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.
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 🙂