Wednesday, October 15, 2008

 

Civil Discourse

It doesn't lose this election. It was lost long ago.

I don't disagree with the previous post's point, just the timing. My experience suggests politics are not something easily discussed. It may have always been this way and I'm only noticing it as I age and take greater interest in political issues but I'm not finding many conversations on such topics to be all that pleasant. In fact, conversations are often not even possible.

Last week at work I heard whispers outside my office following a group lunch where politics was discussed. For years I have been quiet during such gatherings but I knew this day was coming. I heard someone say, "I'm just going to ask him", and then they did: "Do you mind if I ask you something....Are you an Obama supporter?" (In other words, Are you one of us?)

I laughed when they asked. I work for and with good people and get along with everyone. Some are passionate about their politics though, and I don't want to express contradicting views in order to avoid heated discussions. I'm under no pressure here, I just like the nice environment here and prefer to keep it that way. I'm not afraid to speak my mind but there is one thing I would rather not say or imply and that is that some of the information I often would like to share was obtained reading blogs while at work. I wouldn't get fired or disciplined for that but it is probably better to stay away from that.

So I responded to the question about supporting Obama: "Not really." And to the follow up about supporting McCain: "Not exactly a big fan but I don't think it matters since Obama is sure to win Illinois." I got out of disclosing who I am voting for at least for now but I think it will come up again in the future. The 'all on the same page' notion during our birthday lunches is probably gone for good. To what extent I participate in political discussions is something I am going to have to consider. Once you are in, you usually are in for good and I'm likely to stay as quiet as possible.

Aside from with friends (to the left or right, doesn't matter) I'm staying out of political discussions for the most part. It is tempting sometimes to offer an opinion or question someone's facts but civility is not something to expect.

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