Can’t we all just get along? Maybe in ’09?

A strange thing happens in election years if you’re at all political.

Suddenly the woman you’ve been laughing with on your message board about Paris Hilton blurts something about “whoo! the death penalty!” and you start avoiding her. The nice newsstand owner around the corner makes an offhanded remark about supporting Obama and you are now thinking hm, he does put the NY Times in front of the Wall Street Journals, doesn’t he. The cool mom in your playgroup shows up with a Ron Paul pin on her bag and you don’t look at her nearly the same way. Similarly, the cool mom in your playgroup shows up with your own candidate’s pin on her bag forever solidifying your friendship.

Or maybe the chick who just writes the funny blog about funny mom stuff shows that more than a parent, she’s a hopeless partisan with a President Poopyhead shirt in her baby’s wardrobe and her heart and soul in the outcome of this election. Sometimes she gets snarky. Sometimes she’s not above a good scandal.

I think that what unites us as parents is stronger than what divides us politically. I think that essentially we all want the same things for our children, even if we disagree on the best means to get there. Or how to talk about it. And that’s always what I’ve loved so much about this place specifically, and this here blogosphere or whatever it’s cool to call it these days. (I’m always like 6 months behind on the vernacular.)

Here I’ve found friends who have voted Republican their whole lives, friends who admit to voting Nader registering Green (sorry BD!), friends who swing both ways, friends who believe better dead than red state, and connecting us all, an entire site full of friends who put me to shame with their ability to conduct political discourse at a level of maturity and respectfulness that I only dream of being capable of.

Every four years, I fear for some of my diverse relationships as elections roll around and things get heated.

I once broke up with a guy because his goal to was to be “The next Rush Limbaugh.” I don’t regret it. But now I guess always wonder who wants to break up with me.

Phew, I’m conspiracy theoried out for the week.

I would very much like to discuss Gossip Girl. Or Project Runway. Or How that Subway ad with the people throwing soda on each other totally makes me never want to eat there. Or why I spent my first day home alone folding laundry instead of going to a movie or getting a lap dance or something.


61 thoughts on “Can’t we all just get along? Maybe in ’09?”

  1. Everyone has their own opinion…in my mind, yours is the right one, and I get when you’re being tongue-in-cheek-ish. Some people like to be “wronged”, which is why, even when your opinion is the complete opposite of yours, they’ll continue to read your blog. I don’t know what my point is. I’ve had two margarita’s tonight, which is what you should be doing right now.

  2. I just had a rum and coke and I still love you even though you blog about conspiracy theorys:-)

  3. I have been noticing this pattern too! I am working on trying not to read too far into people’s politics when they differ from mine. I am really even considering giving them some respect for their differing views. yes maybe in 09 ;), especially if my guy wins.

  4. It’s very clear who I support, but I am able to deal with those who support others. I don’t understand them and think their loony toons, but you know, to each their own. 🙂

  5. Sigh. I know what you mean. I don’t like the dirty side of politics…gives me the heebies. But it’s still part of it, isn’t it?I worry sometimes about losing bloggy friends on this stuff. Writing what I think, and people being offended and going away. And yet, you’re right. We all want the same thing. A safe country. Healthy children. Decent educations. Tax breaks for the wealthy. Defense contracts for our friends. Wait, we don’t ALL want those last two, right?

  6. *cough*didn’tvoteforNader*cough*Pretty sure I voted for Gore in 2000, and for McCain during California’s open primary that year.I’m a strange sort of voter. Moved by systemic, infrastructural worries rather than by individual candidate or party agendas.

  7. I’m still getting a bumper sticker for Obama on my minivan even though it’ll cause some eyebrow raising at our homeschool meetings. But, yeah, as someone who hates controversy (especially anonymous online controversy), I can see what you mean.

  8. I think most people enjoy feeling that they are RIGHT. And because of that, they tend to look at people who hold opposing viewpoints as something in the range between “a little crazy” to “a lot stupid.” If people simply have a different, considered opinion–without being flat-out WRONG–well, then everything becomes more complicated. It’s even more complicated than conspiracies. 🙂 Anyway, I think the answer to “Can’t we all just get along?” is NO, absolutely not. JMO

  9. I struggle so much with this. I’ve recently lost a friend because of this. I’m not sure how to handle it, I just wish we could vote tomorrow and get this over with. I’m a nervous wreck.

