An Announcement, An Apology, and Why We Should Talk About Politics

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I have to apologize because I have been bad at blogging recently. I know my goal is to keep up with it, but to tell you the truth, I’m pregnant. I mean, I would assume that if you know me in real life, you already know, but I’ve been a little mum about it thus far outside of my Facebook page, which is not visible to the public. So for those of you who don’t already know, I am pregnant and that’s why I’ve been a little lax with the blogging. It’s been hard for me to keep up with my schoolwork, work at my two jobs, and then come home and still have energy to blog. But I’m graduating soon and I’m still going to try to keep up with the blog – it may just look at little different than before. For one thing, I probably won’t blog as often until I’m done with the school year. For the second thing, I’m sure being pregnant and becoming a mom has the possibility of changing how I view pregnancy and view motherhood – I won’t be talking about it now like some distant thing in the future for me. It’s happening to me now and it’s a part of my new reality. But enough about that. Let’s get on to the thing that’s been itching inside me for a while. I know it’s not directly related to women in politics, but I think it’s something that needs to be said because I talk about politics so much, why I think it’s important to have discussions about politics.

I’ve seen this my whole life but it seems to be popping up a lot more recently. People or websites not wanting to talk about politics, afraid that someone will be offended or someone will insult someone else and the conversation will be wholly unproductive and mean-spirited. But I think it’s important to talk about it and here are my three reasons why.

1. Politics effect our everyday life. 

There are a lot of people who think that politics don’t effect their lives, but this is a myth. Even a law that you think doesn’t effect you can have a lot of effect on your lives. Think about it. How much of your day is influenced by the government? Think about it – the food you eat has been approved by the FDA, the cars you drive in have to meet safety standards set by the governments, the rules of the road are set by the government, etc, etc, etc. Any law in front of the Congress has the possibility of passing and effecting your life. That’s the way the government works and if you ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist, sooner or later, it will effect you in a way that you don’t like. But if you are talking about it and having a conversation about it, maybe you will find out about something sooner or be able to work together to stop a law you don’t like.

2. If you don’t learn how to talk about it in a civilized way, then of course, these discussions will end badly.

How do you learn how to do something or get better at it? You practice. If people are always so afraid to talk about politics, then whenever it does happen to come up, you won’t know how to handle it. The more you work on talking about something where you may have a strong opinion on it, the more you will learn how to handle your opinion and talk to other people that you disagree with about it. But if you spend your whole life avoiding it, then when you do find yourself in these situations (because I think it’s inevitable), you won’t know how to handle yourself. The only way you can learn to ride a bike is by trying – the only way you can learn to have civilized discussions about politics is by trying to have them. Otherwise, without ever practicing, you will have a harder time having civilized discussions about it.

3. You can learn something. 

Chances are, most people won’t seek out information that’s opposite their viewpoint. Even on your own side, chances are you won’t know everything about it. I’m not saying you have to change your mind or your viewpoint or anything like that – not at all, because you’re entitled to your opinion. But you might learn something new that you might not have learned without have discussions with other people, because you can’t read everything out there or know everything out there. This learning something you didn’t know before is one of the most valuable parts of discussions.

So there are my reasons – do you have any thoughts about it or any other reasons you think I’m missing?

Melissa

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