I thought I’d begin writing my blog with something that has been on my mind for a while now regarding the Presidential Election going on this year. At the dinner table, politics are among the subjects that should not be discussed (along with religion, of course). This is because it’s a subject that people talk about with a passion; a passion that, when threaten by an opposing opinion, can ultimately lead to an argument.
This post will not have anything to do with my particular opinion about who would be the best President. Instead, I want to talk about the voters themselves and some of the things I’ve seen that honestly makes me shake my head.
Ok, to begin, I am an African-American woman, 21 years old and a recent graduate. I live in Baltimore, Maryland, which is mostly Democrat. Who would you assume I’d vote for? Probably Obama, right? Well, I certainly feel the pressure to do so. I’m constantly around people who are in love with Obama and what he stands for. And I don’t have a problem with that at all, but what I don’t like is the pressure I feel when it comes to who I should vote for. I honestly feel like because I’m a Black American, I am obligated to vote for Obama or otherwise be considered a disgrace to my race. For instance, I have plenty of family members who would be extremely angry/disappointed if I voted for Mitt Romney. As you can see, this is all based on my own personal experiences in my community and with the people I’ve spoken with (or heard on the radio) so other Black Americans might not feel the same way. This is also the case when it comes to choosing your party. It’s usually assumed that African-American=Democrat.
Even worse than all of that, there are the people on both sides who will be so passionate about a candidate, but not know what the heck they’re talking about. There are people who don’t even follow up on what’s going on with the election or politics in general, but want to tell it to you like an expert. They’ll have plenty of reasons why they won’t vote for someone without anything to back it up. Sometimes I think people are just copying off of what others are saying or are too blinded by the fact that they wear the label, Republican or Democrat, to go deeper and check all the facts for themselves. I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to politicians so I’m big on checking the facts and seeing if what they are telling me is legit. I mean why would a presidential candidate tell you anything but the positives about themselves and negatives of their opponents. I need to dig deeper than that.
Either way, I never act like I’m an expert or have heated debate about politics. I discuss what I’ve learned, hear the other person’s POV about the subject, look up anything I don’t know, and share anything that might contradict what that person said (I like when they do the same). You have to be civil and open-minded with these sorts of things. There are too many people who will hold their ground and won’t at least consider you’re standpoint. What’s the point of even having a debate with someone like that?
I want to end with something I’ve noticed a lot over the internet. I have a strange fixation on reading the comments at the bottom of the page when I read a news article, watch a video on Youtube, etc. I guess I just really like reading people’s opinions on things. Anyway, when it comes to any Presidential Election, all I see are comments of people bickering, pointing fingers, and insulting others. There seems to be so much separation between people during these elections. Is this what America is? Picking sides and criticizing the people on the other side. I just don’t like it. Where is the unity in that?