"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

March 6, 2008

Politics

I decided long ago to keep politics out of my internet blog. It isn't that I don't care. Hell, my first college major was International Relations with the eventual goal being to enter the US Foreign Service. Part of the attraction to the Foreign Service was being able to move every couple of years and being able to experience a wide variety of cultures throughout a lifetime. But it was also attractive because of an increased ability to do something about poverty, better access to medical care and education, and various other issues. Anyway, I rarely let politics enter my blog for a few reasons:

*I don't think voting does that much, particularly in a national election. Most blogs centered around politics are aimed at influencing your vote. Most individuals can do more from a personal level by volunteering or getting involved with local organizations than by taking an hour to go to their voting location once every two years. (No comments about how I haven't done this myself. I was fighting social anxiety, a mild case of agoraphobia, and the occasional psychotic break. And, no, I'm not trying to guilt people into volunteering. ;-) ). I do vote but I don't place too much importance on it.

*I'm not that informed. There's a million and one political and humanitarian blogs on the internet that can do a much, much better job than I ever could. Not to mention all the traditional newspapers and television news programs staffed by people who have dedicated their careers to these discussions.

*I don't want to get involved in political arguments. At nearly 35 years old, I'm pretty set in my political views. Nobody's likely to change my mind and, if the other person is motivated enough to even start a political debate, it's pretty unlikely that I'll ever change their mind. Hell, at 15 years old, I was already set in my views.

The negative part of all this is that, sometimes, my blog can seem topical but, oh well, it's just a personal blog.

5 comments:

thudfactor said...

You say:


Most blogs centered around politics are aimed at influencing your vote. Most individuals can do more from a personal level by volunteering or getting involved with local organizations than by taking an hour to go to their voting location once every two years.


I don't think that's really accurate. Voting in national elections is the bare minimum, but there are a lot of things you can do in the meantime: contacting your representatives, voting in local and national elections, etc.

I see my role as a political blogger as providing context, commentary, and other information. Yes, people can use that when they vote. But I don't think votes shape representative behavior so much as their own perception of what opinions their constituency has.

On the subject of volunteering, of course you're right that you can have a direct impact there. But volunteering cannot replace effective government, and to have effective government in a democracy people have to be engaged with the political process.

I'm not saying you have to blog about politics or should; I'm just saying that there's more to it than "vote for my candidate."

Berryvox said...

Yeah, you have a point. I doubt the majority actually contact their senators, governors, mayors, etc. about the issues they're concerned with. Those who do end up having a stronger voice. And, yes, one vote could make the difference in a local election.

Jason said...

Good move avoiding political blogging. As a political blogger, I'll be the first to say that political blogging is an exercise in frustration and futility. But I just can't seem to stop doing it.

FerdC ~ Crazy Medical Cases said...

Nice post, Kayla.
I agree that doing even small things in our own communities is more effective than our vote every few years. And even if our chosen candidate wins, they can't always get anything done. I also think market forces move and shake our country more than politicians do. Basically, they suck.
International Relations was your 1st degree? What happened to the Foreign Service thing? I think I can guess.
So then you have a 2nd degree?
I think my political views have changed a bit over the years, as I've grown older, and my economic condition has changed, and sometimes with specific candidates and issues. But yeah, I agree we don't usually change much.

Berryvox said...

Jason - I'd probably do it too if I didn't hate conflict.

Ferd - Oh, I never completed my bachelor's degree. Just out of high school, trying to work and take classes at the same time stressed me out a bit too much. Eventually, I quit. When I went back to college years later, I changed my major to film. But that's when the first break occurred so I had to quit.