Politics, Discouragement, and Energy

I’m writing this post primarily for myself so please don’t read it if you’re feeling horribly overwhelmed by politics right now too. Maybe it’ll help others to know that they aren’t the only ones feeling this way though, so I’m putting it out here!

I’m getting ever more discouraged with the state of political discourse in the USA lately.

Maybe this has been discouraging for a while, but I tend to surround myself with wonderful people who are generally willing to hear another side and consider it, even if they ultimately continue disagreeing.

So, I hadn’t really noticed a huge shift until around last November.

I have Republican friends with whom I got along fairly well during the Obama years. They weren’t happy with many of the things he did, but neither was I, so we could find some common ground. They were less happy with him than I was about social issues because I’m extremely socially libertarian, but they accepted our different opinions and it wasn’t a huge deal.

But now, many of them continue to gloat about the election results and attack “liberals” even though they won. Why can’t they just be happy that they won? Why do they continue “rubbing it in” & arguing about everything? Many of them didn’t even vote for their candidate, yet now they spend an inordinate amount of time defending the administration and everything their party does.

I don’t understand.

I have Democrat friends with whom I got along quite well during the Obama years. They were (mostly) open to hearing about my concerns with his administration and accepted that I was going to disagree with them about some things – not being even remotely a Democrat myself, despite holding many liberal or liberal-leaning positions on issues.

But now, many of them are posting the exact same kind of biased, non-fact-checked, and inflammatory stuff I had to hide some of my Republican family members for posting during the Obama years.

Just because they’re on a side with which I disagree slightly less, doesn’t mean that I want to see this kind of thing from them either. They called out this kind of stuff when Republicans did it for the last 8 years. Why can’t they see that they’re doing it now themselves? Or do they just not care?

I don’t understand.

The accurate information is bad enough! There’s no need to embellish it.

The ableism is also ramping up significantly on the liberal side lately. I’m not certain how to call it out properly either. I can’t even find any of the articles about ableism and armchair diagnoses that I read a month or two ago and really liked. So, I’m not calling it out right now. But that’s frustrating and feels wrong too. If anyone knows of any good articles about that topic, please do send them my way! I would greatly appreciate it.

Mostly I’m just tired.

I try not to post anything unless I’ve looked very deeply into the issue from multiple positions and find it to be an important topic. I do my fact-checking and perspective-checking before posting anything and if I don’t then I post a hefty disclaimer about the fact that I haven’t looked into or read it yet.

Why don’t others do that too? And why don’t many people appreciate it when their post gets called out for being misleading? I would hate to post misleading or incorrect information, but other people seem to want to do so?

It makes no sense to me.

But I can’t be their fact-checker and perspective-gatherer in addition to my own. I don’t have that much energy to spare. Especially since they don’t seem to appreciate the effort.

So, I guess I’ll hide more Facebook friends and ignore more groups. I’ll focus on trying to communicate effectively with the few people who are willing to listen to my perspective, have engaging conversations where we all leave the discussion with more complete understanding than we started off with, and fact-check what they post for themselves.

Maybe more folks will be willing to listen eventually and I can somehow keep from getting completely burnt out so soon.

It hasn’t even been a full month yet.

Note:

In this post I’m primarily talking about people with whom I have real-life relationships, not internet strangers. I’m a little hazy on what the definition of “friend” means, which could make up a completely different post, but these aren’t strangers to me and some are (were?) quite good friends of mine for many years. Others are recent additions to my real life social circle, but are people whom I see somewhat regularly for one reason or another.

Others are internet friends whom I’ve known for years online and are typically very open-minded about these sorts of discussions (those are the type of internet friends I tend to keep around long-term!). I’m quite disheartened to see the recent changes in their method of discourse.

I basically gave up on having fruitful discussions about “hot topics” with strangers online a while ago. At some point I realized that many online strangers are primarily interested in debating, which I’m very uninterested in doing with people I don’t know at all. Please take note, those who decide to comment 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Politics, Discouragement, and Energy

  1. I’m SO with you, girl ❤️ In so many ways – the fatigue, the constant dealing with bias, etc. And this onslaught can become very personal and/or emotional. Logic and reason often take a back seat. Everything becomes inflammatory. And it gets tough to keep up, keep enduring, stay on an even keel. Eventually, we start to suffer. We start to get tired. We start to break down. We just can’t handle it anymore.

    I can definitely relate to this entire post. Like you, I’m libertarian-leaning in many areas. I saw both the sunny and darker sides of both (all) presidents. Neither are perfect. There are elements of both that I agreed with, and elements of both that I disagree with. But the constant mud-slinging is tiring. 💐

    Your blog post is awesome. It’s timely and refreshing. Thank you so much for writing it! 😘❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on the silent wave and commented:
    This post particularly spoke to me. It’s almost as if the lovely Mamautistic has been peering in my windows at night 😉

    I, too, have been worn down. I can only handle so much negativity and intolerance (from either “side”). Both sides of an argument have their logical points. Both have their faults and fallacies. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Both contain grains of truth and elements of false filler.

    Today, it came to a head. Maybe the moral of the story is to stay on top of the Asperger’s/autism spectrum community goings-on on social media a little more carefully. (Yeah. I’ll slow down my work schedule and get right on that.). Or maybe the moral of the story is to not check social media at all. Because if you use it in a healthy manner, in which you check in for a few minutes (or 30) and then you log off for the day, you’re likely to get caught up in something unintentionally. It’s one of those situations where if you take the middle of the road, you get run over.

