This Is It
The Iowa caucuses just finished earlier this week. And the winner has yet to be determined (thanks a lot app).
Right now, it seems to be a toss-up between Sanders and Buttigieg. Both sides are claiming that they won. That the right side prevailed. That this was it for them.
I have to admit that both politicians can bring interesting perspectives to the table. One’s a moderate. One’s a self-described democratic socialist. And both can probably help America in unique ways.
I am a closet politician. I like reading about it in the news. I enjoy talking about it. And I love watching those late-night political comedy shows on Youtube.
Stephen Colbert. Seth Meyers. Trevor Noah. And more. They all make my day. I watch them fairly religiously every night and they are hilarious I have to admit.
I grew up in New York City, a Democratic leaning city to say the least. I think in the last election in 2016, 90% of Manhattan voted Democrat.
Almost everywhere I go, there are Democratic supporters. Most of my friends are Democrats.
Most people that I talk to lean progressive. On topics related to climate change, abortion, gun control, and such.
I’m not an expert on these topics, so I don’t really want to get into the nitty gritty political positioning on a public forum.
But, I can’t help but be influenced by the environment in which I live in. And personally, I am a registered Democrat.
For most of my life, in the New York community, I’ve been given the impression that there was the clear-cut distinction between what was right and what was wrong.
And the Democratic Party is the “right” way to go. Yet, the 2016 election did not go our way (at least based on electoral votes).
Turns out, we lived in a political bubble where everyone believed the same thing - with little regards to how completely different many other fellow Americans (outside of NYC) think on a political scale.
We believed that the Democratic party was the way to go. The right way. The good way. The correct way. This way was it. This is how life should be.
And for the people who don’t think the same way that we do, well there must be something wrong with them. They’re the “bad” guys. And their political beliefs are incoherent for us to understand.
Sometimes, I’d watch the comedy shows make fun of a Republican politician - portraying them as the bad incompetent ones. And I can’t help but laugh (at their expense).
These shows are truly funny. And humor can be very powerful when it comes to influence. So, I have to admit that my mind (over the years of living in NYC) has been colored with a Democratic leaning vibe.
But these people from the other side (these Republicans) are not bad people. They are simply human beings just like us.
I’m family with some of them. I'm friends with some of them. And I’ve done business with some of them.
They believe in their way. And we believe in our way. And for each of us, this way is the way. The right way. The correct way. The way that everyone should follow. The truth and nothing more.
The beauty (and hindrance) of America is in its two-party system, where both sides get to argue their version of the truth. Their version of what is right and what is wrong with America.
They debate. They argue. They paint the other side as the “villains”. And eventually, the people (us for better or worse) vote to place the ‘right’ person in power.
Sometimes, we get too latched on to our own ideals. We identify too much with being a Democrat (or a Republican) and we cling to those ideals like they are the right way and the only way.
Whatever the other side believes, that’s not it. That’s not the right way to think.
But sometimes, we really should at least take a look at the other side’s point of view. Regardless of whether we agree with them or not, we should know that there is more than one way to approach life.
Not just in politics, but in everyday life in general, we have our own unique values and ideals on what is right and wrong. Sometimes, our values intersect with others. Sometimes, they completely diverge.
There is no one set way on how to do things. Or on how or what to believe in. Everyone can believe in whatever they want.
The beauty of this country is in its diversity. In race. In culture. In sexual orientation. In belief systems. In personalities. And yes, in political affiliation as well.
So, maybe there is a better way than your way. Or maybe it’s simply a “better” way for them.
When you feel like someone is questioning your position on life (not just in politics), just know that they have their way of doing things. And you have your way.
There is no one exclusive way to approach things. And that’s the beauty of the life we live.