I'm always thankful for friends on whatever part of the political belief spectrum with whom I can have a civil conversation (before somebody's friend joins in and say something horribly offensive). One time my friend Josh and I, who are about as politically opposite as can be, had a conversation after which he actually changed his position on a belief he'd had for a while. It wasn't that, in my brilliance, I had suddenly said something that turned him liberal. It was that by having a discussion about it, he'd realized that this belief that he was holding actually wasn't consistent with other core aspects of his belief system. That's totally valid. A lot of people call that flip flopping. I call that growing up and actually thinking through your ideologies. Conversations with people who disagree with me, like Josh, and with people who generally agree with me, like my friend Seth, have sharpened me in more ways than I can count. I do not hold the same beliefs I held in high school, or college, or even last week in some cases.
Let's be clear -- and I don't think this is going to come as a shock to anyone -- I'm a libbity libface liberal. I once would have claimed to be a moderate (and maybe even a Republican for like, two and a half minutes when I thought that was what Christians were SUPPOSED to be. That ended fairly quickly when Republicans at my Christian school would tear down any poster of John Kerry they found on people's dorm rooms or around campus. That, and when they would mock the group on campus that helped feed the homeless and fight for equality, SSA, by taunting, "SSA is ASS backwards!" That ended the Christian Republican phase). I'm not a moderate. I've taken that isidewith.com quiz enough to know that. There's nuance to liberalism, of course. I think that's a thing people forget. And many of my good friends who are Republicans are largely like, "WTF?!?!?!" when it comes to today's Republican party. Some aren't. Josh thinks there's some serious substance to Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. I think they're morons. We still have great conversations.
|This is Seth. He is brilliant and a fan of cookies.|
Every now and again, I shoot Seth a message asking for his input on some issue that's been pressing on my mind as a half-assed political junkie. He is a political junkie with his full ass. It's very convenient.
A Bernie Sanders supporter myself, I can at times be wary of the seeming lack of respect for his candidacy in various news outlets. However, unlike Seth, I spend most of my days reading about things I study for school, which is, y'know, my job. I'm not seeing everything out there, and I recognize that that leaves a giant hole in my knowledge. So, today, I put forth a question to Seth regarding Bernie Sanders and the media. This was the conversation that ensued:
Listen, none of us is totally innocent of sometimes buying into media narratives just because they back up what we already want to to believe. As adult citizens of the United States with the power to actually change (or maintain) the way that it is run, though, we have got to get past this X-Files mentality that the truth is out there but we have no access to it because of some mysterious "they" who don't want us to know what's really going on. In my experience, the worst things that are happening are actually things you can plainly see with your naked eye. For the love of Pete (Wrigley, because that's the Pete I always think of), stop with the "WHAT AREN'T THEY TELLING US???" and start thinking about what they ARE telling us that we can totally push back against. If you think this shadowy Mainstream Media isn't talking about Bernie (or whoever your candidate is) enough, start a website, start sending out mailers, start posting all over your Facebook and Twitter, start painting some murals. Then you might change something. I just cannot tell you how sick I am of people who only get their news from extremist websites trying to tell us all that the Mainstream Media is somehow cutting us off from what's actually friggin' everywhere. In the words of The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation with at a Party: Learn a book.
And for good measure: