TODAY IS THE DAY…

I’ve bitten my tongue around here when it comes to politics. I’ve been slightly more vocal on facebook and twitter, where people can (somewhat) engage in a conversation about the future of our country, because I think a big part of the political process should be the sharing of thoughtful, educated opinions and ideas. Unfortunately, that’s not usually how it goes.

I know it’s a bit late to be saying all of this, but I guess I felt compelled, on this day, to talk about the way we are talking about politics.

Many people tout the party line and hold fast to their ‘beliefs’ because it’s what they’ve been fed – by their parents, spouses, friends, church, or preferred news sources – and forget that politics should be a dialogue. In my opinion it seems that political parties, our country’s issues, and our citizens themselves are constantly evolving (for better or worse), which means our own beliefs and party affiliations should constantly be questioned. And, the only person that’s going to motivate you to know better, to dig deeper, to educate yourself on the issues and to find – the best you can – your own personal truths… is you.

I’ve never been a hugely political person. I think it wasn’t until 9/11 that I really woke up a bit and started paying attention to policies and taking my voting a bit more seriously. It was also about this time in my life (while attending a Catholic university as a liberal) that I had learned the value of shutting up and listening once in a while to others talk about things that made me uncomfortable.

This year – for the first time in probably my entire voting history – I really took the time to shut up and listen. To educate myself on the issues. To attempt to understand what my vote for one candidate or another really meant to the future of this country. And, can I tell you something? Damn, it felt good. To be able to have an educated conversation with others who were voting the exact opposite of me, and to be able to explain my position, listen to theirs and – in some circumstances – have my eyes opened to the possibility of voting across party lines? That’s what politics should be. And, while there are some issues I will never change my mind on, there are way more I still have a lot to learn about, and the dialogue on both is just as important.

And the point of all this, I guess, is that I feel stronger than ever about voting this year. Even more so, about all of us actually educating ourselves in a way that when we walk into the polls we’re not just guessing at choices. Or picking every candidate with a D or a R beside their name just because it’s our party. I know this message is coming a little late, but I certainly didn’t want to wait another four years to say it.

So, I’m asking you… nope, telling you. Whatever your affiliation, go out and VOTE. Make your voice heard – even if it’s in silence, in a voting booth where nobody will ever know what button you pushed. Vote from your heart and your gut and your educated mind. You have been given the right and the responsibility to be a part of this country’s future. Go.

23 responses on “TODAY IS THE DAY…

  1. Kett

    Sing it! I wish we had more dialogue about politics in this country between individuals – I feel like we haven’t mastered the art of polite political conversation and so we retreat to our safe corners where everyone agrees with us. But how can we be better informed if not by talking and sharing with people who disagree with us in a rational, non-personal, polite way? I appreciate the post, and I second it!

    Reply
  2. Erika [small shop]

    Well said! I am married to someone of the opposite party and it has been an education for me these past 13 years. I really value his opinion and want to hear the other side of the issues. I understand now that we all want the same things (for the most part) but have very different core beliefs about how to get there. I don’t know that those core beliefs will ever change for me. It will be interesting to see how our daughter’s political leanings develop through the years!

    Reply
  3. Ivan Juarez-Mrazek

    That was the sexiest thing I’ve ever read on here. Discourse! Rationality! Understanding! I’m starting to blush now ;-)

    Reply
  4. Kimberly @ Vintage Modern

    I totally agree. I went to the same university as you did (go GU!) but I know what you mean about being a liberal there. Anyway, I am excited about this election and make my voice heard. I agree that being informed is the way to go.

    I know its cliche, but knowledge = power!

    Reply
  5. Julie

    Awesome post! Very well said – it isn’t just our responsibility to VOTE, it’s also our responsibility to educate ourselves on what we’re fighting for and why. There are far too many people out there who vote based on what “everyone else is doing” or who they think is more popular…which is scary! I’m so proud to be an American and feel honored to have the God given right to vote for the leader of my country :)

    Reply
  6. Lindsay

    My undergrad is in Political Science, during my time working on my degree I attended 3 different schools for a year each. I started out at a really conservative school, transferred to an extremely conservative school, and ended up back at a conservative school. Some people even people in my own family I know would HATE going to a liberal school. They can’t listen or understand others viewpoints. I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially as a political science major I feel like it REALLY rounded out my education nicely to have politics professors for all sides.

    I am glad you can appreciate listening and learning with an open mind as well. That is the thing that has saddened me most during the election, especially since political science is my background and I had gotten used to healthy discussions in class, is people’s inability to talk and listen. The two things that have saddened me the most seemed to be the majority of conversations. 1) People would just make angry assumptions and claims at others, down-talking them, not even talking about the election or candidates but making it personal and cutthroat. 2) People being unable to talk about it because they really had no reasons of their own for why they were voting for their chosen candidate. Like you mentioned these people (a huge group) were literally voting for whatever candidate they were voting for because of their parents, or peer group, or media pull. That to me is so sad to see. I would love to ask someone why they are voting for a candidate and have them list be off why that persons’ views align with their own, instead of saying things like “I HATE _____, so I’m voting for _____”. How refreshing would it be to hear, well I firmly believe in ______ so _______ is the candidate I will be supporting.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post. Increased dialogue and conversation is something I vehemently hope for as well!!

    Reply
  7. Kelly

    It gives me hope that with our collective voices we’ll be able to change the current dialogue to a thoughtful discussion. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful opinion, it is needed and appreciated.

    Reply
  8. Nuha

    It’s so refreshing to hear someone talk about politics (specifically, the election) in a light and polite tone. I don’t think I’ve ever heard so much pointless, un-important talk about any political candidate before this election. I wish people would take the time out to look at how we got to where we are as a nation and the best way to fix it before they made up their political minds. We are adults, and the future of this nation (scary thought at times!) so it truly is up to us to return it back to it’s original glory. Also, I think people need to be reminded that there are other political viewpoints out there. There’s a world beyond Republicans and Democrats.

    Reply
  9. Colleen

    Summed up my thoughts exactly!! I think much of our generation feels the same way, and that gives me a lot of optimism for the future!

    Reply

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

About Cassandra LaValle

Cassandra LaValle is the founder and editor-in-chief of coco+kelley where she explores trends in fashion, decor and entertaining, highlighting pieces that exude classic design and glamour. As a designer, she consults clients across the globe on styling their homes and private events from her offices in Seattle.