Saturday, March 1, 2008


You know, it is super exciting to have everyone around me paying so much attention to the elections this year, and the rising current behind Obama is incredible - it is inspiring, and regardless of what the actual presidential race will be like, this is real history, and we're a part of it, we're making it happen.

I have a complaint though.

I keep finding myself in situations where someone asks me who I support, and before I can open my mouth to speak, they say in a very militant manner, "You're for Obama. RIGHT??!!" And then look at me with disdain until I say, "of course..."

I wasn't always for him, I had to be convinced - and that sort of pushy manner always turns me off, makes me want to step away from it all - it is not convincing.

My best friend works for a social justice non-profit and is often working on bills to be presented to the state legislature, or meeting with city counsels and planning commissions. He knows his facts and cares deeply. When I am with him and one of these 'who do YOU support?' conversations comes up, I pay attention to how he acts.

First of all, he listens, and he listens with an open mind. He doesn't glare, he doesn't interrupt, and when he responds, he doesn't raise his voice. Then, being educated, he explains why he supports who and what he supports in great but concise detail, and he says why it means something to him in his own life and also in his work. He tells them what he agrees with, and when he disagrees he gives examples of why he disagrees. He doesn't tell the person they should do anything, and he doesn't try to make them feel like an asshole for having a different opinion.

Now, I'm not overwhelmingly educated with all of this. I read what articles I can and I ask around, but I have my own life to deal with. I take it a lot more from the gut than he does, and when someone tries aggressively to push me towards something, it usually pushes me away.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, that's what this country is based on, and I really think it is possible to swing it back into place with respect.