No More Stifled Voices
I, like most people I interact with on a daily basis, have become increasingly alarmed by the 2016 election. So much has been said about it to this point, it almost seems futile to start writing a new thought. I feel tired. Disgusted. Ashamed. I guess that is as negative an indictment as any about this election cycle — it stifles thoughtful voices.
And yet, I woke up today feeling a renewed vigor. This election is too important to sit on the sidelines. I need to understand who I’m voting for and why.
Today, I read two different articles that made me think. One is from a favorite author of mine — Rachel Held Evans. The other comes from the blog Patheos. I present them here without any comment for you to investigate:
So you're thinking of voting for a pro-choice candidate...
I'm pro-life. Or, put another way, I believe the sacred personhood of an individual begins before birth and continues…
A Good Man Justifies a Wicked Deed: Grudem on Trump
We are not an age that likes absolutes. We temper, we hedge, we do not want to say a good man is doing a bad thing…
That Patheos blog post, by the way, is in response to the following post from Dr. Wayne Grudem.
Wayne Grudem - Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice
Some of my Christian friends tell me they cant in good conscience vote for Donald Trump because, when faced with a…
Hushed Voices and Furrowed Brows
Politics is the one topic we encourage each other to keep to ourselves. And yet somehow we always hear about it. I’ve felt this tension greatly over the past few months. I feel that if I say anything I will anger someone or cause an argument. And so, I keep my thoughts to myself.
But I’ve noticed something — in my own mind, I’ve told myself that I can put off thinking about the election. Each time I see an article or a tweet that catches my attention, I’m drawn to respond. And yet, I tell myself to steer clear of political discussion. Each time, I save my thoughts for later. I think I’ve finally become fed up with putting off the inevitable.
I need to come to terms with my own views of the 2016 election.
Is it good to have some self-control and not spout off about the election on social media? Yes, of course. But I also think we have a great tool right in front of us for positive political discourse. Unfortunately, many of us are too fearful to even speak up.
Politics is a divisive subject. That much is clear. But I would hope that we can be civil and respectful to each other even when discussing controversy. I’d like to think it’s possible. Recently, that hope was rekindled.
I finally mustered the courage to post about the election on Facebook. I had seen a Medium post (Michael Bloomberg’s DNC speech) that I found interesting. I posted it to Facebook in the hopes that it would spark a good discussion. Somewhat to my surprise, it did just that.
Some of my good friends messaged me to continue the discussion. It was so refreshing. It got me thinking…what if there was more of this? What if discussions about politics didn’t have to turn into shouting matches and name-calling? What if we actually could talk respectfully about areas where we disagree?
No More Fear
There’s another group of you that read the subheader of this article and thought — “Don’t we talk about the election enough already?”
See, but that’s the thing — we DO hear about the election constantly. But we’re told not to talk about it in our closest circles. We fear what people might say or think. So much of how we act when it comes to politics seems to be predicated on fear.
I’m giving myself permission to talk about politics. There must certainly be some self-control there. But it’s time to step off the sidelines. This is an important election and we do need to make our voices heard.
I just think they should be heard because we’re all willing to listen to one another, not because we’re simply shouting the loudest.
Aaron Charles is a writer and marketing account executive from Indiana. You can connect with him on Twitter, Medium or Instagram. Aaron and his wife Sarah run a Medium publication called Cooking With Sarah that documents their weekly cooking adventures.