    Some people claim to have empathy after all, but maybe they don’t. Maybe in their staunch activism, they hurt moderate people. People with kind hearts. People with genuine intentions. People who care, and would set aside precious time they barely have, in order to help them through a life crisis.

    That’s what happened to me today. And that’s why this post reaches in and touches my depths so much.

    It appears that Mamautistic’s battleground was Facebook. Mine probably would be, too, if I were on there as much as I have been in the past. But my Ground Zero was Twitter. I’m not the only one; of that, I’m certain. I think the moral of my story is to make WordPress my first social priority, followed by a very limited sphere on Facebook (a sphere sanitized of politics, of course).

    Thank you, Mamautistic, for writing this! I think you have more agreement than is visible ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There are some people who are activists AND have a soft heart too. One doesn’t necessarily cancel out the other and the two traits can coexist for the good of positive social change. It’s only when someone’s philosophy is carried out in harmful action against another that it becomes a weapon of hate.

    As for the ableism issue, I think the bottom line is that each person be the owner of their own brain and body and one’s right to define onesself. If everyone will keep that in mind the world can be a much more egalitarian and accepting place.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ^^ This!! Totally agreed 😊 I would tweet that on Twitter, but I’ve taken an undetermined-length vow of silence. Bookmarking this for later when I lift my Twitter-silence, though! Credited to you, of course ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. An anecdote to prove your point on “alternative facts”. My father was playing poker, and one of the guys at the table with him started in on the Obama’s. Insane things, like Michelle was a transgender, the President is gay and they purchased their children for political gain. And he finished off his insane babbling about how both of the Obama’s had been disbarred for unethical conduct. My father tried to open a discourse about how insane all that was and they guy stubbornly stuck to it, even showing my father the article he got the information from. The source was an egregiously bad one (like the National Enquirer but with less journalistic integrity). My father pointed that out the guy stuck to his guns and handed my father his phone with the article up. Yes, the headline read that they were both disbarred, but the first sentence of the article said something along the lines of “that’s what people think but it’s completely untrue”. The man stopped reading at the headline. People are getting their news in 140 characters or less and doing nothing to continue educating themselves. As a result it’s becoming increasingly difficult to have any sort of healthy debate with them (even likeminded people who are more close-minded than ever before). It’s making politics NOT enjoyable (as if the subject needed much help in this day-and-age). Just know, there are those of us out there, that respect your opinions, no matter what they are, and would love a healthy debate (I know you said you don’t like them), but I find that when a debate is done properly both people walk away actually having learned something from the other. Something worth knowing. Something REAL. Not an argument, just a different opinion educating you on their perspective. Respectful, open-minded, and the only “alternative facts” are opinion based rather than outright lies. Just my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, the reading only headlines is rampant nowadays it seems. Maybe it always has been, but I don’t know. I don’t remember it being this blatant before.

      That’s interesting. It’s possible that my definition (or perception) of debate is different than yours. I do enjoy conversations where both sides educate about their perspective, but the part I don’t like (that I have always considered inherent in “debating”) is where both sides are actively attempting to sway others to their side. Everyone thinks their perspective is right, of course, or else they wouldn’t hold it, but there’s so much else to how others form opinions and beliefs… Our own values, perspective, lived experiences, knowledge (of the real variety, not the fake headline type), etc all play into how we see the world and what “side” we end up falling on ultimately.

      I’ve known thoughtful and kind people on almost every single “side” of politics (I’m only saying “almost” because I’m sure there are sides I don’t have represented among my acquaintances) and it’s fascinating to me to hear how other thoughtful people come to their beliefs.

      But, I call that having a discussion with the intent being to better understand all sides that are represented.

      So, I’d really be fine with a debate that didn’t involve the others actively trying to convince me that I should agree with them or join their “side” 🙂 I’m just not sure that I’d consider it a debate. I do hear that you (and probably others) might consider it to be one though. I’ll give that some more thought!

      Thank you for your comment!

      Like

  5. When I say debate I do not mean argument for purpose of changing minds. To me, a debate is the same as it was in high school. A conversation is 2 ppl talking with no need of proof to make their point. A debate is two educated people using data to support their position in an effort to maintain a clear dialogue. An argument is an argument. Persuasion is persuasion. In my opinion, the only persuasion necessary in a debate is to come well armed with persuasive facts (real facts, not alternative ones). For example listing 5 reasons global warming is a thing with measurements of ice caps and evidence of water levels rising v handing someone a snowball in December after a snow storm to disprove it. 2 people debating would be the measurements of the ice caps v the belief that it’s not man made it’s just the start of a new period. Know what I mean?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, okay. That makes a lot of sense. I’d probably be fine with those debates.

      I only attended music classes in high school (my high school didn’t have a debate club or team, to my knowledge either) so I’m just familiar with high school debates from television. Probably not terribly accurate since there’s always some drama or other going on in those.

      I mostly like to hear why people believe the things they do – backed with facts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those debates rarely offend most people because the object is to be educational and make your point, not emotional. It works well, if you follow the rules 🙂

        I like to hear why people believe what they believe, whether or not there are facts. For example, religious conversations are rarely based in facts (rarely do average people cite verse), instead, it’s more about WHY they believe what they believe. I find it interesting, because even if two people believe the same thing (ex., Jesus was the son of G-d), they rarely believe it the same way. I find the differences interesting.

        Like

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