After the election

No, I’m not going to tell you who I voted for, and I don’t especially care who you voted for either. But I am going to share a few thoughts about the election.

First of all I’m glad it’s over. I tried to keep up as much as possible but that took away precious time from the work on my plate writing my web articles, networking with other authors, and putting out information about my writing works.

However, I totally refused to publically comment, like, and support any information about the election on my social networks. Once in a while I’d write someone a personal message saying I supported his or her political posts, but that’s as far as I went. I felt sharing my political beliefs publically would offend my followers. I also didn’t want to get into political arguments. That’s not what I’m on the social networks for.

And I’m not alone. The Manhattan Beach Patch shared the results of a Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that found that 18 percent of social media users have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone because of political differences or a distaste for the sheer volume of the friends’ political posts. It also found that 38 percent of social media users discovered that their friends’ political leanings are different than originally thought. People felt they were learning too much about other people’s political attitudes.

Exactly my sentiments.

And that doesn’t mean that I don’t share at all. Every four years my husband and I get together with a few other couples for an election night dinner and watch the returns. But we all have the same political views so there are never any arguments. If I’m with people who don’t share my politics, we always agree to disagree and just don’t discuss.

But one thing I’m very out there about is urging people to vote. I feel voting is so important no matter what our politics are. I was front and center about it on my Facebook page yesterday. Here’s a great poem about the power of our vote:

Election Day, November, 1884
by Walt Whitman

If I should need to name, O Western World, your
powerfulest scene and show,
‘Twould not be you, Niagara–nor you, ye limitless
prairies–nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite–nor Yellowstone, with all its
spasmic geyser-loops ascending to the skies,
appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon’s white cones–nor Huron’s belt of mighty
lakes–nor Mississippi’s stream:
–This seething hemisphere’s humanity, as now,
I’d name–the still small voice vibrating–America’s
choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen–the act itself the
main, the quadriennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous’d–sea-board
and inland–Texas to Maine–the Prairie States–
Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West–the
paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling–(a swordless
Yet more than all Rome’s wars of old, or modern
Napoleon’s:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity–welcoming the darker
odds, the dross:
–Foams and ferments the wine? It serves to
purify–while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell’d Washington’s, Jefferson’s, Lincoln’s sails.

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