  10. I just wonder why they never have lids. I mean whenever I go there are lids. If you really want to take your mind off things, flee your home because of a storm stuffed into a car with 2 kids, husband, dog, cat and the most important things you could think of at the moment, then kick yourself for the things you forgot (all that stuff in the fridge, doh) and sit in traffic. Took my mind right off of it. 🙂

  11. Oh SoMo, of course these are the things that matter most in the world. Wishing the best for you and your family and the rest of you Gulf Coast types. Glad you’re safe, even if your produce isn’t.

  12. Oh my god, that fucking Subway ad. Every time it comes on, i get this wild look in my eyes, and my husband just glares at me because he is SO TIRED of hearing for the millionth time about how that’s NOT FUNNY, because it’s freaking SODA, STICKY SODA, dripping all over them.

  13. Eh, for everyone who wants to break up with you, there’s somebody else who’s totally in love. Even if that person may not be your favorite, because they are still unapologetic for voting Nader. (Because (1) Gore won! Blame the court, man. And (2) SAFE STATE! Jeez. And (3) the person in question cannot possibly bring themselves to believe that less democratic choice is better for the country… And I do so love a good baby mama dustup.

  14. Most of us have surprising juxtapositions of “-ism”s inside us. I don’t think a single one of my close friends shares even half of my -isms with me. It’s just such a complex and interesting world, filled with people who can enrich your existence immeasurably, even while you firmly believe they are wrong, even on important things. This isn’t a matter of grudging tolerance; it’s a recognition of how many different ways people can be valuable and meaningful to one another. When I see people boiling down life to the single dimension of party politics (or religion, or gender/sexual identity, etc.), it feels like suffocation by sterile bandage. Are there people out there who really think that like half of the world is not only incorrect, but nuts? Or evil? Forget it, it was a rhetorical question. I’m not that naive, it just makes me sad.(So Liz, you really don’t think I agree with anything you say? I checked, and I’ve only “tormented” you on 5 posts in the last 18 months! Now that’s some efficient tormentin’! 🙂 )(My wife and I went to PEI last summer and came back pregnant with our fifth. Here’s hoping the same doesn’t happen to Nate.)

  15. Recently found your blog, and I plan to keep reading. It probably helps that I agree with what you say, though. I have lots of friends and family with all sorts of political views, but I don’t like talking politics with any of them. Instead, we stick to stuff we know we can agree on.

  16. I’m a swinger. Heh.I’ve been dreading this time in terms of what it might mean for my online relationships and my Bloglines subscriptions. As a swinger, I always manage to piss somebody off.At least I know that the ones who stick around really do love me for who I am. Thanks for being one of them, my friend.

  17. i am the child of a hardcore democratic mother and stepmom and a hardcore republican dad and stepmom.good times, i tell you. good. times.i am a democrat. through and through. (even though i can’t get my obama tshirt sent to me because i have a canadian billing address. boo!)and it makes for some sticky family discussions.can we talk about Gossip Girl instead??? and tomorrow…we can talk about the new 90210? yes please?

  18. I was raised in a family in which calling someone a Republican was tantamount to calling them an a**hole, and I’m still a little shocked when people readily admit that they are Republicans.It’s not that I’m not open-minded, which I most certainly am not, it’s just that I sincerely can’t believe that there are people out there who, deep in their hearts, don’t agree with me. How can they not when it all seems so clear to me?I’m trying to keep politics and religion off my blog because I get truly cranky about those topics and I think I’d alienate everyone! I don’t know how Mary Matalin and James Carville do it. My house would be a bloodbath!

  19. Yeah, online relationships are weird because they allow you to be friends with/interact with people without knowing all of the more superficial things that might keep you apart in real life (race, class, gender, politics, etc.). OTOH, sometimes IRL you learn something about a person and you can never look at them the same way.I dunno, I like honesty, and I think that if politics divide people, then that’s just the price you pay.

  20. I never agree with anything you say politically, but read you blog anyway. I think some of the things you say take it a bit too far, and the post yesterday was way out of line, but I know it is your blog, and you can say whatever you want. I rarely comment because I know you will never change my mind, and I doubt I can change yours. I will be voting for McCain, but that doen’t mean I don’t respect you or enjoy reading your blog.

