I want to talk about politics.
I know I’ve had difficult conversation about racism, including with friends and family whom I greatly respect, but who don’t necessarily see eye to eye with me on this. I know this Democratic presidential primary has been more emotionally-charged than any recent ones I remember. I know Clinton supporters who’ve felt attacked and beat down over their position. I know Trump supporters who’ve felt insulted and condescended to. I want to say two things about this:
- I think it is right that politics are emotionally-laden. Political decisions are among the most fundamental determinants of how our society, and the world, works. People literally live and die by who we elect and how they govern. Every election is a referendum on who is allowed what kind of life, and who is allowed to live at all. It is right to feel a stabbing, life-or-death urgency about them.
Some of us are comfortable enough to believe that we personally will be OK no matter how any particular vote or election turns out. Lucky us. We should still care fiercely, because the less lucky people are people too. Their children are as beautiful, as infinitely valuable and deserving, as ours are. Listen to the people who could be hurt the worst, or are currently being hurt the worst, and act with the same urgency as if it were you. If the world (and the discourse around its future) is not regularly bringing you to tears, I suggest that perhaps you are not paying it the attention it deserves.
- I also want to be kind and compassionate with all of you. If you are my friend or follower, it is because I respect and value you and your ideas. I want to truly hear you, and I want you to truly hear me, and I want both of us to be changed by what we learn. If the way I’m talking about the things I believe in is hurtful to you, is pushing you away, please tell me that. I cannot promise to solve it, but I do promise to try.