Politics & Facebook - A Witch's View

This week has been pretty tumultuous in politics.  We have seen the POTUS actually ban an entire group of people based on their national origin which directly violates out Constitution. While everyone seems to have an opinion on this action, I believe few seem to actually realize the real implications of what this means.  This changes what American is to everyone one around the globe.

What is interesting here is that Reagan is the Conservative saint and yet they seem to have moved so far away from their path.  Some may say much like Christians today who scream ProLife and then say no to refugees or starving children.

On issues like gun control, abortion, racial relations and so much more the access to information about our friends and family has never been so immediately available. When we visited our family we didn't really know how they felt about specific things.  This is, in my opinion the whole, ignorance is bliss situation.  Facebook has made it so easy to see that people you love are racist or leaning a little too far left for you.  The power of a simple Facebook Like can change the entire course of Christmas dinner. Even to the point of people being killed over posts.

Recently a friend of mine, who I worked with for several years in real life, posted their concern at how Conservatives are being demonized by Liberals.  They said that Liberal were guilty of doing what they accused Conservatives of doing and it was wrong.  This particular friend did not vote for Trump and felt wronged due to everyone blaming Conservatives/GOP members for the massive swing in rights that is happening right before our eyes. When I mentioned that for the most part, I was surprised at the missing Conservative voice in the shouts for action they said that it was no different than asking all Muslims to condemn ISIS.  I thought for a moment and then agreed.  Even though we would love to hear from our Conservative friends and family on this, we're just not going to.  And you know what, they don't have to.  Thirty years ago we would not know who our friends voted for or who they supported. We wouldn't see their like to a Facebook page supporting White Nationalism. We wouldn't know they were OK with LGBT rights being taken away.  We would sit obliviously at Christmas dinner, tell them we loved them and go about our day.

Social Media and Facebook specifically has given everyone a voice.  A loud, and sometimes obnoxious voice.  We have keyboard warriors and home row bullies coming out of the woodwork to share their opinions, even if we don't want to know them. Everyone seems to have an opinion on something today and with this change in climate in American it seems to now be OK to promote hatred, bigotry and infighting at every turn. From a little restaurant in South Carolina to a yarn shop in Tennessee, we get information and misinformation immediately.  We have to look at this information and determine if it is something we need to respond to or not.  We have to see our brother like a post that says Trans people should not be allowed to use the bathrooms of their gender and weigh our response.

So what can you do?

The first thing you have to do is understand that people have a right to their own opinion. No matter how much you disagree or even how wrong that opinion might be. You have to decide if you can not only accept that opinion but also be able to engage with that person in a safe manner. Sometimes it just isn't possible to sit down at Christmas dinner with someone who you know feels that you are not equal.  And quite frankly I'm not suggesting that you do. There comes a time in life when the student becomes the teacher. Before you worry about should I go over for a visit, ask yourself what do you want from this relationship? What do you need? What do you have to give? If you were not related by blood to these people, would you want to be around them on a daily basis? With those questions answered you can decide if you want to move forward with it.

Not everyone is OK with Uncle Joe's drinking on the weekends or Cousin Ryan's constant belittling of his wife. You can remove yourself from the situation and end the drama. I never recommend confrontation on hot button issues. Usually this only ends in fights. If you have friends and family that you can talk to about these issues you are probably not the person I'm writing to. Discussion is great, when it can be civil.  Be sure to take care of yourself.  There is a reason why so many people have families of choice. Be with your family of choice. Be who you are and remember to protect yourself.

Be kind, be honest, but don't be a victim.  You can control social media simply by turning off the switch.

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