After much talking, arguing, debating, a little yelling and some listening, Michael and I finally found some political common ground. Can I just say I hate talking politics? Like faith, it is so deeply personal. It has the potential to be explosive, divisive and even demonizing. I came to the point a couple of weeks ago when I told Michael I could only hold a ten-minute conversation about politics with him before one of us would boil over. We finally called a cease-fire. Even though it’s sometimes the best solution, I hate to agree-to-disagree. (Ironically, I’m fine with agreeing-to-disagree with anyone else. Just not Michael. I know, I know.) Thankfully, I think we’ve pulled our ship into safe harbor. I have to give props to Barack Obama, because watching his eloquent acceptance speech this week spurred us to dig down to the party platforms and discover for ourselves where each party/candidate stands on the issues.
After much digging, arguing and listening, we found that – surprise! – we agreed on many of the same points. We were just coming at them from different angles. Duh. Funny what happens when we put down our guard and concede that the other does, in fact, know something.
And so, here we are. Excited about joining, and casting our votes for, the Liberarian Party. For us, it fits. Fits where we’re at in our walk of faith, and fits with most of our political ideology (which, I’ve discovered, is many times intertwined – at least for me.). I mean, if we lean that way anyway, we’d better put our money (or, in this case, our vote) where our mouths are. I feel like I have finally come to terms with my political self. Feels like getting into a warm bath after a long day of yard-work – the euphoric combination of the laboring toward job well done, but still knowing the hedges will need clipping again in a week. The work never ends. Kind of like faith. Kind of like relationships. Kind of like life.
One of the questions we kept asking ourselves was, “Am I throwing away my vote by voting third-party?” Off the cuff, my answer was ‘yes’. But Michael contended with this compelling point a fellow blogger made: “I’d rather vote for something I want and not get it, than vote for something I don’t want and get it.” And then there’s the whole voting-your-conscience thing. The only way to throw away your vote, in my opinion, is not to vote. I don’t know what party Jesus would have been affiliated with, if any. I do know that, at the end of the day, he’s more concerned with my heart than my ballot.
Please know, dear reader, that I’m not intending to convert you. I probably won’t even discuss it with you in person. I’m a reluctant political. I love having friends who are staunch Democrats, friends who are committed Republicans and some friends who are dissatisfied with the entire political process. I know no political party is perfect, nor has the perfect solution to every problem our nation (or the world) faces. However, if you do find yourself intrigued, do check out your current party’s platform. Maybe even check out the platforms of parties you’d never dare affiliate with (gasp!). Know your candidates. Ask the tough questions of yourself. Question, question, question. Engage. Introspect (admittedly, not my strong suit.) Be okay with the complex shades of grey sometimes. And disagreeing. You might be surprised. I was.
Even more than that, and what I really intended the theme of this post to be, is that it feels really good for Michael and I to have come to the decision together. Amen.