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Schmolitics.

1.11.2012

in big gay liberal post,introspection,politics

There’s a topic I’ve been wildly avoiding here lately, as my long-time readers might have noticed.

Here’s a hint: It’s politics.

Oh wait, that’s not really a hint, is it.

Last week I had my first good public political skirmish in a while, if you can even call it that. I made a snarky comment on Twitter about Sarah Palin’s high-larious Hanukkah post on Facebook, and how it read like a book report written by her staff with some help from the fine folks at Wikipedia. Which it totally did.

A gentleman took me to task for it…after all, how do I know how much she knows about Jews and Hanukkah and the Macabees and the miracle of the oil! There might be four whole Jews in Alaska who are her best friends! And what’s wrong with all of us coastal lefties anyway, who fight for all women to get a say until we don’t like what they have to say and then we go back to sipping our lattes in our Volvos. Hmph.

And I was like dude…all I said is that it sounded like a book report. Which it totally did.

(Also for the record, I don’t believe that every woman–or every man–is entitled to a mass media soapbox from which to spew. And don’t ever tell me what “we all” think. And the coastal/latte/ Volvo thing is so freaking Dan Quayle era, it’s hard to even comment on that one.)

Now on the political fight scale of 1 to 10, I’d call this particular exchange about a -6. In other words, it’s only going to get worse.

And really, I don’t care about some guy on Twitter who I don’t know.

I do care about all of you. And what an election year will do to us.

To be clear, I have never shied away from revealing my politics on this blog. Allow me to reintroduce myself: I’m a raging, hard-core NYC liberal. I’m a feminist but I still laugh at Axe ads. I come from the rare family that believes politics is one of the best possible dinner party conversations. Throw in religion and now we’ve got a party. I support the constitutional rights of same-sex couples to marry, even if I haven’t yet exercised my own. I’ve got issues with God in schools and in government–and on ice cream trucks. I’m fine with paying taxes, but I’d rather more of it go to firefighters and teachers, and less of it to overpaid contractors who blow up schools in Iraq just to rebuild them. I believe every child is entitled to an awesome public school education and that we have an obligation to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves. In 2008 I dedicated my free moments between oh, midnight and 2 AM to creating Obama ads for free.

So. That’s me. Phew.

Then again (wait! Don’t leave!) it’s not all of me.

I could also introduce myself a different way: A woman who loves theme parks and hates tuna fish salad. I work way too much and am constantly grappling with working mom guilt–though I am trying really hard not to use that term any more. I’m pro-Tooth Fairy and pro-Santa Claus but not so keen on the Princess culture. I serve cereal to my kids for dinner more often than I’d like to admit. I adore my entire family to pieces and miss my grandmother terribly. I have now decided I love wishing people happy birthday on Facebook. I am addicted to word games and have an unhealthy obsession with the Real Housewives. I could live on carbs and cheese alone. One of my greatest joys is watching my children put on ballet shoes and dance around the living room just like that lyric from Chorus Line. And I know that lyric because I’m a total musical theater geek.

Do you like one of these people more than the other? I’d imagine so.

(I know, Nate hates musicals too.)

One of the things I’ve learned about moms from blogging is that we are complex. We are multi-faceted, despite what my fellow ad industry flacks might have you believe. And one of the things I love about this community is how we tend to find more in common than not. I wholly believe the mommy wars are mostly a media fabrication, because outrage is good for ratings. At least on the blogs I read, we disagree respectfully whenever possible, and we try not to make it personal.

Now, I’m terrified it will change. Because politics is often very, very personal.

I am terrified that we will all start to draw lines in the sand and divide.

And by divide I mean, it will get ugly.

I hate to think that all the things we’ve bonded over in the last four years, all the similarities we’ve found, will be overshadowed by the differences that crop up in an election year. That one quip about abortion or charter schools or Mitt Romney’s hair or Obama’s birth certificate and we’re though. Finished. We’ll be splitting up the CD collection and negotiating visitation rights before you know it.

Am I crazy to think this?

Maybe we can continue to have thoughtful discussions about politics and not end up hating each other for our differences. Maybe we can all do better to be open to other points of views, provided they’re presented respectfully and aren’t hateful and ugly.

But I do know that sometimes, once you’ve seen someone’s politics, it’s hard to unsee them. (I mean seriously,  look at Stephen Baldwin.) So maybe I can work harder at seeing people as the whole people they are and not just as someone who believe in X or Y or that totally misguided Z thing. Except for Stephen Baldwin.

