Why Are We So Sensitive About Politics?

Why Are We So Sensitive About Politics?

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When you're 63 years old, you have to recycle your jokes every once in a while. I assume that's why my dad makes the same joke every time he sees someone in a t-shirt. It doesn't matter what the t-shirt is supporting. He will make the same joke whether you're repping TCU (go Frogs), the Boston Red Sox, The Beatles, or even his favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. Any time my dad encounters someone sporting the gear of their favorite anything, his muscle memory kicks in and his instincts take over, and he reflexively reacts to the situation at hand by saying “Oh no, you didn't pay money for that shirt, did you?"

About 10 percent of the time, people laugh. Okay, 10 percent of the time I laugh. Innocent strangers who have never fallen victim to hearing my dad repeating the same joke several times a week for 20 years actually find it pretty amusing the first time. They take it in stride, laugh about it and jokingly banter about sports or music or whatever my dad playfully insulted. Even though these people love these things, they have the good sense and spirit to laugh at themselves. They understand that their affiliations with sports, schools or bands shouldn't be so consuming that it causes hostilities in their daily lives. But what about their affiliations with politics? Can they set aside their differences and laugh about those too? My dad recently found out the answer.

He works at a department store here in Austin, Texas in the most conservative part of the most liberal city in the most conservative state in America. Keep Austin weird and what not. Today he told me a story about an interaction he had a few months ago, while Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott were deep into their campaigns for Governor of Texas. Long story short, a couple walks into the store, my dad greets them, looks at the man and his Wendy Davis t-shirt, and (of course) asks the man if he paid money for that shirt. Without even pausing to respond, the man and his wife turn immediately around and storm directly back out of the store.

Honestly, I'm sure my dad didn't even think about the sentence before it came out of his mouth. He didn't mean it as a serious stab at this man's political opinion, but they took it that way. Where people can joke about music or sports or movies they like, they are almost never as willing to joke about their political opinions. So why do we take politics so seriously?

Why is it that with all the endless topics of debate in today's society, politics have to be the most polarizing? Our younger generation receives so much criticism from adults for not embracing political activism and for exhibiting a general sense of apathy about the whole thing. We're less likely to vote, less likely to even register, and less likely to be informed about political issues. But has anyone ever asked us why? Personally, I don't get involved with politics because everyone I've seen who is involved is generally unpleasant about it. Asking someone about their political opinions immediately puts them in defensive mode as they prepare to defend their beliefs to you (usually pretty aggressively), and it's just not a discussion I want to have. Political conversations have a higher tendency to turn into arguments, even though both sides know no one is going to change their mind.

When my sister openly supports the Baylor Bears, even though I am thoroughly convinced (rightly) that the TCU Horned Frogs are infinitely better, I know nothing I say is going to sway her opinion. I just let her live her life with her wrong opinion, and that's that. We agree to disagree. Why is it that we behave differently when it comes to politics? No matter how right you think you are, you cannot force someone else to believe it. In order to have a real conversation about politics, when someone shares their beliefs with you, listen. Hear what they're saying, and take it into consideration. Even if you don't agree with it, tell them you respect their opinion and move on. Aristotle said, "It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it."

I think a lot of political apathy among young adults could be eradicated if politics could be a less closed-minded topic. If we were encouraged to learn about the world for ourselves as we grow up and eventually form our own opinions, rather than to accept the opinions that are taught to us (mostly by our parents and their like-minded friends), young people would probably feel more obligation to be politically active. Instead of telling each other what's right, we should talk about it, learn from each other and respect our differences the same way we do in all other aspects of life.

Cover Image Credit: mashable.com

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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What Happened To My Country That I Love? The Radical Left Happened

They have made the young conservatives angry, and oh boy, will they regret that.
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What happened to the America I loved? What happened to the country that fought for liberties, not against them? What happened to my country? What happened?

I was terrified to enter the political world when I first began developing my own thoughts and opinions on many social and economic issues. I started to see this new side of the world that was boiling beneath the surface, ready to explode. I was unsure what to do with the information handed to me. But none-the-less, I fell in love with politics.

I found myself on the conservative side of the political spectrum. For anyone who knows me, this is not too much of a surprise. I was already incredibly pro-life and was one of the most outspoken people against the government being involved in my life. With a very conservative household, people tend to point at me and say that I have known no different. And maybe I haven’t.

What I have noticed in my time being incredibly active in politics is the increasing amount of worry and fear that has been radiating off the Right. They are afraid that they were the last generation of conservatives. They fear that free markets and our basic human rights are soon to head out the door.

But I am here to tell them, they are not the last wave of conservatism.

As I walked into the Midwest Regional Conference hosted by Turning Point USA (TPUSA) a couple weekends ago, I saw all I needed to see. One thousand college-aged conservatives, mingling around the room proud in their country and displaying their “Socialism Sucks” shirts.

One thousand does not sound like a lot, but each came from their college chapter representing another three or four students. Then, on top of that there are all the students on college campuses to afraid to say anything, and then there are those who simply are out of college or couldn’t come. This was only for the Midwest as well. There are numerous amounts of conferences hosted by TPUSA around the United States every year.

This was just one.

There is a new wave of conservatism that is coming, and I promise that we will not let our parents and grandparents down. We have already begun to speak out against the radical Left, that has left behind what our country was founded on.

We have grown tired of the ways of conservatives have always sat back and never spoken too loud. They have fought back in votes, petitions, and talk shows. This new wave is strong, and know that in order to fight back we have to be just as loud. It has begun already with organizations like Campus Reform, Lone Conservative, and Turning Point USA. All rooted in capitalism, free markets, and our civil liberties and rights.

We are here to fight for America, and to keep our lives and generations to come safe. We will not let the Left take away our defense, our speech, and the rest of what makes America, America. Because if we do, where else will we go?

What happened to the America I loved? It is still here and is here to stay.

What happened to the country that fought for liberties, not against them? It is still here and is here to stay.

What happened to my country? The radical Left happened.

What happened? They have made the young conservatives angry, and oh boy, will they regret that.

Cover Image Credit: aimeecustis / Flickr

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