Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dear Diary

So I was scrolling through my archives and check out this HOT TAKE from me circa 2007:
"My voting strategy as of now. And this could change. First, I'm going to throw away my vote for Mike Gravel in the primaries. I refuse, on principle, to vote for any candidate whose support for LGBT rights is not clear, and frankly not correct- even if there's a woman running, and even if there's an African-American running. Because right now, this little-known and underexposed candidate is the ONLY one is in full support of marriage equality, who opposes the Defense of Marriage Act, AND opposes "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." (
And then Hillary will win the primaries. And I'll have to choose between (a) not voting at all (b) voting for "the lesser two-evils," neither of whom fully support gay rights and are more beholden to corporate interests than they are to the common citizen. Ahhh, the 'lessser of two evils,' that bane of the American voter's existence. 
But, since voting is one of the few meaningful ways for a non-millionaire average citizen to participate in our democracy, I'll choose to vote. 
And I'll vote for Hillary. Who will lose to Rudy Giuliani. Because when America's gut-checked, we'll find out we aren't quite ready for a woman president after all. 
I hope I'm wrong."
What the what? Who the fuck even was I back then? Who the hell is Mike Gravel? Why was I too lazy to use basic HTML to embed a URL? Was I a single-issue "gay rights" voter?

And damn, at least dudes regularly get paid for being wrong about politics.

I mean, it's like reading a journal of sorts, except way more embarrassing because other people can read it as well. (I know, oh woe is the blogger life).

Anyway, I guess my larger, more serious point here is that people's political opinions can and often do change over time.  I ended up voting for Obama in both the 2008 primary and general elections, which is a decision I still agree with. But, I supported the Greens in 2000 (yikes) - mostly because I was in college with little work experience, hadn't yet experienced gender discrimination, didn't fully appreciate that perhaps incremental change is the best way to make lasting change, and I felt powerless in the grand scheme of things and thus sympathized with "anti-establishment" sentiment.

The second point is that I'm also quite certain there are plenty of topics within my archives that I think differently about at present.  The challenge is if and how to address that now.  My thoughts are "out there" representing me, but I have changed over time, as many people are wont to do.

Sadly, neither political nor Internet "gotcha"/"callout" cultures allow for such change or concede that change can be genuine.  The demand is that people must have been perfect, however that is defined at the moment (which itself changes over time), from day one.  A person is painted as a flip-flopper at best or unchangeably rotten to the core at worst.

Hillary Clinton, for instance, is now sometimes critiqued for not fully supporting LGBT rights from the start of her political career. Now, however, I believe she is a sincere ally. I trust that now. I didn't in 2007.

I guess when I look for sincere change, I look for the reasons the person gives for changing. Have they listened? Have they learned? Have they apologized if they've done wrong?  And, looking at ourselves as the judge of someone else, what is our investment, if any, in painting another person a certain way?

No comments: