I would not be a very good politician. Yesterday, January 13, 2021, I drove four hours from my home north of Dallas to Houston. During that time, I was listening to the news for a while, and they happened to be broadcasting the debate that would impeach Donald Trump for a second time. When a representative from one of our states would speak and enter their reasoning for or against impeachment, I would think, “I agree with that – it makes total sense.” I agreed with everyone.
When it comes to politics, I don’t think one side is completely right, and the other completely wrong. I wish that both sides would work together in order to find solutions to the huge issues that our county is struggling with today.
In September, 2020 I had the immense honor of publishing the book, How People Get Their Politics – Conversations with Americans About the Experiences that Shaped their Political Beliefs, by Julie Samrick. The idea of this book first came to her in 2008, when President Obama was elected and she observed the divisiveness that was happening between friends, neighbors, and family members. She knew, even then, that if people would only take the time to talk and listen to each other, people would understand.
In 2019, Julie saw that the country was still divided, and she knew it was time to write the book. She interviewed sixteen Americans – they ranged in age from 21 to 94, were natural-born citizens, or immigrants, and were thrilled to talk about why they hold the political opinions that they do.
The interviewees describe their political identities a little differently than simply Democrat or Republican. In addition to the “Conservative” and “Progressive” labels, we also have “Independent, but Leans Republican,” and “Independent, but Leans Progressive Democrat.” One gentleman even describes himself as a “Liberal Republican.”
Most people seem to have formed their thoughts about politics when they were young – a mother who fed hungry people from her back door encouraged generosity. Conversations around the dinner table, and watching the news with Dad; even certain health issues helped form certain thoughts about politics and government.
People’s political opinions are as richly varied as their personalities. The labels we see on social media are so limiting and shallow, and only cause harm to our relationships with our friends and neighbors.
Read this book. Talk to your neighbors. Don’t let your weird Uncle Marvin upset you.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner! Yes, of course, a book on politics is romantic – this book is all about peace, love, and understanding!
Click here for more information about Julie’s incredible book. Maybe we should send a copy to everybody in Washington, DC!