  21. First, about the politics. I try to stay away from it on my blog because I get into too many debates with family and friends in real life. I actually love it when you post politics on your blog because you say what I’m thinking, but you say it better and more freely than I do. Second, about freedom of speech and our country. I am always saying that part of the reason this country is so great is that we can disagree with each other and those in office, that we can even say bad things about those in office, and we are not taken to prison. We have freedom of speech so that we can disagree with each other, not agree. So we can speak our minds without fear. It’s hard when you get flack back from others who don’t agree, but it’s your right to post what you want. Even very intriguing gossip. heh. Finally, let’s move on. I hope you at least had a nice big glass of wine while you folded laundry!p.s. Thanks for being you, Liz. Whatever you want to say, even if I don’t agree, I will read and enjoy.

  22. It does make things uncomfortable between friends (and family!!!) sometimes. Most people can’t just agree to disagree, they feel like they have to prove that they’re right. Which is why I don’t really do politics. I don’t belong to a party, but tend to vote democrat, since some local republicans I voted for went back on the pre-election promises and hurt me personally.However, I did enjoy all the scandal yesterday and the fact that it was bloggers over the weekend who brought it out. Hehe. Power of the keyboard baby!I also would have broken up with someone who wanted to be the next Rush. He’s fat and ugly!!

  23. I’m totally disappointed in your last post, but I get the urge. I understand that when a person cares SO MUCH about politics, sometimes the gossip-y bullshit it tantalizing because it distracts from what is on the line. We’ve all heard the stories about Obama, the missing years, is he a terrorist, is he a racist, and on and on and on. So if you get pulled into it on the other side, you can be forgiven. This time. Ha.PS: I think she’d have done a Bree Hodge (from Desperate Housewives) and over done it with false bellies if she wasn’t really pregnant. Just my thought on it.

  24. There is a mom at my daughter’s preschool who wears an Obama Mama tee shirt that bugs the crap out of me. But not for the reason you think. I only wish I were that passionate about any candidate.

  25. I think that this is the right time and the right place to announce that I have slept with both John Stewart and Mel Gibson.If you don’t believe me, look closely at my children’s hairlines.The third kid is, of course, Ralph Naders.I hope you still respect me. I still adore you.

  26. How about when you begin to realize that your parents aren’t politically aligned the way you thought they were. And so you try to make them come around.It can be awkward at worst, dicey at best, but that’s the democratic process! Awkward and dicey!

  27. Every time I pass a house with a McCain sign out front, I stick my tongue out. I’m a very mature 32-year old.

  28. Wow, what a great post. Twitter has been abuzz the last few days with people losing followers due to political talk. I know I’ve been surprised at how snarky and condescending some of my favorite bloggers have been, however, I’m not going to let it affect me. My goal is just to ignore most of it.

  29. I am a pagan and a Green/Libertarian, living surrounded by Baptist Republicans. I don't expect my friends to share my opinions on everything,or even most things when you get right down to it. We talk about what do agree on and experiences we have in common. An Obama T-shirt is not the sum total of a person, just one facet of a many varied life & it's a very sad thing that people can let it ruin a friendship.

  30. Thank you. I’d much rather discuss those things too. I don’t like that Subway commercial either. What a sticky mess!

  31. One of my neighbors, a very nice lady in many ways, I might add, stopped talking to me for a month after I put an Obama sign in my window and an Obama bumper sticker on my car.Still working up the courage to put the yard sign I just got out, too. I hate it when politics gets in the way of other aspects of my life. That’s one of the reasons I went a few years without being very involved. But it’s just too important to me, this time around. I hope everyone who disagrees with me will at least try to understand that I am doing my best to fix the country that I love.

  32. I want to know were I can get a President Poppyhead T-shirt for my kid!!

  33. For so long, I’ve kept my religious and political views to myself, because I know this is where people tend to have problems communicating. Now I’m more willing to talk about politics, but I try to be friendly about it…at least in mixed company.I’ve never even seen Gossip Girl and I’m unsure if I care enough to watch 90210, but dam I’m glad it’s September, so there will be new TV on.

  34. I also want to say, now that I am sober, that there are conspiracy theorys on both sides, lots of power, and money, so how can we be passionate about either side?“absolute power corrupts absolutely” by John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it”by William Pitt, the Elder

  35. Ah! A voice of reason…bringing us together instead of creating more division. That’s what I dig about you. Do the young people still use “dig”?Just checking…

  36. Liz. I have to say this. I’ve been holding back for far too long and it’s time I let it out.I think you have a fantastic rack. Regardless of your political views. Heh.

