Friday, October 26, 2012

FTT Off-Topic: Say Less Or Do More

Yes. Yes It Is.
As always with FTT O-T, not sports, not arguing, read or not.

I have these relatives. Maybe you do, too.

Older folks, mostly. Like myself, well, white as the driven snow. They used to say all sorts of unfortunate things about groups of individuals; luckily, I'm of an age and educational level where I get to miss that.

Now, they mostly say these things about a specific individual.

And they are, as you might have guessed, Very Concerned about the upcoming election.

It probably also doesn't surprise you that they are very interested in sharing their nuanced views -- almost always in all caps, with high emotion, a susceptibility to conspiracy theories, and with a minimum of non-forwarded original thought -- in my social media stream and email in-box. To others, on the phone.

And I'm not going to change their minds about, well, anything.

But I do have one, very serious, question for them.

Why aren't you doing more to share your views?

I mean, I'm related to you. I'm easy pickings. All you did to take advantage of me showing you pictures of my kids or puppy, and ruin my opinion of you for life, was to click share or send. Lame.

(I also live in a state which has been out of play for this election since, well, the last election. Seriously, pointless.)

No, you see, if you care so much about this election, it's time for you to do more. Lots more. (Well, OK. Way past time. But I digress.)

Let me show you how I handled this, back when I was still open to the idea of changing anyone's mind about anything. In 2004, I spent a few hundred hours, and several thousand dollars, trying to get my guy elected. I was deeply concerned, in ways that history has borne out, that the guy I didn't want to get the job was a poor choice. After my guy lost, I seriously considered emigrating, and took job interviews overseas to determine the feasibility of that action. In short, I committed.

But the one thing that I didn't do was, well, feel that my firmly held beliefs were best served by howling at the relatives that didn't agree with me. They knew how I felt, and if they didn't want to hear about it, I didn't say another word. Still haven't (at least, well, not directly; if they read this blog, that's their choice).

And I haven't replied to any of their communications mostly, because, well, I'd just upset them. Pointlessly. And while elections come and elections go, being related to them is, sadly, a little more permanent.

So, to those folks who might be trolling this, if you feel so strongly about this election? Put your money where your froth is. Go scratch a check that will hurt for a good long time. Quit your job to pound doors. Wave signs at intersections. Get into the magical world of street art. Show up at demonstrations with puppets and hand drums. Prep your Third World control room getaway, and see, honestly, just how many complete and total strangers you can convince to go your way.

Or, um, get a grip and consider that in another four years, there will be another election, and a fresh new opportunity for you to show us all just how concerned you are. And that maybe having an ounce of class, or decorum, or self-doubt that you might not be 100% right about this, and that people who think the other way might not be evil or ignorant or both...

And maybe have a civil conversation with us then. Having banked a little good will in the interim.

But until you do scratch that check, or serve your time talking to strangers, all I can think is...

That you really don't care *that* much about who gets elected.

And that all you really want to do is bitch.

Which makes you, well, extraordinarily tiresome, even to the people who might agree with you...

1 comment:

CMJDad said...

Or, if you think like some of us do (don't worry, I know YOU don't), you know that your vote doesn't make a difference, because voting for team Pepsi or team Coke won't change a damn thing as they are one in the same. Sure, a bit different on some messages, but in reality, both sides are the same. To think that either side cares about the electorate (other than getting their vote) is perhaps delusional. Personally, I'd rather vote for you. We don't agree on many things politically, but at least I know you care. The guys running? Not so much.

Ads In This Size Rule