For example, I hold certain views and values that, depending on who you ask, could get me labeled racist, homophobic, crazy religious, xenophobic, hippy, self-righteous, negligent, and the list could go on and on. For every single issue I have an opinion about, there is someone on the opposite end of the spectrum who would think I must be deranged.
Actually, I'm not crazy. And I don't believe I suffer from Obama Underappreciation Syndrome. And I can believe certain things are wrong without actually being afraid of them.
Sometimes I do feel pretty alone in my peer groups for being politically conservative. I have a lot of friends whose opinions differ greatly from mine. I try my best to assume that their beliefs come from true informed conviction (even though I know how much easier it would be to drift with the tides of popular culture), as I hope they do the same for me.
What saddens me the most is how much political discourse actually happens on the Internet and on Facebook and NOT in real life. It feels safer to just put something out there (much like I'm doing here with this blog post) than to actually learn something from someone and have a real discussion.
Alas, maybe there is just a little bit too much fear for that ever to happen. We have this great freedom of expression and all kinds of pressure to waive it lest we step on toes or, heaven forbid, hurt someone's feelings. It all kind of strips the joy from having that freedom in the first place.
This is my promise to everyone who reads this: If you ever want to take me to task on something I have said or that you think I believe, please do. We can still be friends and/or family members. I would relish the challenge of defending my views as well as the opportunity to learn something from you. I would just prefer to have such discussions one-on-one rather than in a public forum setting where so much can be misconstrued and so much offense could be given to random scrollers-by.
That concludes my thoughts on politics for the year.*
*Not a guarantee. ;)