  37. My friend once called me after the Bush Gore election. She called to complain about the “too close to call” in Florida, where I live. I told her that we didn’t want to have this conversation. She was totally baffled. I said – We don’t talk about politics for a reason. We don’t agree and I’m not going to discuss it with you. She said it never occurred to her that I thought differently than she did. I’m great at avoidance. lol My Mother and my sisters vote differently than my Dad and I. My Mother is VERY vocal. I just smile and say – we aren’t talking about that. I have seen many a family torn apart by politics and being quiet with people who believe otherwise (and are close family and friends) is how I deal with it.I hate those subway commercials!

  38. See? THIS is why you’re truly one of my very favorite people on the interwebs. Even though you overflow with passion for your cause, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to understand there are others out there who may have opposing views. And, most importantly, that’s OK.You’re welcome to martinis and Tivo’d episodes of Million Dollar Listing at my house anytime.

  39. Yes, let’s. Because I would totally punch somebody in the face for throwing their soda pop on me.

  40. Great blog! I don’t know about anyone else but I am finding this time very stressful for all the reasons you outline. Really, I am reaching for the vodka and tonic at least an hour earlier than usual (but still after lunch!). How can people not see the hypocrisy? And finding out your friends vote differently to you is like finding out your husband is sleeping with his secretary. Worse maybe, depending on the day! I have only just got over finding out one of my friends voted for George W in 2004. It really hurt, you know????

  41. I agree…sorta. A “friend” of mine from high school just told me she thinks that “I’m asking for it” living in New ORleans…not because we’re below sea level…because our lifestyles “are so unethical”. That’s the end of that friendship. With my schedule, I barely have time for the friends who I agree with politically. Why would I want to make time for someone who I have to have that conversation with? I liked your last post better than this one. Because I want to set Sarah Palin’s bad hairdo on fire. Is that divisive?

  42. I try to avoid the subject entirely on my blog because I’ve got the maturity level of my four year old. When things piss me off I just can’t let them go. Not until that little vein in my forehead goes away. And that takes a long time. And a lot of beer.

  43. Well, um, your last post really didn’t contribute a lot to the “Can’t we all just get along?” thing. That was as far out there as the right-wing “Obama is a closet Muslim”stuff.

  44. i love you.i missed all the brouhaha – barely recovered from being out of town, just now peeking at blogs for the first time in almost a week – but dude, people have to calm down and embrace the idea that someone having a different point of view isn’t something worth getting hysterical about. i know this election is EXTREMELY emotional, but when people demonize others for having a different opinion it just makes THEM look like an ass, and does nothing to support their POV. my 2cents. most of all though i just want to say <>LIZ YOU ROCK!<>

  45. Please don’t stop being political. I think it is a Mommying issue that Sarah Palin is anti-choice, pro-creationism, and for abstinence-only-education despite the clear evidence that that doesn’t work in general and didn’t work in her own family. There’s a petition over at that asks Sarah Palin to let the public know where she stands on other mothering issues, like parental leave and healthcare for kids. It’s here:

  46. Any time you want to discuss Gossip Girl, call me. But Penn Badgley’s off limits; he’s all mine.

  47. I’m totally with you. I want to talk about nail polish and also about what is with Katie Holmes rolling up her jeans left and right.

  48. Some people are really affected by the political views of others. I try to be mindful of that when I blog about politics — but I guess I don’t appreciate ideology as much as I’m fascinated by people’s varying thought processes and how those combine with their experiences and cause them to draw what I might consider an insane conclusion — so I don’t hold it against anyone.

  49. I’d have to add that Subway’s five-dollar-foot-long jingle is equally as repulsive. Oh, and you’re right on with the rest of your post, too;)

  50. I think I’ve had enough politics this week (and it’s tuesday. huh.)so I’ll say that those fucking (excuse my language)subway commercials make me want to throw things at my tv! (so, yeah, that happens a lot, but that’s beside the point.)The POINT is, anyone who has ever been covered in soft drink, beer, or whatever knows that there is NO WAY they would be smiling and pleased to go about their day. STUPID SUBWAY!!

  51. Great post Liz. As an undecided voter, I find myself at a loss for what to say to people. Usually when I mention I am undecided, people act as if I said something like “I gave my toddler crack for breakfast this morning” or “I just killed and buried a family of four under my porch”. You made me feel better and not as much of a freak-a-zoid. And of course I love my shallow TV shows. Gossip Girl, Greek, name it and it’s on my Tivo.

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