Or maybe, I just kind of want to stick my head in the sand and write about the six-year-old milestones, the UberMoms at school who scare me, and the cereal for dinner. It’s so much safer, isn’t it?

Safer, yes. Authentic, no. And therein lies the dilemma.

I’m not sure how things will play out here this year. What I do know is that my greatest wish for 2012 is that we can get through it with not so much ugly.  Congress sure as hell has not been able to unite us. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if a bunch of moms could to do what no one else has been able to.

[photo via Wikimedia Commons/Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library]

64 shards of brilliance… read them below or add one

Dorf's Daughter January 11, 2012 at 7:19 am

If this were your submission on Match.com, I’d marry you in a minute. And I miss your grandmother too. Every day.

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nate January 11, 2012 at 8:09 am

this comment is weird for several reasons…

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Julie Marsh January 11, 2012 at 9:07 am

Giggling at you both.
Julie Marsh recently posted..Slipping up and starting overMy Profile

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Fairly Odd Mother January 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm

{snort} me too. . .

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Em January 11, 2012 at 7:36 am

You and I, I think, would get along just fine in real life. For real.
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Marinka January 11, 2012 at 7:48 am

I love this post and both versions of you.

I try to remember that I have Republican friends on Twitter as I tweet about the candidates. But I got to believe that when Romney accuses President Obama of “politics of envy” and of being behind #OWS that they’re cringing too. I know from cringing. I supported John Kerry.
Marinka recently posted..Double Rainbow of HappinessMy Profile

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Mom101 January 11, 2012 at 8:02 am

I too look at the current crop of um…clowns, and cringe. But then I try to remember that I’ve got some distant inlaws who I otherwise like, who still think they’d be an improvement. It partly makes me think less of them. It partly makes me want to just ignore that they feel this way so I can go on hugging them at Christmas. It’s complicated, you know?

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Magpie January 11, 2012 at 7:51 am

I do love you. Especially as regards tuna fish. :)

We are complicated. Recently in my office we had two situations in which we all were at once pro-union and anti-union. Two different unions, mind you, but interesting to unpack.

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CourtneyD January 11, 2012 at 7:57 am

MOM-101 for President. Seriously, I’m writing you in…

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Mom101 January 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

Oh, I inhaled. Copiously. I think they disqualify you for that.

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Rebecca January 12, 2012 at 11:26 am

I can see the ad campaign now: “I dont lie about it.”

But if you ran for office, would you write your own ads?

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Mom101 January 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm

No…I’d hire my brother. He’s way better at political ads than I am!

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Amanda January 11, 2012 at 8:01 am

I grew up in Eugene, OR and attended a Mondale/Ferraro rally without really understanding what it meant. I’m proud that my views have matured to support my having been there, but also to have arrived at a level of confidence that allows me to hear and consider other views.

I love the hope you are putting out here, it may not eliminate the vitriole that is to come, but I sure think it’ll offer a gentle wall against which the din can clang a bit softer.
Amanda recently posted..Eyes Slow With SleepMy Profile

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Mir January 11, 2012 at 8:03 am

And this is why I love you. Both yous. All of yous! (Oh, wait. I only get to say that if I’m from Jersey, right?)
Mir recently posted..Yep, it’s another menstruation-themed postMy Profile

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Kelly January 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

I think this was so well written and relevant. I often feel being conservative on politics (well some issues anyway), puts me in the minority with most of the bloggers I read. However, I don’t read the blogs because I want to read people exactly like me – I read people that resonate with me for one reason or another. People that help me think through issues, have been through things I’ve been through or just people that entertain me when I read them. I love the support from the online community I have found the last couple of years and hope we can continue to be a community and not let politics divide us.
Kelly recently posted..Here Go the Projects…My Profile

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deborah l quinn January 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

I’m not living in the States right now, which means the hurlyburly of pre-season politicking is a muffled roar right now…and despite missing the fact that things like GOP debates & interviews provide fabulous easy pickins’ for blog posts, I’m kind of glad I can watch from afar. Like you, I am afraid that it’s going to get ugly–in fact, I’d say that it already HAS gotten ugly and that most of our elected leaders aren’t doing much to de-ugly the nature of the discussions. I come from a long line of die-hard liberals and politicos, including my own sorely missed grandmother, who said “politics used to be an honorable profession.” I think that used to be true–perhaps it can be true once again? I hope…but I’m not entirely convinced.
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edenland January 11, 2012 at 8:21 am

My heart kind of sank reading this .. I didn’t know it was an American election year. Do you know that shit is all over the news all around the world? And it drags on and on .. neverending. You guys must get sick of it too.

