02172: Political Battle Lines

National Elections are always a messy time since people start to gather around their respective candidates as if they were gods in need of absolute faith and such beliefs need to be defended with all their hearts. And while there will always be a point in the election cycle when people stop listening to others since they've made up their minds about who to vote for, it seems that time has come a little earlier because of social media.

I've written about the trickiness of social media many times now and it's always about how it puts your thoughts front and center in front of your contacts when before these were things that could only be exchanged on a much smaller scale through direct conversations. So now everyone you're connected to has a chance to read about your thoughts on any number of issues, including the highly divisive subject of your political affiliations.

Let's face it, people are no hardly listening to one another. We all have our respective beliefs and principles and while we are free to express them on our respective social media accounts, don't be surprised that no one else is about to change their minds about things just because you posted something. If anything, encountering opposing views has become an excuse to engage in word wars and debates that go no where since neither side is interested in what the other has to say and is only focused on repeating their side of the argument.

I think pretty much everyone agrees that rape is wrong, but because of these political sides people are trying to weigh what is more important. This does not make rape right, but it makes views about rape relatively more important or less important depending on the person. And this continues to drive the social media conversation, although an actual conversation would mean legitimate dialog and discourse.

People agree that theft is wrong, but we also believe that proof is important. People agree that leaders need to be competent, but then how many problems can you blame on a single person, really? How far does government accountability go? People agree that nationalism is important, but whether or not one has always been a Filipino citizen may or may not be a major concern right now. There's a lot of back and forth and people trying to compare apples and oranges and figuring out which beliefs and principles are more important than others.

I concede that my opinions are easily dismissed since I choose not to vote at all as a general way of abstaining for all positions. But looking at the political maelstrom that is consuming social media, maybe it's not necessarily terrible that I'm technically on the sidelines.