Draw your line. Voice your line.
The methods used by societies to provide common goods, services, infrastructure, and investments has always been interesting to me. History was one of my favorite subjects in school. Our country is relatively young, so it’s fascinating to look back on human history from the very beginning and see how they tried managing themselves. From oligarchies to monarchs to secular governments to church as state to authoritarians to dictators to representative democracies to true democracies and loads of other ways to help a group of similar, yet different, people prosper together, the study of politics has always been fascinating.
Until now. Now, it’s just frustrating.
Drawing my line
I could go into who I voted for this last election and why, but the more important issue to me is taking a step back and thinking about our relationship to politics.
I have 2 rules when it comes to how politicians should govern:
- The goal of any solution, or law, should be to help everyone, not just a select few.
- Solutions should be derived from facts, history, and logic.
That’s it. I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat politician. If you violate one of those rules, I’ll be calling your office and voicing my concern that you’re valuing your own political standing, money, or some other selfish, greedy factor over the responsibility of doing what’s right for the American people.
Unfortunately, these past few months have shown more and more behavior that violate my two rules. It’s incredibly frustrating that we cannot have a civil debate about solutions to our society’s problems without agreeing on a common goal of helping everyone or a common set of facts or reality.
Voicing my line
Recently, I’ve become much more vocal in politics, calling my elected officials often and sharing fact-based articles on social media frequently. Initially, I was scared to do this since I know there are many Facebook and Twitter friends who disagree with me politically.
Rather than shying away from that, I think it’s my responsibility to voice my 2 rules in public. Because if someone close to me finds themselves disagreeing with me, then hopefully it will prevent them from vilifying me or writing me off without considering my point. Hopefully they’ll think to themselves, “Normally, I’d write someone with these opinions off as a crazy person, but since I know and love Miles, there has to be some merit to what he’s saying. Let me look at it.”
You know what happened when I started doing that? People started thanking me. Seriously. I was shocked the first time it happened, but numerous people, most surrounded by people who disagree with them politically and are too scared to voice their opinions, have thanked me in private. They’re using my Facebook feed as an objective re-cap of the day’s political activities and important studies and facts related to current events. Yes, there have been a few people who have said hurtful or discriminatory things on some of my posts, but they’ve been in the extreme minority.
How else have I voiced my line besides posting articles of facts? I’ve actively hidden and deleted comments that vilify, mock, or discriminate on any of my posts, regardless of political opinions. If an article is shared by anyone, regardless of their political belief, and it’s fake, I comment and civilly offer a fact-based article and report the article to Facebook as fake. If people continue to violate these rules on my posts, then I unfriend them.
If anyone, from any political belief, wants to engage in a civil conversation based on facts, I’m more than happy to do so. I have done so on several occasions and will continue to do so.
But my hard line is using facts, history, and logic to help everyone in our society grow. I’ll continue to voice that rule and by doing so, I hope that I can help, in some small way, make our politics more logical and compassionate.
What’s your line? How are you voicing your line? I encourage you to think about it and do what you can. Our ability as a country to solve problems in a way that helps everyone is under attack with confusion, gossip, and vilification as the weapons. It’s time to voice your line.