Loved this: “Safer, yes. Authentic, no.”

You are so beautifully authentic. You have an ability to talk the truth of how it is, with no motive or bullshit around it. Think it’s what makes people respond to you so well, because not everybody can do that.

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Mom101 January 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

Oh God, I can’t even think about the inundation of political ads this year. With apologies to my brother who creates them (but only the good ones!) it’s the best thing about DVRs.

And thank you Eden. I hope we don’t sink Australia with our big loads of political BS this year. At least not before I’ve visited.

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sweetney January 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

Oof. Political differences are hard between friends and lovers. But you guys are so clearly The Bomb, and there’s so much love there… I for one am not worried (so long as you can fight, but kiss-and-make-up, too.)
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Mom101 January 11, 2012 at 8:56 am

Nate and I don’t tend to fight about it. Mostly I rant about things, he rolls his eyes and puts on Tim + Eric.

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Amelia Sprout January 11, 2012 at 9:11 am

I am dreading this year. I feel strongly about politics, but I hate how people use politics to hurt. (which may be why I’m a raging liberal) I hate the attack ads, I hate the lying (on both sides) I hate how partisan politics mean everybody loses. I love my friends, even the ones that don’t agree with me. That being said, you spew hate, either direction, instead of being open to discussion, and I’m gonna unfollow your ass. I have no time for hate. I do have time for snarky comments about Mitt Romney’s hair, and while I can’t think of anything off the top of my head to be snarky about Obama with, I am sure I wouldn’t mind snarkiness about him either.
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Julie Marsh January 11, 2012 at 9:18 am

I love this post, and not just because your second description of yourself sounds so much like how I’d describe myself. (I have one of my grandmother’s Tupperware containers on my counter and it makes me teary every time I look at it. Also, why have we never done musical theater karaoke together??)

Life’s rough in the middle. I don’t agree wholeheartedly with either side, though I come down on the left more often than not these days. There’s always something that someone has said that I can interpret as being a slam (when that’s not necessarily so).

And therein is how I intend to deal with conflict – perceived or actual. I’m going to assume it’s not personal, just as my own commentary is not personal. (Except when I find some bigoted jackass ranting on Facebook, but then I’ll still be calm and measured.) We can’t control how others react to us, only how we deliver our comments and how we react to others.

Finally, while elections are momentous, it’s the stuff that happens in between elections that really determines our course, led not just by politicians but people like all of us – discussing and working on issues that we care about.
Julie Marsh recently posted..Slipping up and starting overMy Profile

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Karen January 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Did someone say musical theater karaoke?

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Dawn @ thedalaimama January 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

Love, love, love this post. We are complex and there is so much more to us. I am liberal and your first description of yourself could be a description of me. But then I send my kids to private school, because I live in an urban center with no viable public options for me. I have dedicated my life to urban education reform, but won’t sacrifice my kids education for my cause.

Some of my closest friends are republicans (how the hell did that happen) but it reminds me that for as much as we differ in our political or religious views/opinions, we have so much more in common. That is what I am hoping gets us through.

It’s scary with the rhetoric out there and the division that has become so apparent in this country. How quickly we can turn on each other. I will work really hard to have my opinions and give space for those whose opinions differ (no matter how wrong they might be :)).
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Oana January 11, 2012 at 9:55 am

All I know is that the world will never be perfect, no matter which party is in power..All we can do is try and change the world in our own corner be it by simply inspiring courage in others by revealing our true selves or by infusing our kids with goodness

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Hope January 11, 2012 at 10:23 am

Hello, Volvos and lattes? That IS so 80s. It’s Priuses and SOY lattes, now. How out of touch can he be?

Hey, loved this post, and am so glad to hear you say you’re a feminist. And a liberal.

