile), sign online petitions (also futile), and occasionally donate to various causes (slightly less futile because money is at least concrete). Mostly because those are the only options really open to me, and partly because I think you forfeit your right to complain if you didn’t even go to the voting booth. And while the end result may align with what I wanted (i.e. the candidate I voted for got elected), I don’t ever feel it was because I personally did something. A single person’s vote or signature is not significant in the scope of our political world.
This is why I was so glad to hear that the President FINALLY came out in support of gay marriage yesterday. Especially in light of the asinine ruling in North Carolina the day before. Aside from the fact that I can’t believe a person’s right to marry the person they love is even an issue, regardless of orientation, the President is at least in a position to DO something about it. This particular individual’s action is very significant in the political world. And while I can’t help feeling he only made this announcement because Biden forced it on him, and for political rather than solely moral reasons, I’m glad for it nonetheless.
Here’s hoping he actually follows up words with actions, because his actions can actually make a difference.
Thanks for linking up Amanda! I don’t discuss politics that much unless it’s in the privacy of my own home with people I know think the same as me! And for the exact reason you stated – you are not going to change someones opinion. If their opinion does change – it’s on their own as they grow and evolve. I’m in a very different place in my views at 32 than I was at 22. And bravo for being brave enough to come out and talk about this on your blog. Politics is one thing I have yet to tackle!
Thanks! It’s probably not going to be something I get into too often here on the blog, but it seemed fitting given current events. I’m sort of amazed (though relieved) I got no nasty comments; I was braced for some.
I totally have to agree with Manda Jane, politics isn’t a topic that I’ve yet tried to discuss on my blog. Mostly due to the same reason as you: there’s no point in arguing when you know someone isn’t going to change their mind. But I do really enjoy having civilized political conversation with others… even though that’s few and far between. I really hope that the announcement doesn’t hurt the President’s reelection. I would be seriously heartbroken if that happened. I don’t understand how some people can be so close minded about the issue of gay marriage. :[
I don’t understand how people can be against it either, but arguing politics is just an exhausting and futile endeavor. People rarely rarely rarely change their minds due to a debate/argument. The issues do need to be talked about now and again (in civilized conversation when possible, like you said) just because a) some young people out there haven’t made up their minds yet or thought in-depth about it and they are future voters, and b) no talking about it = no change happening. I sincerely hope it doesn’t hurt Obama’s re-election chances, either.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