Ongoing Stories of My Soul

Look over my shoulder as I ponder life.

Donkeys, Elephants, and Us

Hey…unless you have been living in a cave, it is a presidential election year. And this is a good thing. I mean, we do live in a democracy and all. And having taught U.S. History for a number of years, I think the whole democratic process for this republic,  while not perfect, is better than other models. “Okay, Debbie…why are you blogging about this?”

Because I am going to make a statement here that just might save our relationship. Yes, I have received your emails with attachments and such. Yep…got those forwards with 35,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook. Perhaps I even made a negative comment on one of your posts, which, interestingly enough was transformed to a ‘Like’. Umm no. Won’t do that again. Here is the truth:

I do not agree with you politically.

Still with me? But the gist of this yammering is to let you know that while I do not choose your presidential candidate, I have chosen you. This means that our family-ship and friendship is stronger than for whom we vote.

It’s like this. My cousin and I are political opposites which is a big deal since she is running for office. However, when I visited her, the political agendas were set aside. We hugged and laughed and recalled a bazillion family stories. And yes, if one of her constituents interrupted us at a restaurant, I just smiled. I am proud of her. I so admire her passion for the political arena. And she knows I would never vote for her. But you know….family and friendships should outweigh our political pulls.

I have absolutely no intention of changing your mind on who you feel should live on Pennsylvania Avenue, in D.C.  And guess what? You aren’t changing mine! Cool, huh? We live in a country wherein “agreeing to disagree” is as American as “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of many, one”).

I want you to understand how much I am stepping out of my voter’s registration mentality here. You probably have sent me birthday cards, watched my children turn from babies to adults, and worshipped with me on Sunday mornings. You no doubt held my hand when the space shuttle, Challenger, exploded and stood by my mother’s casket when she went to Glory. We’ve probably eaten at the same table countless times. And guess what? I am no doubt going to love you through this election. Perhaps, I am asking for a bit of reciprocal respect. I am not telling off-color political jokes in your presence, or filling up your in-box with charged statements and interviews. Yeah…the stuff you send on Facebook falls into the ‘hide story’ slot.

Is my head in the sand? Nope. I seem to pick people to embrace on a intuitive ‘gut’ feeling. Kind of fuels my fire and you know what? It has served me well these mere fifty-seven years of life. Probably how I chose you. Politically, I am all over the place…and if you really know me, you know I love elephants as well as donkeys. So there. I absolutely can not vote “straight ticket” on any issue as I am soooo random. Make you feel better?

Yes, we should own our opinions. Yet understand that just because someone believes opposite of you or I,  that doesn’t make them, wrong, ill-informed, or the enemy. And if you believe the statistic which states a child’s political preference is set by age five, well I guess then we all need to act like kindergarteners and play nice, share, dry one another’s tears, and not get mad when someone wants chocolate and another wants vanilla. Be kind and wait our turn in line. Hug and giggle and help put away the puzzles.

Okay. I am done now. And no we won’t sing ‘Kum-ba-Ya’ or ‘We are the World’. But just understand that I vote. In every election. And I hope you will, too. Until then….let’s not lose sight of what is important: real relationships. Not political rhetoric.

See you at the polls. But more importantly, let’s be able to do lunch afterwards.


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