With the horrific events of last November, I’ve heard many people bemoan on Face Book and in other forms of social media that entertainers, musicians and actors should sit down and shut their fucking mouths and just entertain us. We don’t need to hear about your political beliefs. Keep that to yourselves. They voice this angered sentiment about award shows, protesting football players and anyone else who has a platform that they use for good instead of evil i.e. criticizing Trump. If they were singing a song praising him they’d sit there with big fat grins on their faces happy as clams while they basked in the glow of validation that their political choice was right.
I have many issues with people saying this kind of shit first of all, these people are Americans with the same rights as you and me, they are allowed the same freedom of speech as us so you can’t shut them up. My second issue with this is the absolute hypocrisy of this request coming from people who voted a reality show television personality as the President and ruler of the free world. I’ll let that sink a bit. You smell that? It’s the stench of hypocrisy filling the air, smells a lot like shit doesn’t it! And this is not the first time that someone from the entertainment realm has tip-toed into politics and it doesn’t necessarily mean it will spell disaster for us, but in this case, it just might. And a third issue I have is that we insert politics in some of our entertainment like sports, where many are now claiming should be free of political debate. Well then take the Anthem and flag out of sports and that should clear that up. Right.
Why do many feel that politics should be separate from other areas of our lives when politics is our life? I love it when people say “I’m not into politics.” Really? You aren’t into the one thing that permeates your daily life? Think about it, politics is the area where our laws and regulations which govern how we drive, how we live, how we educate ourselves, how we entertain ourselves, how we treat each other, how we protect ourselves and our environment, how we maintain our health, how we operate our business, how we transport goods, how we feed ourselves, how we function in the world, how we believe, how we travel, how we raise our children, how we love and how we spend our money. Really? You don’t give a shit about any of that? In one way or another politics affects everything.
When you rent a movie the first thing you see is some legal statement created by a government entity to protect certain people, when we go to a sporting event you are expected to stand and rise for the Anthem and the flag, just about any contract you are involved in and that can include any ticket to a play or music event, which is considered a contract of sorts, has legal language around it and is covered by rules and regulations created in the realm of politics! Politics is as much a part of our lives as breathing. You cannot separate it and just be blissfully ignorant during your entertainment.
People talk about politics as if it is something separate from them. It is not. Your political views say a lot about who you are, which is why this country has become so corrosive. I get sick of hearing people on the right call liberals “Libertards/snowflakes/Libs” simply because we believe that fairness and equality should be the guiding hand of the land. We have a large complex country and we cannot have just one view dominating how we create our society. However, if the right had their way, they would insert religious restriction and corporate freedom as the guiding hand. And they would dismantle government, give the States full rights to do as they please, so that there would be no government unity throughout this land. They would love to make Christianity the guiding religion and not that watered down Protestant shit, but the fiery Evangelical kind, the kind that really puts the shackles on you. Their desire to make religion the guiding force as the rule of law would thereby create a society similar to those we fight in far flung parts of the world.
Politics is pervasive. It can’t be taken away and it isn’t some distant creature not related to normal life, it is life! And now after this last political cycle it has been made painfully clear just how much of a personality and lifestyle statement it truly is. Now on dating sites all across the land you see statements like “if you are for Trump, swipe left.” Now your political beliefs will become another requirement added to the list of deal breakers, so move over “must like dogs” there is one more road block on the way to the bedroom! Like dating wasn’t hard enough, now I’ve got the President cock blocking me! Great. As if being an atheist, vegan, football (aka soccer) loving , Liberal with a penchant for good grammar hasn’t limited my pool of playmates; now it looks as if the odds of me ever seeing the inside of a man’s thighs again, have been slimmed down from pool to puddle. I guess it’s good-bye beef hunks and hello free porn (while it’s still allowed).
I wish politics was an elephant in the room we could wrangle and somehow keep in a pin somewhere far away from our restaurants, schools, companies, bedrooms, weddings, doctor’s offices, sports stadiums, music halls, planes, trains and automobiles, BUT WE CAN’T. What we need to figure out is how we deal with this battle of lifestyles which politics seems to have made horrifying clear to us. Since last November, many of us have looked around at the people in our lives and thought “who the fuck are you?” As we started to realize that people’s “politics” didn’t just represent who they voted for or how they wanted to divide taxes, but it also represents what they believe deep down. And for many of you that meant that not everyone is created equal and not everyone deserves a fair and even shot at life and that YOU feel YOUR opinions or beliefs are more important than mine or anyone else’s. See the one big wonderful thing about being “liberal” is that even though I don’t agree with your beliefs, or whatever invisible creature you think guides you, I support your right to believe in it and practice those beliefs how you see fit. I am not willing however, to let you treat other people like shit using the lens of whatever 3,000 year old religious text you claim is the one true and right and definitive word.
If you don’t want to have an abortion, then don’t, but you can’t force your beliefs on someone else. If you want to force your kids to learn about your religious beliefs, fine, just do it on your own time and dime, but we will NOT teach creationism as an equal to evolution in the schools. If you want your kids to have a specialized religious education then fund that with your own money, not government money. If you want to marry someone in the traditionally religious way, be my guest, knock yourself out. However, you can’t tell someone else that their love isn’t good enough or right. What if we only valued and legitimized homosexual marriage? And because we didn’t value heterosexual marriage you weren’t allowed to marry whom you loved nor would you be recognized as their family. What if you couldn’t buy flowers or a cake for your wedding because the Muslim who owned the only cake and flower shop in town didn’t approve of you not being covered up? What if that Muslim didn’t want to pay for medical treatment for illnesses that could stem from lifestyle choices they didn’t agree with like liver problems from drinking or heart disease because you ate fatty pork? If that seems unfair to you but you believe Christians can do it, you might want to explore that thought a bit further.
What if you became pregnant unexpectedly and you were forced to have an abortion because that was the law of the land and no one cared what you wanted or how badly you wanted to be a mother? Wow, that would be quite invasive don’t you think? How would you feel if you were not allowed to decide what happened in your own body? What if you were judged by anyone who decided that their rigidity should speak louder than your beliefs? Who viewed their idea of morality as more important and valid than yours. This is the world that many on the right would seek for our country and that is something I cannot tolerate. Since November our politics says so much about who we are and who we want others to see. This is where it gets difficult for me, in trying to remain open to Trump supporters, because I see people who heard all the nasty things he’s said and watched all the nasty things he’s done and still they voted for him. Still they support him, and they are pushing to create a society where my needs and concerns will not be heard and may even be ignored altogether because they think they own the moral high ground.
So I seek to educate and open people’s hearts and minds but I cannot take politics away. I cannot protect your precious ears from hearing someone voice their pain at oppression or inequality, nor would I want to. I think we need to get comfortable with being “uncomfortable.” We need to learn to hear that which we disagree with and learn how to compromise and even on occasion, mind our own damn business.