By: LEAH DUDGEON
The probability that you’re going to affect the outcome of this election? Zero. The probability that you’re going to affect the outcome of the next chapter of your life with your family members? Pretty high”Joe Pinkster (The Atlantis)
I use to be a very politically involved person. I was so consumed by the two Philippine Revolutions that, for months, I was glued to the news.
So twice in my life- we overthrew presidents and put in power new ones. We ousted two strongmen and installed women presidents in their place. We were all ecstatic – LIFE WILL BE BETTER – we thought.
After a few years, we realized, everything was just the same. The majority was used to propel a few to power. A few who were just as corrupt as the ones we ousted. It did not improve my bank account.
But the politics I knew in the Philippines is so different from what I see here in the US. To a certain extent, the two major political upheavals in the Philippines have united the country and our people to a singular goal- to oust blatantly corrupt leaders. We did it peacefully.
To most of us here in the US, we’ve been having memes, cruel jokes, disgusting comments and vile contents for breakfast. There is no day these past eight months that I haven’t seen people attacking friends, family, and strangers—because of politics.
I was shocked by the party loyalty of Americans that, most of the time, span generations. The party affiliations are clearly divided into Republicans and Democrats. It has also clearly divided the country – alienated friends and worst, families.
In a few days, we will have a new POTUS. November 4 will either be an early Christmas or Doomsday to Americans. I cannot help but reflect on these thoughts:
1. Value relationship over politics. Whoever wins this election – whether it’s Biden or Trump – it is only a 4-year term. It will be Trump’s last term and I don’t think Biden will run for reelection. Four years is not a good reason to create lifetime enemies from friends and family. The worst and saddest I’ve seen is the family of George and KellyAnn Conway.
2. Don’t let politics ruin your online reputation.Be aware of what you put into the world wide web. Are you about to risk offending clients? Maybe a potential employer? Always remember, your online behavior says a lot about you. So before you type your equally nasty response to your friends’ vitriolic comment, BREATHE, and ask – Is it really worth it?
3. Politics is a sensitive issue. Discuss it in private settings. Face-to-face with a friend it’s easier to clarify and explain your position to avoid offending people. Online- you can be misunderstood or even silently condemned.
4. While I have not turned apolitical- I have learned one thing. You cannot change a person’s political beliefs. It can only ruin relationships. I have kept my political views to myself.
When asked – I have a ready answer- “I am still a green card holder and cannot vote yet.” That gets me off the hook.
5. Raise politically smart kids. I have always encouraged my kids to have a political opinion and to be socially aware. In the past, I took them to political protests in the Philippines. I told them – history is happening. You cannot be on the sidelines. You need to be a part of it.
I encouraged political discussions at home. If kids can have a safe place to process their thoughts, get answers to their questions argue their concerns – we can raise critical thinkers who don’t need to vent and rant on their Facebook page.
6. In a few years, I can practice my right of suffrage. One thing is for sure, I will never vote for a party. While the values of one political party may align with mine, I will always scrutinize the values of a candidate as reflected in his lifestyle, speech, and demeanor.
It is so easy to piggyback on pious and moral platforms, but the bible says- from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
7. We are in control of our lives. I have learned that ultimately, we create our lives and fortunes. Whoever sits in power can affect what’s on Twitter and on the news – but I am still in still in control of my bank account.