Sunday, October 2, 2011

And now I understand why I will never understand....

All my life I've been confused by politics. Granted, a good portion of that time I probably could have easily sat down and read the newspaper every now and then and that might have solved the issue, but let's be honest. Unless someone actually takes time to sit me down and explain things to me using little words, my attention has already wondered off. For example: "Problems in Greece...big words used that I don't really understand...something about Italy, I miss Italy...O paradiso, come mi manchi!...what I would give for some good gelato right now....I wonder if I'll get out of work in time to go to the gym....did I remember to put the new Mumford & Sons songs on my iPod?...Why am I looking at an article about Greece again?" But, good news! This past week someone actually did sit down with me and explain things to me in small, simple words, and now I finally understand why my brain has been so confused by politics this entire time!
For so long I felt like politics was pointless to talk about because I could never fine anyone I agreed with. Some people seemed to be on my side for some issues, but then they'd side with certain issues that I very strongly disagreed with. In all honesty, I've never liked any political party and spent any rare conversation I had about politics complaining about why people didn't just compromise. I think the problems lies with the fact that I spent a good chunk of my time growing up in Oregon, one of the most liberal states in the Union, and also a good chunk of time in Utah, one of the most conservative states in the Union.
As I was talking with my friend this week, I realized that I was very strongly conservative on some issues, but then on other issues I was very liberal. When I expressed this lament, he replied that there were other people with that problem, and gave the example of many Californians who were liberal in social issues and conservative in economic issues. When I interrupted to correct him though, and explain that actually, I'm very conservative in social issues and liberal in economic issues, he just came back with "Oh, well, you're all on your own with that one then...." Drat. Apparently there was some big word that starts with an "O" that describes my unfortunate predicament, but I don't remember what that was anymore. Note to self: remember that word next time....
On the plus side, now I know why I just get frustrated when politics enter the conversation. And maybe now that I know the source of all my confusion, I won't shy away from conversations or articles in the news about the happenings of the world. Maybe it won't make the problem of never liking any option of who to vote for go away, but at least now I know why that discontent always comes to me while others march proudly around with their "I Voted" stickers. I've decided to put more effort into becoming aware. I'm going to try and understand all the different issues that are a big deal in the country right now and figure out where I stand. Maybe I never will find anyone else who ever agrees with me, but at least I won't be ignorant any more.
**Warning: Just because I'm leaving the "ignorance is bliss" path, doesn't give anyone permission to argue with me. That's another thing I always hated about politics, I always just associated it with people who fight all the time, and I hate arguing. Partly, perhaps, because I never win. But mostly because I hate watching other people argue. I welcome people to share their views and inform me on issues which I know nothing about (which, as it turns out, is everything). But no arguing.