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sarah January 11, 2012 at 10:34 am

great post, and i sincerely hope that things don’t get ugly. i also wish i could sustain myself on carbs and cheese, but i guess that’s another topic. politics are so personal, but can also fuel some fantastic conversations that broaden horizons–respectful debate is my wish for this election year, although i’m fairly sure that we won’t see much of that between the candidates on TV. my husband is a republican, and i was raised a raging liberal in a raging liberal town. when we met i didn’t think it could work, and i’m pretty sure we almost broke up over politics. but we didn’t, and his ability to discuss politics in a respectful, informative, and intellectual way has taught me way more about our political system than school ever did. i remain liberal, and he remains conservative, but i think we’ve both learned a lot from one another.

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Mom101 January 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

I really honor and respect that, Sarah. I remember once breaking up with a radio talk show host who was in sports, but “wanted to be the next Rush Limbaugh.” I remember my shrink thinking that was a crazy reason to end a relationship–but when I heard him on air slamming Hilary Clinton’s hair, I thought…I just can’t. Your husband seems much better.

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toyfoto January 11, 2012 at 10:39 am

The older I get the more I find people are so much more than what they believe and what they pontificate over a dinner table. I’ve yet to meet a person who hasn’t opened their mouth and inserted their foot from time to time.
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Jessica January 11, 2012 at 10:59 am

It can be SO blinding. I grew up very conservative and my FB feed tends to get pretty crazy during election season as my old friends spout their politics.

A guy who I was very good friends with and respect highly called in to Sean Hannity’s show the other day and oh, how I wanted to hate him for it. It’s hard to set aside that knowledge to remember what a great guy he is.

I don’t know whether to be open about politics or keep it bottled up. I don’t want to alienate people so I tend to keep my mouth shut, but I hate that I feel the need to do that. I would love more civil political discussion.
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FreeRange Pamela January 11, 2012 at 11:11 am

Ah, politics. I don’t want to be inauthentic, but there are certainly people (many in my family) to whom I only show the second side — the working mother, the gardener, the ordinary person — rather than the liberal side. I just honestly don’t think they, or I, will ever change their minds, and it’s unproductive and divisive to argue when our minds are already made up. I do try to sneak in my secret liberal agenda sometimes — talking about health care reform when my father gets frustrated with the for-profit health insurance bureaucracy, for example. Still, it’s scary to see the extreme rhetoric that passes for public political discourse these days — it’s designed not to come to any sort of consensus, but only to stir up hatred and misunderstandings.
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Mom101 January 11, 2012 at 11:38 am

I’m really torn on this, you know? On one hand yes, there’s no reason to bring up contentious subjects when no good will come of it. But I’ve also learned that I can’t bite my lip and say nothing when people are spewing hate or racism or mistruths. At minimum, I’ve learned to say “It’s not ‘orientals’ it’s ‘Asians’ – and I’d really be more comfortable if you didn’t discuss this with me around.”

It can be hard to stand up for what’s right.

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Paul S. Gumbinner January 11, 2012 at 11:21 am

You inhaled? OMG! I always wanted you to run for president, but I guess not. If you think the way you do, then I did a very good job parenting.

Just a comment. We have friends who do not share our liberal point of view. I have learned not to judge them too harshly and to simply enjoy them in other ways. But it is very hard.

It will be a tough year. And I sincerely hope that there is a minimum of heated anger and nastiness, but that is wishful thinking.

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Tracy January 11, 2012 at 11:26 am

I’ve been avoiding politics too – something I once found interesting now makes me despair. I love the thought that moms, online or otherwise, might be able to elevate the conversation and even unite us a little bit. From your keyboard to “Bob’s” ears.

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Liz January 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I’m probably not allowed to say what a marvelous post this is since I share the same political views, but what the hell? It’s a fabulous post.

Some of my closest friends, and even relatives, are very conservative. It’s hard to have conversations about politics when I often feel like we’re talking in different languages. They’ll bring up some issue or POV that I know nothing about, and vice versa. I guess that’s what happens when one person only watches CNN and the other only watches FOX News.

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Lisse January 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Ah, some sanity on the subject.

I love arguing politics, and it’s one of the few topics my family can talk about without killing each other, but I’ve been in a funk for the past several days about how tabloidish it’s all gotten.

I’ve been on this losing crusade to “elevate the debate” for two decades, but it just keeps getting worse; cruder and more soul destroying. Lost in all the personal attacks is any in depth discussion of real issues, their meaning and consequences. Also lost – much of reality, IMO.

People on both sides of the aisle should have to go back and watch that John Adams mini-series that was on HBO a few years ago. It’s an important reminder of what this country stands for when so much nowadays feels like it’s only about personal gain. The scene where Adams, Jefferson, and Franklin are working through the Declaration of Independence illustrates how important words and precise meaning is to political discourse, even if we don’t always like the outcome.
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Lindsay Ferrier January 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Love this post, Liz! Thanks for addressing it. A few thoughts-

First, I think that moms who “get ugly” regarding politics will number about the same as moms who get ugly about working moms vs. SAHMS. And cloth diapers vs. disposable. And every other skirmish that has come up on the mom blog circuit over the years.

Now that I’m lucky enough to actually be covering the election FOR moms and am talking to moms about politics on a daily basis, I truly believe that they are the ones who can show the rest of America that it’s possible to have a meaningful dialogue about politics and still be polite and respectful of each others’ views.

I was thrilled to see this play out at a forum a couple of weeks ago with a presidential candidate and 100 moms. Many of the moms there were not supporters of the candidate, and some had major problems with him– and very pointed questions for him. Yet everyone was polite and respectful of the candidate and of each other. It was AWESOME to see, and it reinforced my belief that MOMS can show the media and the Internet pundits and the rest of the country HOW IT SHOULD BE DONE.

The biggest danger among moms is apathy. I’m seeing too many moms who’ve just given up on politics, because they don’t like the dirty ads and the insults and the arguing. They’ve tuned it all out. They’re done. And I think that’s the worst thing that can happen.

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Stalking Sarah January 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Um, I liked the first person better! I mean, I love a good theme park as much as the next person, but you had me at “feminist who still laughs at Axe ads.”

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Fairly Odd Mother January 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I worry so much that my Facebook page will be unreadable for me (without my busting a blood vessel) —I have a pretty high percentage of conservative Christians among my friends and though they are lovely people, their politics makes me bananas.

But, I just read the most lovely exchange between a gay liberal mama to her super-conservative, older, straight male friend and, while she vehemently disagreed with him, she also made a point to say, I love YOU but disagree with this, this and this. THAT is what I hope to remember—that I love the person, if not every one of their beliefs.

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Karen January 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

This is the season when logical reasoning takes a vacation. I find it incredibly frustrating. It seems that our emotions rule over our politics, but it SHOULD be our logic that rules over the politics. Making clear decisions about what we are seeing/hearing is nearly impossible when we explode and put up our defenses.

An unfortunate consequence of those defenses is isolation from the very people – those who disagree with us – from whom we can learn the most. We never grow as people, challenge ourselves and our ingrained beliefs, if we surround ourselves with people just like us.

Fear of having to change keeps us from thinking. I relish in being around people unlike me because I become a more well-rounded person as a result. We don’t have to agree for me to respect and like you. If a conversation we have makes me think, who’s to say the result of that conversation wouldn’t make my current beliefs stronger? Stronger because they have been challenged and I’ve thought through them, instead of falling back on my emotions and slamming the door in your face?

Can’t we all just settle it over a pint? (of whatever?) With some musical theater karaoke?

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Leigh January 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Wonderful points. The problem comes, I think, when someone dismisses you because of your first introduction, and doesn’t bother reading the second–when assumptions are made without getting to know the real person behind the opinions.

I’m a Christian wife and mom living in a Southern state and I voted Republican in the last election. I’m sure many would make some assumptions about me based on that sentence, but they’d almost certainly be wrong: I have no problem with same-sex marriage. I am pro-life but think we should focus on education and birth control options instead of legislation. I think we need better healthcare options for those who are under-insured. I wish every penny we spent on the war in Iraq had gone to feed the hungry and work on ending the AIDS crisis instead. I am not a stereotype, in other words, and neither is anyone else, but we won’t know that unless we listen to each other.

We all have room in our heads and hearts for compromise, and dismissing others because they’re “liberal” or “conservative” does nothing to improve our country. What good can we do if we only ever talk to those who we think will agree with us?

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Issa January 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I love both versions of you. A lot of it sounds like me. Except for one major thing. I wish I could close the Internet until November and come back when it’s all done. I hate watching people explode at each other just because they believe different things when it comes to politics.

I guess I’m saying, I have a lot of beliefs when it comes to politics. I have voted since turning 18. Yet online? I will sit quietly in a corner and wait for it to be over. I won’t engage in it. I just can’t seem to make myself get that worked up about it. Maybe in a way, I’m a wuss but I suppose I can live with that. Politics and religion, the two things I stay out of online.

