I don't even know where to start on this topic. Ok, I'll just dive right in.
Once again, differences in politics and beliefs have caused hurt feelings, broken friendships and some sadness.
I'm not going to address the plethora of people who are on my case today. I only want to address Chris, because he was a good friend at one point, one of only two blogging friends who were invited to my wedding, someone I've had dinner with, someone who has been in my home. I'm not providing a link, not because I want to be secretive, but because I don't want anyone going over to his comment section and making things worse.
Chris - and many others - can't understand how I can be a one issue voter, yet they want me to not
vote for Bush based on one issue.
But if you know me, and consider yourself my friend, and appreciate me as a person, and you still vote for George W. Bush this coming November, then let me tell you something right now: Don't ever let me know that you did. Because I will never speak to you again.
Further down, he says, on the same subject:
then I am sorry, but I do not ever want to see your face or hear your voice in my presence. It's a done deal.
My apologies if that offends anyone, but guess what? If that's you, you've been offending me for a long, long time. And I'm just a little bit angry about what you would allow to be done to me, and to our country.
I'm stunned. Completely stunned. You are asking me to consider one issue and one issue only in the coming election, yet you are taking me to task for doing the same. Yes, I believe in gay rights. I believe they should be allowed to marry. And I don't think there's a chance in hell that Bush's proposed amendment to the consitution will pass. But that's not enough. It's not enough for my gay friend to know that I support him and once loved him like a brother. I now have to vote like him.
A vote for Bush is not a vote against you, Chris. It doesn't mean I think less of you. It just means that I've weighed my options and I took into account my own life, my own situation, my family, concerns and Bush turned out to be the best candidate for me
. It's not like Kerry is going to press for the right for gays to marry, either. So what of the people who vote for him
? Will you still talk to them even though he doesn't believe in your cause?
In his next post he says:
All I can say to those who disagree with me on this issue is, I'm sorry we've reached this place. I'm sorry the world's gotten so fucked -- ignore the reasons why -- that people who all believe in liberty have to be torn apart by which ones to protect first: I'm sorry that the assault on our freedoms is so fierce, and comes from so many assailants, that we have to fight each other before we can get permission to fight back. Shit's fucked up and I have to believe that I'm doing what I can to make it better. I guess you do too, but at the end of the fight, if it ever comes, I want you to sit down and take stock of what you have, and then think about what your neighbor still has, and ask yourself: Was it worth it?
I believe the same things as you, Chris. I believe that what I'm doing is right for the long term. I could ask the same question about you. And like I said yesterday, I cannot go into the voting booth and take into consideration you and my neighbor and myself and make the right choice for all of us. It's impossible. So what do I do? Make the choice that 's right for you
? Isn't knowing that I support your cause enough to keep a friendship going, or do I have to actually march in your footsteps and do all the things you do in order to regain your acceptance?
I can't do that. But I can be really, really sad that it's come to this. I've lost friends over politics before. I've had blog fights and I've had people delink me and call me terrible things. But nothing hurts as much as a friend telling you that, because you are putting your beliefs and needs ahead of his when voting, that he no longer cares about your existence.
I'm not going to defend my choice any longer. I'm not going to explain once more why I've made that choice. I don't know why I even felt like I owed anyone an explanation to begin with.
Yes, I am incredibly pissed at George Bush for the action he has taken in regards to gay marriage. It's one issue that he's really gone opposite from me on. So you want me to vote for Kerry instead? I don't agree with Kerry on anything. Sure, he's not going to try to change the constitution. But everything else about him drives me mad. I'm torn apart here, trying to figure out what it is I'm supposed to be doing in order to make this world a better place, a safer place; in order to make my children's future bright and free of terrorism; in order to make wars stop and the economy rise and inflation go down and every single child in the world have food and clothing and proper schooling and hey, let's cure cancer, eliminate natural disasters and draw rainbows across the sky while we're at it.
There is no one - no one candidate - who can fulfill all your wishes. So why would you expect me to not vote for the candidate who at least fulfills a good portion of mine?
I'm angry and upset to the point of being nauseous. I'm being attacked on from an incredible amount of people from all sides on this issue. I'm confused, angry, hurt, most likely incoherent and not making much sense and just...livid.
I've managed to keep a lot of friends who are so liberal they make Indymedia look like NewsMax. I manage to still be friends with people who are anti-war, who poke fun at my politics or march against the things I stand for - and vote against them, too. I've accepted that basic fact that everyone is different. If I stopped talking to people who have values opposite mine, I would be a very lonely person.
This is going to eat at me all day. I've encountered three people in the last half hour who come off as if they would put a knife in my heart and spit in the wound if they met me. Maybe I'll lose all my gay friends, which are, admittedly, a big portion of my friends. Maybe I'll eventually lose every friend I have who is liberal or voting for Kerry or anti-war. But the one thing I will never lose is my sense of self. I am not going to fold up my Bush tent because someone has used a friendship to bully me into it. Never.