It happened. All of my frustrations from a ridiculous election season followed by an even more absurd legislative session culminated into one, giant hate-filled implosion. But before we get to the “fixing,” let’s start with the “causing.”
I went into this session excited, which is surprising considering this was not my first. But my excitement quickly crumbled into little bits of ‘what the hell?’ when an entire group of people I trusted abandoned what I knew of them – a complete toppling of conviction in this mess of politics because of ego and greed.
I couldn’t take one more second of the blow hards on Facebook pretending that ‘their’ elected official was somehow ‘immune’ to the ridiculousness and still had ‘pure tendencies.’ The lies, the backstabbing, and then my phone was changing “Amen” to “amendment”. I couldn’t even end a prayer without thoughts of politics. I had had enough.
I left work early on Wednesday mad as hell. I went home, walked the dogs and headed to the
gym. Except that made it all worse. The lady three treadmills down from me was talking on her phone and I could hear her entire conversation over the ever-so-timely Cee Lo Green song on my headphones. I was about ready to march off my machine, yank her cord right out of the socket, and rip her a new one when I actually made eye contact with her. I felt this overwhelming guilt consume me because I didn’t hate the lady on the treadmill. I hated that all of the hate had consumed me and I no longer recognized myself. I…hated it.
I’m not sure if you know this, but I too am a human. Despite the disparaging blogs, the sassy, sarcastic comments, and the sometimes anti-political tirades, my heart is still pure. I am a grateful cheerful person. I like wine, pizza, puppies, and babies who aren’t weeping – just like everyone else. And despite the hype, I am not as bad as some make me out to be. Like everyone else, I pick my battles and burn bridges, but I do so carefully. If you look back over 4 years of writing, I’ve only lit the match for 2 bridges: the one connecting me to Sen. John Albers and the other to Rep. Christian Coomer.
Why does this matter? Because I had a heavy heart over the people who did not see my tenacious effort to discuss things, not people. And then I realized, it isn’t my fault that elected officials take their job so seriously that a criticism of their work kills any conversation and most of the time, all friendships. It isn’t my fault that their pursuit of ‘what is right’ does not look like mine. It isn’t my fault that they have a problem with me.
But the humanity.
This humanity thing, it keeps us immune to many things, like melting and time travel, but not from the hatred we see amongst us in politics. Not the hurt of finding that a mutual contributor who writes alongside side you says horrible, nasty no-good things about you’ and tells people they want nothing more than to see you fail.
Humanity does not make you immune to the deafening silence of no one around when you’ve been raked over the coals. It does not keep you warm in the ice-cold reality of knowing those you depended on won’t be there.
Humanity does not make you immune to recognizing that just about every legislator, or citizen for that matter, from Gwinnett county is trying to make your life a living hell because you don’t like a few of their ‘concepts.’
Humanity does not keep us from hating people back because they hated us first.
Humanity does not make you immune to the pain of a defeat, no matter how small.
Humanity does not make you immune to the fact that the ‘minority’ in this state is not a party or a race, but a group of people who have nothing to gain from this vicious, cyclical game that most of us cannot escape.
I’ve been called a lot of things in the last 90 days – some under the Gold Dome and some from those people on Maple Avenue. Pro-predator, someone who supports human trafficking, just about every curse word you can imagine, and of course, someone who has ‘close ties to the adult entertainment industry.’ But I am none of these things.
What I am is “green.” Even after 5 years. I’ve never been in situations where people hate others. High school was a pretty easy time in my life and most of my jobs have yielded friends, not enemies. I have a few weird family members, but I am told that is normal.
In politics, there is no shoulder to cry on. In fact, there isn’t really a time, place, or purpose for crying at all. And unless you’re married to someone in politics – which I thankfully am not – you go home to find that what you feel is even harder to explain to someone on the outside. Your mom will just want to “fix it” and if she can’t, she’ll want to fight those battles for you. Your friends just want you to have a glass of wine and forget about it.
Then social media complicates things. When you aren’t consumed with the political rants, your feed is bombarded with wicked skinny witches who are leaving the maternity ward with skinny bird legs that are still somehow smaller than yours at your own birth and that pesky, annoying person from high school who has received yet another promotion. There is no escaping humanity.
But the truth is: I don’t want to be immune from the humanity.
You see, the “me” in this isn’t just me and all the “I…” is really just the voice of a lot of other people like me. The people who see no appeal in the actual game. The people who want to make a difference. The people who have nothing to gain. Replace “Jessica” in this article with the person you can’t stand and want to see fail. Ask yourself if you’re forcing them to face unnecessary battles.
Sometimes we all need slack and understanding. Sometimes we need a break to restore ourselves to the softness of which we know of ourselves to embody. Sometimes we forget that we are dealing with living, breathing human beings. We forget that human beings, by nature and the grace of God, have feelings.
The biggest problem is that we forget that we all got into this because we had ‘some feelings’ about ‘some issue’ at some point. We suffer when we forget what those feelings are. Personally, that is my new daily task and it will take nothing short of a valiant effort.
In the meantime, I implore you to look at how you treat those around you. Specifically, those you find yourself disliking and hating the most. Ask yourself how much better off you’ll be by putting someone else down. It’s time we start distinguishing between the people who truly hurt our cause and our progress from those who, much like ourselves, are fighting the battles for the things they believe to be right. We need to make a concerted effort to not destroy PEOPLE because their POLICIES do not look like ours.
Most people in politics are terrible people. Those of us who cling to our purity should not succumb to being like ‘most people.’