And good god it’s January. JANUARY! Doesn’t it seem a bit early to anyone else?

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Ginger January 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

IRL, I am friends with people on ALL parts of the political spectrum. The only ones I won’t discuss politics with are the ones who don’t want to talk, but only want to scream.

The same holds true online. I respect people who can discuss their opinions in a respectful, open manner, but if you’re just going to spew hatred (on either side), I’m not interested in that and that will ABSOLUTELY color my opinion of you. In fact, I did actually unfollow one person entirely because of the hatefulness she spewed politically, nonstop, every time she was online. I don’t want that in my politics and I *definitely* don’t want that in my Twitter stream.

I hope that in the personal blog-o-sphere we can keep things on the calm side this election year. I hope we can discuss and not spew hate. I hope that we can talk and not scream at each other.
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Korinthia January 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I wish it didn’t have to be as divisive as it is. I think there are two main problems when talking about politics.

The first is that it does say something about what you value when you come down on one side of an issue or another, and it can be hard to believe someone you like and respect can seem illogical or insensitive based on their political choices.

The second is unlike other characteristics about a person, their political choices can effect us directly. Having an opinion about a political candidate is not the same as having one about a celebrity, because politicians have the power to change the laws under which all of us must live. People have strong reactions to Sarah Palin not so much because of what she knows or believes, but because if elected what she knows or believes suddenly effects our own personal options. It can put us on the defensive.

The politics here in Wisconsin have been unpleasantly divisive this last year. Facebook is covered with references to the campaign to recall the current governor. I think you’re right to be wary of this election year. It’s not going to be pretty.

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Mom101 January 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Couldn’t agree more. That’s why I said that politics is personal and emotional. It effects me. It’s not like mommy war BS where we argue about breastfeeding or co-sleeping–those decisions don’t impact my lives. But depleting social security and killing off jobs bills for political gain sure will.

I still hold out hope that reasonable discussions get us further than other tactics.

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Not Supermom January 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm

“Or maybe, I just kind of want to stick my head in the sand and write about the six-year-old milestones, the UberMoms at school who scare me, and the cereal for dinner. It’s so much safer, isn’t it?

Safer, yes. Authentic, no. And therein lies the dilemma.”

The truth. You speak it.
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Motherhood is Messy January 11, 2012 at 8:43 pm

You bring up a great point about how once you “see” someones’s politics it’s hard to unsee it. I am registered as an independent. I don’t particularly agree with what either side is saying these days. I have one friend that will only vote Republican because they are against abortion. I have another friend that will only vote Democrat because they are for gay marriage. There is so much though in between both of those issues. And as for both of your descriptions about yourself… some things I agree with and some I don’t. But I would rather chose the things I do like about what you wrote and have a latte with you and chit chat. And understand that two people rarely agree on anything. I hope that someday we may all “see” that we are a nation that needs hope, and fairness for everyone.
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Karen January 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm

One-issue voting – on either side of the aisle – is one of the things that is killing respectful political discussion in this country. If you vote based on one issue only, you get exactly what you vote for: a candidate who agrees with you on this ONE thing, but likely utterly unqualified in every other area.

One-issue voting frustrates me to no end.
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Mom101 January 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Thanks for this Karen. I was thinking similar but having trouble articulating it. I hate the political parties who create wedge issues precisely to deflect us from the real ones. If we all voted our economic interests alone, for example, the vote would be 1% republican (hah).

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Holly January 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm

People respect opinions other than their own. I’m a die hard liberal, too, and a HUGE Israel supporter but it’s sure hard for me to understand all the deep hatred for Israel that exists on Twitter. I started to respond and then I just gave up. When there is ignorance and hatred, it’s hard to respond.
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Elise Davis January 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Oh we certainly do love to choose camps don’t we! I love that I live in a community that is fairly tolerant and accepting of all the different factions, but then I remember that it’s because we have nothing really inciting us to take sides. I think it’s horribly un-American when candidates speak and act in ways that are divisive. It’s a puerile way of gathering troops and does nothing in the long term to build a healthy democracy. I loved your post and hope you do keep sharing your political views – you’ve got some serious communication skills!

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Mom101 January 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Thanks you Elise.

