“Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.” — Marx
As I continue to work on my relocation to the sociopolitical desert, I find myself irritated? Saddened? Weary… of statements I find on social media along the lines of “If you support (or for some, if you don’t support) [Politician or policy X], just go ahead and unfriend/unfollow me.”
While people of course have the right to interact on social media with anyone they choose — or with no one, if they prefer, it has always seemed odd to me that political similarity would be the sine qua non for a relationship. I’m connected via social media to a wide variety of people. I agree with some, and disagree quite vehemently with others. But I can’t help thinking that their politics are the least interesting part of who they are. We’re back to Mondo’s Law again: If your life isn’t bigger than your politics, you’re doing one of them wrong.
Again, I think some of this goes to the fact that my best friend and I differ radically on these matters, and in a sense, I suppose our differences are growing as I try to withdraw from a sphere of life in which he’s deeply invested. But I know he’s going to watch the same basketball game that I will this afternoon, and that we both love our wives and kids, and that he would likely enjoy watching the leaves fall on my patio as much as I do.
I also think that some of this stems from the truth that I don’t much care to tell other folks what to do. To cop a line from Eric Hoffer, because I find my own business worth minding, I don’t need to try to mind that of others.
But finally, I don’t know why I would want only to be surrounded by people who think like I do. I am a limited instrument — there are things I think about and do very well, but there are other things at which I’m dreadful. Why would I want to live in an entire social universe that shares my blind spot? Something useful — or at least, something interesting — might be going on there.
So I hope it doesn’t ruin anyone’s day, but I don’t particularly care about Candidate X — he or she is just someone else who thinks we should punish people who disobey him or her, anyway. And if you don’t like it? Feel free to tell me why. At worst, I’ll probably disagree.