Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ever-changing Personal Politics

Is it alright to admit right from the start that I am not enamored with politics? I think I need to share that I know something about the left and right wing but not enough to argue with anyone. I have in some ways kept myself out of the political loop, but I have definitely not abandoned it.

It all boils down to this in my book. Politics can bring out the worst in people. And so, when possible I don't engage in that harsh, negative, world. But I am well aware that it exists and its crowning glory day is coming around again in November.

The title of this post is "Ever-changing Personal Politics".  I do not know if I am alone in this or not, but as I grow and change so do my ideas and politics. Politics are such a divisive hotbed because they are at one point national and at the other point completely personal. All that you are often comes to the forefront in your political choices. Your wants, desires, fiances, faith, and deepest hidden personal agendas combine in a swirling pot of political stew.

At 18 I became a proud registered voter in the state of Florida. Who was I then? An upper middle class, African-American girl, conservative both in faith and politics, but hating societies' expectations of what a girl like me and people like me should think and do.  At 18 I was a Republican and proud of it. Why? Because my daddy was a Republican and in our house politics were split down the middle; mama and Melanie on the Democratic side and daddy and Sabrina on the Republican side. I was conservative to a "T" in those days and very aware that according to MY life experiences the American dream was easily available for all, who worked hard enough to get it. Also, I got personally heated when other people assumed I was a Democrat because I was black. That, more than anything, had me wanting to break free. I did not want the NAACP or anyone else dictating what my politics should be, based on my race alone. I looked around at my white friends and no one told them how to vote. I didn't feel them have the frustration and slight shame of going against the grain as they made their personal, political choices. That was then.

At 27 I am still a proud but definitively more cautious voter in the state of Florida (soon to be Georgia). Who am I now? Still an upper-middle (just barely) class, African-American woman, knowledgeably conservative in both faith and politics. Some things have stayed the same and of course some things have changed. I have proudly left both the Republican and Democratic paths and am finding my own personal way in the land of being an independent voter. In 9 years I have been utterly disgusted with the ways of both sides. And in order for me to not just become apathetic I had to look at a new way of doing politics. I am so much happier and well informed as an independent voter. I have the power now to research and also to change. I can pick and choose and then put back and adopt new ideas and ways of being. It was stifling to me to be in either the right or left wing because in my mind you had to choose everything they stood for. And that I could not do. I do not support everything Republican and I do not support everything Democratic. I found that the only thing I could support 100% was the Christian way of living. And that is surprisingly neither Republican or Democratic. I support giving people the chance to change. I support the American people not feeling pressured to vote the right way for fear of not fitting in. I support the fact that the "haves" and the "have nots" are very real in America, and that I can't go judging either group until I am willing to learn more. I support the fact that I have very personal beliefs that can now be expressed in my political view. This is now.

In 10 more years it will be highly interesting to see how I have continued to change. With age comes wisdom I have learned. And I am committed to learning and growing and not giving up. Interestingly enough I just did a Google search and realized that my opinion is not that unique. This is a good, quick little article (from USA Today) from last December about the growing number of independent voters.


annie said...

I love this, mostly because I've lately felt rather apolitical (which most people don't really appreciate during an election year). I just have never really enjoyed political debate. It stresses me out, and I feel like we start seeing each other our parties rather than people. I, too, registered Republican as an 18-year-old, and while I still am registered that way, I waver on a lot of issues, and I think that's okay. I told Jordan I want to think wisely about things. (And yes, sometimes I want to bury my head about others.) I want to be more concerned with being like Christ than being political. (Chet even stopped voting in order to be more concerned with Christian values than political ones. I haven't gone that far -- I like voting way too much, lol -- but I respect that decision because politics can be such a divisive issue, and I've yet to see any good come from too much division.) Anyway, really liked this post. I definitely feel similarly, which is probably why we're friends... and never talk too much about politics. :)

annie said...

(p.s. you changed your profile picture all by yourself! i am so proud!!)

Sabrina said...

I am glad you understand and thanks for the comment. I think this election is going to make me take a FB break, because I just can't handle the constant negativity. Yeah, I talk politics with only family mainly...prob. bc I know they won't throw me under the bus if I have questions about things, or don't completely understand every political nuance.
Also, Yes one night I poked around and figured how to change the pic. Go Sab:)