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Suebob January 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm

The thing I have to remind myself over and over again is that people on the opposite side of the fence want the best thing for our country, too – we just disagree on what those things are. When I get irked at people for their Obama conspiracy theories, I try to remind myself that I still have trouble believing anything good about GW Bush and Cheney.

This subject cuts close to home, because most of my family is MUCH more conservative than I am. We disagree on pretty much every single point.
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Mom101 January 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I try to remember that too. Even if they’re wrong. (Heh.)

Good advice Suebob. You’re always my go-to source for common sense on these things.

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Marie January 12, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Hmmm, I recently moved from a news job “inside the Beltway” (a.k.a. Washington D.C. ) to Seattle WA and then to Idaho (of all places!). The thing that shocks me more than anything, is the extreme LACK of politics. People I meet just don’t seem to care. They think politicians are all a bunch of yahoo’s (can’t say I disagree) and so long as no one is messing with their land or water rights (can’t say I’ve ever thought about it), they could care less. It’s very “stay out of my yard” kind of thinking. I can’t really complain. It’s just so very strange not being bombarded with politics all the time. I wonder if this will change in 2012?

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Val January 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Yeah, I come from a family, and married into another family, that thinks a good, heated political or religious debate makes for a good family function. While I love the exchange of ideas, I also vacillate between wanting to be “safe” (i.e. not saying too much) and wanting to be authentic (i.e. opening a can of worms). On those rare occasions when we do all speak authentically AND respectfully – the disagreements can bring us closer.

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Mom101 January 13, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Perfectly put Val!

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Annie January 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Wow. Your second description of yourself is creepily familiar. I could have written 99% of it myself. (That’s probably a mathematical impossibility, which is why I’m a writer, not a mathematician.)

I’ve wanted to write about shmolitics as well, with the election year in full swing, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. Partisan politics is so divisive; it’s in its nature to be so. And since politics in America IS partisan politics, I just can’t stomach the political debates. Especially when it seems like a good percentage of people are just regurgitating whatever they’re hearing from their favorite biased news source.

Sheesh, cynical much, Annie?

Anyway, I agree – I hope it doesn’t cause too much division in the mom blog community. That’d be sad.

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Babs January 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm

This year has me sick because I’m not sure there is a presidential candidate I can vote for. I used to be pretty partisan, but more and more I’ve examined what I believe in, and frankly all the to tier issues for me are split by party lines. I’m extreme in my views on smaller federal government, yet believe the states need to keep social programs and environmental statutes. While I think our current immigration situation is unsafe as a policy, I personally work with people who have no legal status to make sure they have work and education. I’m for upholding a persons dignity from conception to natural death, which pits against liberals and conservatives.

I guess you won’t have to worry about offending me, because I don’t fit any mold. Mostly I read political opinions to reflect on the possibility that I may be wrong. Unfortunately this has put me where I am today, a voter without a candidate.

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Jessica@Team Rasler January 15, 2012 at 12:47 am

I think we all respond to what we believe is authenticity. We love you because you are real, even if we disagree. That is so much of the beauty of the blogosphere – getting to know each others’ real selves and disagreeing one day while we nod in sympathy the next. But as another bleeding-heart liberal, I, for one, am looking forward to more of your political posts this year!
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Danielle January 15, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I am Canadian, but I am also passionate about our politics up here. As a New Democrat, it’s sometimes weird having friends who are Conservative. I guess I’ve just learned to separate my friend from their political views. We just agree to disagree and don’t talk about it in depth. No worries about me feeling offended anyways. I’ve been reading this blog for some time now and I’m sure I speak for not only myself but other readers when saying even if I may disagree with your viewpoint from time to time, I still very much respect you.
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the mama bird diaries January 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm

I never even thought about giving my kid cereal for dinner and now I’m thrilled to have another idea at dinnertime.
I adore politics and as a Democrat, I have really enjoyed this election season so far. I’d marry Jon Stewart in another life. And I loved this post. Truly.
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Alex@LateEnough January 21, 2012 at 8:01 am

I think we can have good dialogue, but I also expected heated responses to my weekly political posts. I’m spending my January toughening my skin.

Also, I remind myself that a heated response is better than no response because being involved in the political process is better than ignoring it.
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Mom101 January 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

That’s a great perspective Alex. I had this very conversation last night. Sadly, a lot of people would really rather just ignore it.

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