The Privacy of Politics

Am I the only person who feels that politics and religion are private matters? I get it that everyone has an opinion; that’s good and everyone has a right to have their own feelings about them. It’s not that I don’t care about politics and religion; I do, deeply. Should anyone ask my opinion about one or the other or both, I’ll talk. But I will always preface it with this verbal warning label: “these are my own private beliefs, and you certainly don’t have to believe them. These are personal matters that pertain to me, and I do not seek to start an argument or lose a friend over them.”

Generally I choose not to engage in these two subjects; but that’s just me. Why? Because the it’s the inevitable backlash of talking about them that cranks up everyone’s blood pressure. I don’t push my opinions into anyone’s face (granted; I used to when I was a lot younger and ignorant), and I don’t want theirs pushed into mine.

Also, ever since I was old enough to vote, I considered it my business, and mine alone. I am always surprised when, after an election, people will ask “who did you vote for?” I never give them an answer because it is my business who I voted for. To me, it’s as personal as someone asking you how much you weigh or when you plan to have a baby or why don’t you color your gray hair? Same answer: “*nunya.”

People can be very passionate about their beliefs about politics and religion, and that is absolutely their right. It’s good to be involved and care about what’s going on. But just to rant and rave just for the purpose of ranting and raving to me serves no purpose except to rile up peoples’ negative emotions.

Last December, I was at a Christmas party which the Crankee Yankee and I attend each year. We were all having a grand time until the “politics” table in the kitchen got into a loud argument. There was finger pointing, ramped-up voices, accusations, and some people were already starting to stand up to fight for their particular cause.

It was pretty tough to ignore, but thankfully it stopped when one of our friends suggested that they “agree to disagree.” It didn’t go over well, but it did stop all the acrimony. This is just one example of why I despise having a “discussion” about politics and/or religion. The discussion always gets louder, more aggressive and in-your-face hostile. It makes me sick just being around it; it’s like walking through a cloud of burning trash.

I have lived long enough to see arguments about politics and religion split up marriages, families and friends. In my book, it just isn’t worth it. There are things in our lives that are personal and should stay that way; sort of like my underwear drawer (trust me–no one wants to see that!).

I get that politics and religion can spark some pretty impassioned speech. For example, although I do not start up talks about those two topics, I do get quite passionate about things I think are right. Such as this: I reserve the right to put my toilet paper on the roll so that the paper comes out under, not over, because that’s how I like it and it works for me.

Why? Here’s why: when your toilet paper end goes over, not under, and you have a cat that just loves to scratch on it so that you end up with an empty roll and a self-satisfied cat sleeping on a pile of toilet paper, you’ve got a problem. When your toilet paper end goes under, not over, then the cat will only be twirling it around and around and around. Eventually they will tire of this and go lie down somewhere else and sleep.


*”Nunya” means “none of your business.”


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