Monday, February 23, 2004"Lenka," I have heard recently from a few people (who shall remain nameless), "this whole 'gay marriage' thing is getting really tired. Blog about something else. I don't care about it." Fair enough, but before you write it off as a one-note samba on the political organ, consider this: there are times when politics calls for sitting on the sidelines, and other times when you have to speak up and speak your mind, especially when there are far-reaching personal and historical consequences.
I have posted my views on the nationwide battle over gay marriage because it's currently at the forefront of my attention - not only because of the continual headlines, but because people are asking me my opinion about it every day. Everyone can't care about every political debate, and there aren't enough hours in the day to give a damn about everything. However, sometimes there's a crucial time to put your money and your vote where your mouth (or your blog) is.
Gay marriage certainly isn't the only issue I'm concerned about, but right now, it's "in my face." What's also important to remember is that just because an individual holds a certain viewpoint about one matter, it does not follow that they will always hold similar viewpoints on other things: when in doubt, ask for clarification, but don't assume a priori. While this concern is personal, I am genuinely more interested in the discourse than trying to shout down opposing viewpoints. Honest discourse is the path of least resistance to genuine understanding or change, despite the seemingly circuitous route - shoutdowns only lead to escalation and raised ideological fortress walls.
Fences may "make good neighbors", but fortress walls rarely do, regardless of which side of the wall you're on.
*Speaking of one-note sambas, I groaned aloud this morning when I heard that Ralph Nader once again announced his intention for the Presidency in 2004. Every four years, he pops up out of his hidey-hole. Punxsatawney Phil has nothing on Ralph. Remember, Give a Hoot - Don't Dilute [the vote]! That's where I feel torn: ideologically, I believe Nader and all alternative political candidates need their time to be heard and deserve to be on the ballot; that's the "free market" system of voting. On the other (strategic) hand, non-Republican voters who punch the Nader chads may as well flush their ballots down the toilet.